Rue, also known as herb-of-grace, ruta graveolens, or common rue is a garden plant grown for its medicinal qualities. It is also used as a condiment in meals, and as an insect repellent.
Rue herb possesses an impressive range of potential health benefits. A soothing tea made from rue herb can be effective in calming the nerves and easing stress or anxiety. It also contains antifungal abilities and can be applied topically to the skin. Rue herb may also help to protect the heart against cardiovascular ailments, treat arthritis, and stimulate menstruation.
The herb can be used either as dried or fresh. The most common way of using the herb is in the form of a tea or an infusion which can help to calm the nerves and may boost appetite and stimulate menstruation. An essential oil made with rue is also available and can be used to treat arthritis and certain skin problems. However, rue essential oil should not be used under any circumstances unless under expert supervision.
The Health Benefits of Rue
According to some studies, rue contains alkaloids, which have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-fertility and antihistamine properties. Rue also contains a plant compound known as rutin, which is actually an antioxidant that is effective for preventing free radical damage.
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of rue.
Possesses Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Good for the Skin
Rue oil is commonly used as a fragrance while making soaps and cosmetics. As a result of its toxicity, rue herb is rarely applied topically on the skin. However, it is believed to help the body combat fungal infections, including athletes’ foot and dermatitis. Rue also provides instant relief from itchy skin.
The anti-fungal properties of rue also make it effective in treating skin pigmentation, to bring about a more radiant skin. The anti-oxidant properties of rue also ensure that the skin fights off free radicals that result in premature aging of the skin, helping the skin look young. This is one reason why rue oil is commonly used in spas for therapeutic facial steams.
Acts as a Sedative
Rue is potent in calming epileptic attacks because of its sedative properties. The herb helps in desensitizing and soothing the nerves while stimulating numbness due to the neurotoxin in it.
Supports Hair Health
As a powerful insecticide, rue essential oil and extracts are commonly used to eradicate a lice attack. In fact, a regular use of rue essential oil can repel lice from the hair and give you relief from itching!
These days, a number of spas use rue oil for hair treatment, keeping it radiant and healthy.
Works as an Insecticide
Pests such as mosquitoes, flies, and cockroaches, can cause a host of diseases. Thankfully, you can get rid of these insects with the use of rue. It can also be used as burners, vaporizers, incense sticks, and fumigants to ward off insects.
Contains Anti-Bacterial Properties
Rue helps to protect us from bacterial infections by destroying bacteria with its anti-bacterial abilities. The herb can also be used in the preparation of tea to combat colon, intestine, and urinary tract infections. It also protects the body from salmonella and food poisoning.
A remedy for Poison
Rue is popular for being an antidote to poison. It is very effective on neurotoxins such as insect bite and snakebite.
Possesses Anti-Spasmodic Properties
If you suffer from muscle pain, you can try rue. It is an excellent remedy for muscle pain, anxiety, and menstrual cramps.
Side Effects and Precautions
It is important to note that rue, in whatever form, is poisonous, and should never be consumed directly. Some of the mild side effects include dizziness, a higher sensitivity to sun exposure, spasms, stomach irritation, insomnia, rashes, mood swings.
Rue is also linked to some chronic side effects:
- Pregnant women must steer clear of rue in all its forms as it can result in a miscarriage.
- It can lresult in chronic damage to the kidneys and liver. Individuals who suffer from kidney/liver problems must avoid using any medicine/food connected to rue.
- People with stomach and intestinal issues such as ulcers, colitis or inflammatory bowel disease should avoid the consumption of rue, as it can aggravate the problem
The Bottom Line
While there are serious safety concerns with the use of rue, it is effective as a medicine for treating a range of health conditions. The herb is used for treating digestion problems, which include diarrhea, upset stomach, and loss of appetite. It is also potent for treating for heart-related problems including heart palpitations and arteriosclerosis. Rue is also believed to help alleviate breathing problems including coughing and pain resulting from swelling around the lungs.
In addition, rue is used for treating certain other painful health conditions such as cramps, Bell’s palsy, headaches, epilepsy, arthritis, and muscle spasms, nervousness, and multiple sclerosis. The herb is used for the treatment of mouth cancer, hemorrhage, fever, hepatitis, fluid retention, and intestinal worm infestations. Rue is also potent for killing fungus and bacteria.
Rue also helps women ease menstrual problems, stimulate the uterus, and induce an abortion. The herb is sometimes applied directly to the skin to treat swollen skin, sprains, arthritis, tumors, toothaches, dislocations, injuries of the bone, earaches, headaches, warts, tumors. The chemicals present in rue help to lower muscle contractions and reduce inflammation.It is also effcetive as an insect repellent.
In the making of foods and beverages, rue and its oil are used as flavoring. While in manufacturing, rue oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
Although, we have established that rue does contain several amazing health benefits, you need to still exercise caution in using the herb in any of its forms. This is owing to the fact that it contains many potential side effects. Always check with your doctor before using this herb.