Rue Essential Oil Health Benefits – Health Value, Side Effects

Rue Essential Oil Health Benefits – Health Value, Side Effects

Rue Essential Oil scientifically known as common rue, and herb of grace is inherent to Balkan Peninsula in nature and origin. It is usually cultivated as an ornamental plant and being native to Balkan Peninsula, it is an herb with a bitter, aromatic, and acrid scent. It has woody and tough branches with bluish to green leaves. It is an ornamental, shrubby herb with a strong, aromatic, bitter, or acrid scent. Rue has tough, woody branches and small, smooth, bluish-green leaves. This is one of the oldest medicinal plants. The sunny, early summer flowers give way to green fruits which resemble tiny immature oranges. The flowers bloom in summer. It is used as an antidote for poison and to treat digestive problems, nervous afflictions, and hysterics. Rue essential oil is derived by steam distillation of fresh Rue plants. This oil has main components such as Butanone, Bergaptene, Nonyl Acetate, Nonaone, Undercanone, Psoralen, and Xanthoxin. Rue has other various names such as Herb of Grace, Herbygrass, Garden rue, Countryman’s-treacle, Common rue, German Rue, Herbe de la Rue, Herbe de Repentance, Herbygrass, Ruda, Raute, Ruda de Castilla, Rue des Jardins, Rue Officinale, Ruta Grav, Rue Puente, and Rutae Herba.

Rue is also called herby grass or garden rue which is widely used in the manufacturing of perfumes and cosmetics. It is also used to make alcohols, herbal spoonfuls of vinegar, and flavorings. It is used as a treatment for gout, glaucoma, rheumatism, itchy skin, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, warts, varicose veins, and wounds. It also relieves fainting spells, contusions, headaches, dry sockets, compression wounds, convulsions, high blood pressure, anxiety, toothaches, epilepsy, anxiety, and stiffness.

Name Rue essential oil facts and benefits
Scientific Name of Rue plant Ruta graveolens
Native Being native to Balkan Peninsula, it is an herb with a bitter, aromatic, and acrid scent. It has woody and tough branches with bluish to green leaves. The flowers bloom in summer. It is used as an antidote for poison and to treat digestive problems, nervous afflictions, and hysterics.
Common/English Names of Rue plant Herb of Grace, Herbygrass, Garden rue, Countryman’s-treacle, Common rue, German Rue, Herbe à la Belle-Fille, Herbe de la Rue, Herbe de Repentance, Herbygrass, Ruda, Raute, Ruda de Castilla, Rue des Jardins, Rue Fétide, Rue Officinale, Ruta Grav, Rue Puante, Ruta graveolens, Rutae Herba, Rutae Folium, Sudapa
Name in Other Languages of Rue plant Polish: Ruta, German rue, bashoush, Garden rue, How, Rewe, Herbygrass, Mother of the herbs, Herb of Grace, Ruta Ostrowonna, Ruta;
French: Rue;
German: Raute, Gartenraute;
Spanish: Ruda;
Mayan: sink-in;
Greek: Apighanos, Pighanos;
Parts used Flowers
Extraction method Steam Distillation
Color Pale yellow, orange, amber
Aroma Bitter, strong
Health Benefits
  • Prevent growth of fungus
  • Acts as an antidote
  • Eliminates bacteria
  • Keep insects away
  • Lowers pain
  • Calms nerves
  • Assist digestion
  • Relax nerves
Traditional uses
  • It relieves arthritis pain and also treats sprains and bruises.
  • It helps contusions, wounds, varicose veins, physical overexertion, dental problems and other health conditions as well.
  • It is a cure for itching skin, bleeding, external and internal hemorrhoids.
  • Avoid by children, breastfeeding, and pregnant women.
  • It should be used with caution because it might irritate mucous membranes and skin.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight.
  • Not to be used in aromatherapy because it might irritate or burn the skin.
Other Facts
  • It is often blended with Benzoin, Bay, Fennel, Chamomile, Myrrh, Frankincense, Wormwood, and Pennyroyal.
  • It is also used in facial care, massage, relaxation, and perfumes.


Early meadowrue, Thalictrum dioicum, grows up to 2 1/2′ tall and wide. It’s pale green to purplish stems are round (terete), smooth (glabrous) and look like they have a white powdery coating (they’re glaucous). Meadowrue leaves are arranged alternately on the stem and are doubly or triply compound. That is, the leaf is divided into segments once and then the segments are further divided into leaflets.  The entire leaf is up to 1′ long and wide and the leaflets are about 1 1/2″. The upper surface of the leaves is medium green while the undersides are pale green.

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Branched flower structures (corymbs) form at the tops of the main stems and hold pendant flowers. Unlike many plants which have bisexual (monecious) flowers with both male and female parts, early meadow rue flowers are either male or female and found on seperate male and female plants (they’re dioecious, hence the species name dioicum). Both male and female flowers have 5 to 7 green sepals but lack petals since they are wind pollinated and do not need to attract insects. Male flowers are pendant and have 10 or more yellow stemans while females are held upright and have about 20 pistils. Fertilized female flowers produce fruits (seeds) called achenes which are ellipse shaped, ribbed, and pointed at each end.

Early meadowrue is ephemeral, actively growing and flowering in the spring before the trees leaf out and block the sunlight and then dying down for the summer. The plants may produce a few fresh low leaves in the fall but then go dormant again until the following spring.

The root system consists of slowly creeping rhizomes with fibrous roots attatched.


Found in the eastern half of Canada and the United States, early meadowrue extends from North Dakota to Maine in the northern United States and from Arkansas to Georgia in the South.

Habitat and Cultivation

Early meadowrue prefers to grow in ravines, on clay or loam wooded slopes, and in rich mesic (neither too wet nor too dry) woodlands. It is common in forests with a lot of sugar maple and basswood. In cultivation, early meadowrue grows well in moist garden soil in a shaded spot that gets plenty of sunshine in the spring before the trees leaf out. Because the plants often go dormant by mid summer the thoughtful gardener will want to keep track of where the dormant roots are so she or he doesn’t accidently dig them up or damage them.

Wildlife Value

Because they are pollinated by the wind early meadowrue do not produce showy flowers or nectar and are not of interest to pollinators. Rabbit and deer browse the leaves which are also the food for the larvae of up to four different species of moths.

Health Benefits of Rue essential oil

Rue essential oil possesses anti-arthritic, antidote, antibacterial, anti-rheumatic, insecticidal, digestive, sedative, anti-hysteric, and anti-epileptic properties. Rue was once believed to improve the eyesight and creativity, and no fewer personages than Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci regularly ate the small, trefoil leaves to increase their own. Some health benefits provided by Rue essential oil are listed below:

Prevent growth of fungus

This essential oil possesses anti-fungal properties that prevent the growth of fungus both outside and inside the body. It prevents the chances of dermatitis, Athlete’s foot, decomplexion of skin, and food poisoning.

Acts as an antidote

The effective neurotoxins found on Rue essential oil acts as antidotes for poisons. It induces vomiting and counters poisoning. It is helpful for bites of venomous snakes, intoxication by narcotics, stings, and insect bites.

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Eliminates bacteria

Rue essential oil is able to eliminate bacteria and its infections. It should be used in moderate amounts. It is helpful for people with food poisoning caused due to bacterial infections on the intestines, colon, urinary tract, and salmonella.

Antidote to Poison

Since it is poisonous, rue essential oil acts as an antidote for a number of other poisons and can be administered against symptoms of poisoning. However, it is effective on neurotoxins, not on hemotoxins. It can also be helpful in countering poisoning and inducing vomiting in case any poisonous substances are ingested. It is particularly beneficial against intoxication by narcotics, venomous snake bites (snakes like cobras and king cobras, which have neurotoxic venom, not vipers which have hemotoxic venom), insect bites, and stings.

Antibacterial Properties

The toxic nature of rue essential oil is effective in killing bacteria and preventing bacterial infections. If it has to be taken orally, which is normally recommended against, it should be taken in very mild concentrations and under the supervision of an expert. It can help you get rid of food poisoning by bacteria like salmonella, bacterial infections in the colon, intestines, and urinary tract, as well as those on the skin.

A study published in the Journal of Laboratory Physicians in 2018 found favourable antibacterial activity in rue. However, it concluded that further research was required. [3]


This is yet another bright aspect of the toxic properties of this oil. Rue essential oil is more poisonous to insects and is thus effective in killing and driving them away. It can be used in vaporizers, fumigants, burners, and incense sticks to keep away insects.

Anti-arthritic & Anti-rheumatic

Rue essential oil is effective in reducing pain in the joints associated with arthritis and rheumatism due to desensitization and numbing effects, which work in a similar way to an anesthetic. [4]

Nervous Sedative

The neurotoxic nature of rue essential oil acts as a sedative for the nerves and calms down nervous disturbances and afflictions, convulsions, and nervous hyperactivity, which can often result in trembling limbs and uncontrolled involuntary actions.

Anti-epileptic & Anti-hysteric

Being a nervous sedative, it is very effective in countering epileptic and hysterical attacks. The neurotoxins in this oil induce numbness in the nerves and make them completely relaxed and de-sensitized, thereby making the patient calm, inactive and tranquilized.

Keep insects away

This essential oil has toxic properties which are fatal to insects. It could be used in fumigants, vaporizers, incense sticks, and burners.

Lowers pain

It lowers the pain in joints which is related to rheumatism and arthritis due to its numbing and de-sensitizing effects.

Calms nerves

This oil has neurotoxic properties that sedate nerves and calm convulsions, afflictions, and nervous hyperactivity which leads to uncontrolled involuntary actions and trembling limbs.

Assist digestion

Rue essential oil helps to promote digestion that provides relief from the conditions such as digestive issues and indigestion. Although it is not known to promote digestion, it can help relieve indigestion, particularly digestive issues that result from bacterial infections or activities.

Relax nerves

It is a sedative that helps to counteract hysteric and epileptic attacks. It has neurotoxins that promote numbness of nerves and relax them by making the patient inactive, calm, and tranquilized.

Traditional uses

  • It provides relief from arthritis pain and treats sprains as well as bruises.
  • It is useful for contusions, wounds, varicose veins, physical overexertion, dental problems, painful feet and ankles, and painful stiffness in hands and wrists.
  • It is an effective treatment for itching skin, healing bleeding, external and internal hemorrhoids.
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Side effects

It can cause severe damage to the liver and kidneys. People with kidney/liver problems must not use any medicine/food-related to rue. If people with stomach and intestinal problems such as colitis or ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease consume rue, it can worsen the problem.

Women who are pregnant, or believe that they may be pregnant, should not use rue in any form. Its history as an emmenagogue suggests that it can induce miscarriage. Rue should not be used in large dosages as it can cause some poisoning in sensitive people. Finally, the juice of the fresh plant is an irritant when applied to the skin in a concentrated area. People with sensitive skin should avoid topical application of rue. Rue is a favorite food plant of specific butterfly species and makes a lovely addition to the garden but the gardener must exercise caution as the sun can cause a photosensitive reaction in the skin that was exposed to the sap. The resulting rash is reminiscent of poison ivy and can be a long-lasting annoyance.

If handled with caution, Rue can be a useful addition to your natural medicine cabinet. People suffering from joint and nerve pain may find relief in this herb. Women with irregular periods might be able to regulate them, in part, through using a weak rue tea. However you choose to incorporate it into your life, exercise caution with rue so you can reap its healthful rewards without unnecessary complications.


  • Children, breastfeeding, and pregnant women should not use it.
  • Use it with caution because rue might cause irritation to mucous membranes and skin.
  • Avoid exposure to the sunlight after its use because it is sun sensitivity.
  • Do not use it in aromatherapy because it could irritate or burn the skin.

Other Facts        

  • It blends well with Benzoin, Bay, Fennel, Chamomile, Myrrh, Frankincense, Wormwood, and Pennyroyal.
  • It is used in facial care, massage, relaxing, and perfumes.

From Where To Buy

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