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1. Any of various aromatic woody herbs or shrubs of the genus Ruta of the Mediterranean region and western Asia, especially the ornamental R. graveolens, having bipinnately compound leaves that yield an acrid volatile oil formerly used in medicine.
2. Any of various other plants having similar foliage, such as meadow rue.


A perennial herb which contains alkaloids (arborinine), coumarins (bergapten, psoralen, xanthotoxin), and volatile oil with methylnonylketone, cineol, limonene and others.
Chinese medicine
In the Chinese pharmacopeia, rue is used primarily for snake and insect bites.
Herbal medicine
In Western herbal medicine, rue is antispasmodic, emmenagogue and vermifuge; it has been used for arrhythmias, intestinal colic, eyestrain, gout, musculoskeletal trauma, rheumatic pain, stress-related headaches, varicose veins and to evoke menses.
Cutaneous photosensitivity; rue should not be used in pregnancy.
See Ruta grav.


Right upper extremity, right arm


n Latin name:
Ruta graveolens; parts used: leaves, roots; uses: abortifacient, sedative, anthelmintic, analgesic, antiinflammatory, menstrual complaints, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal complaints; precautions: abortifacient, pregnancy, lactation, children, heart disease, patients taking high blood pressure medication, cardiac glycosides. Also called
herb-of-grace, herbygrass, rutae herba, or