Common rue properties

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Benefits of common rue


Common English name: Rue, common rue, herb-of-grace

Common name in other languages:

Common rue leaves

Common rue leaves

– Spanish / Castellano: Ruda, arruda, ruda de los huertos, ruda medicinal, ruda común, ruda mayor.

– Catalan / Català: Ruda vera, ruda, herba de les bruixes, herba de bruixa

– Galician / Galego: Ruda de xardín, arruda, ruda,

– Portuguese / Português: Arruda

– Basque / Euskara: Erruda usaindun, boskoitza, bortusaia

– Italian / Italiano: Ruta comune

– Romanian / Română: Rue

– French / Français: Rue des jardins, rue fétide

– German / Deutsch: Weinraute

– Polish/ Polski: Ruta zwyczajna

– Dutch /Nederlands: Wijnruit

– Norwegian /Norsk bokmål: Ruteslekten

– Finnish /Suomi: Tuoksuruuta

– Swedish /Svenska: Vinrutesläktet

– Turkish / Türkçe: Sedefotu

– Russian /Русский: рута

Scientific name: Ruta graveolens L. Ruta comes from Latin “Rudis” (=coarse) Graveolens comes from Latin (“Gravis+olere” =Strong smell)

Family: Rutaceae

Description of rue

Common rue flower detail

Common rue flower detail

Evergreen shrub plant up to 150 cm tall.

Stems erect, branched.

Yellowish-green, fleshy leaves very divided and equipped with glands that give it its distinctive odor not overly friendly.

Flowers up to 2 cm with slightly serrated petals. Fruit in capsule.

It blooms from May to September, being the summer the time when it is in full bloom.

Habitat: In Mediterranean drylands, in slopes and walls. Sometimes cultivated as a garden plant, it can be found near houses,

Applications of common rue

Used extensively in the kitchen as a spice, it was often planted in gardens or fields, so it may appear naturalized in some fields or abandoned lands.


The following remedies have traditionally been used. Today this plant is not recommended in internal applications in any of the following uses.

Even used externally, it has a number of side effects that should be considered.

* More information: Rue Contraindications

Rue preparations for internal use

ruda ilustracion

Illustration of a bunch of common rue with flowers

  • Circulatory system: It is mainly used for its properties to tone the arteries and protect capillaries. This property would make it useful in treating certain diseases of the circulatory system: varicose veins, edema or circulation problems. (Drops of fluid extract. About 12 drops per day divided into two intakes)
  • Digestive system: It is used in very dilute infusions (½ g per cup of water of dried plant or twice for tender plant). It exerts digestive properties helping to improve digestion and avoiding problems like indigestion, gas, heartburn, heavy stomach, etc.
  • Female genital tract: Rue is one of the most powerful emmenagogues, that is tod say, it promotes menstruation with any of its preparations. Its action is due to its toxic principles – arborinin, graveolin, cytisine or methyl nonyl ketone.These principles result in increased blood flow to the uterus, causing forced menstruation.

    Women during pregnancy should not take this plant because it could cause abortion.

  • Abortive plant: At the same time, any of these preparations with common rue is very dangerous for pregnant women because it can easily cause them abortions, so it should not be used under any circumstances during pregnancy because it is one of the best known abortifacient plants.

* More information about the side effects of common rue.

Preparations with common rue for external use

In external use it is rubefacient properties rue, ie, produces an outer skin redness.

It is used  to relieve pain in shock, sprains, etc.

Also to reduce pain and inflammation in rheumatic diseases.

How to collect and preserve common rue

The leaves are harvested before flowering. The flowers, when they have formed buttons and before they open. During this time, it is when the plant is rich in essential oils.

Both, leaves and flowers, should be dried in the shade at temperatures not exceeding 35 ° C.

They will be stored in clean, dry containers, if possible in opaque ones, to be protected from light.

punto rojo More information on common rue toxicity, side effects and contraindications.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

6 April, 2020

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.