Rue essential oil, ruta graveolens, is the common name for various members of the family Rutaceae, a large group of plants distributed throughout temperate and tropical regions and most abundant in S Africa and Australia. Most species are woody shrubs or small trees; many are evergreen and bear spines. The family is characterized by the presence of glands producing an essential oil, and the foliage, fruits, and flowers are noticeably aromatic and fragrant. The aromatic principle is widely utilized for flavorings, perfume oils, and medicines. NEVER take this oil internally and it is advised to use protective gloves when handling this oil. Also of value medicinally are angostura bark and the rues (both now more commonly used for flavoring) and the poisonous jaborandi. Leaves of the latter (Pilocarpus spp. Brazil) are the source of pilocarpine, used to treat glaucoma. The leaves are now sometimes used in flavorings, beverages, and herb vinegars and in the preparation of cosmetics and perfumes. In medieval times rue was much used as a drug; its use as a condiment was thought to prevent poisons from affecting the system. Rue was strewn about law courts in parts of Great Britain as a preventive against diseases carried by criminals. It was sometimes associated with witches but also symbolized grace, repentance, and memory.
Rue, ruta graveolens, is a native of Europe, it is an ornamental, shrubby herb with a strong, aromatic, bitter or acrid scent and has tough, woody branches and small, smooth, bluish-green leaves. Mustard-yellow, fringed 4-petalled flowers appear in summer, followed by 4-lobed capsules. In ancient medicine, the herb was a favored remedy as an antidote to poison and was seen as a magic herb by many cultures and as a protection against evil. It was used for nervous afflictions, digestive problems and hysterics.
Rue essential oil blends well with the following essential oils: frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, chamomile, thyme, bay, fennel, pennyroyal, wormwood and vervain.
Rue oil cautions - Although the herb of rue may be useful, the oil of Rue will irritate and burn your skin when you apply it, it is toxic, an irritant to the mucus membranes, a neurotoxin and causes sun sensitivity due to photo toxicity. May induce abortion DO NOT use if pregnant or nursing.
Rue oil properties - Rue is often used for relief of gout, joint pain, rheumatism, and warts. Also used as bug repellent.