The health effects of the Rue herb have been noted for a long time for their antispasmodic and sedative properties. In literature, the rue herb has been mentioned by such writers as Pliny and Shakespeare as an herb of remembrance, of warding and of healing.
Rue refers to a genus of evergreen shrubs that is native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region. They grow to a height of about 20 to 60 centimeters. The leaves of the rue are green to green-blue in color and have a certain feathery appearance. The leaves possess an offensive odor that they have been utilized to fight the plague and other contagions since ancient times. The flowers of the rue are colored yellow, about a centimeter in diameter, and have 4 to 5 petals.
The active constituents of rue include volatile oils, flavonoids (most significantly rutin), furanocoumarins, and alkaloids.
Rue tea can be made by steeping a teaspoon of dried or powdered herb in a mug of boiling water (about 4 ounces) for 5 minutes. Strain the mix and then drink. It is recommended that no more than 4 ounces of rue tea be consumed in a single day.
Caution is recommended when drinking rue tea as there are concerns that it may be poisonous when taken in large doses. Also, care should also be taken when applying the plant’s oils topically as some people are said to have developed a severe rash when they are exposed to it and then the sun. Rue tea should not be taken by pregnant and nursing women.
The following are the health benefits attributed to rue tea:
- May aid in the treatment of coughs.
- May assist in the treatment of colic or stomach aches.
- Could help in the treatment of epilepsy.
- Said to help encourage the flow of menstrual blood in women.
- Seems to help fight panicky headaches and spasms.
- Thought to help relieve palpitations.
- When applied topically may alleviate certain eye problems.
- When applied topically said to help treat insect bites.