Ruta graveolens

Plant Name

Ruta graveolens L.

Botanical Info

Perennial, shrub, 20-50cm heigh.


Spread widely in southern Europe and the Crimea. Grows on dry, rocky, gravelly slopes.

Chemical Content

Essential oil: alpha and beta pinene, camphene, limonene. camphor, cineole. cymene, linalool, aliphatic alcohols ,ketones and ethers. Alkaloids: arborinin, fagarin, skimmianin, kokusaginin, rutalinium, rutanilidin, rutakridon, rutamin, ribalinidin etc. Coumarins: bergapten, xanthotoxin, psoralen, izoimperatorin,rutamarin, pangelin. Seedlings. Essential oil, 0.2-0.3%, in its composition, geyerin, pregeyerin, nonanol, undecanol, nonanon.undekanon, undecylacetate, metilnonilketon. Flavonoids: rutin. The fruits contains traces of skimmiamin (0.018%) and kokusaginin. The roots contains coumarin, furocoumarins, alkaloids, essential oils.

Traditional Use and Activity

Ruth is widely used in traditional medicine. The plant stimulates appetite, improves digestion and increases menstruation. It has a tonic effect, relieves fatigue, calms the nervous system and has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and spasmolitic and wound-healing actions. Leaves infusion is used as a mean to stimulate the appetite via enhancing stomach and intestines activity accompanied by the rush of blood to the head. Other effects are the stagnation of blood in the internal organs, knotted extensions of blood vessels (veins), heart, and dizziness. It can be used as a sedative for nervous irritability. The infusion is also used to treat stomach, hemorrhoids, delayed and painful menstruation. Water infusion of the leaves is used as a wash, in lotions and in compresses applied externally to treat festering wounds, abscesses and ulcers. Essential oil has a strong odor and a bitter taste – when applied to the skin, it causes inflammation. The plant is poisonous. Essential oil of rue is used as admixtures to ointments to be applied externally, by rubbing, in rheumatism and sciatica. Any internal use of rue, like a poisonous plant, requires extreme caution.