Product: Rue Herb
Latin Name: Ruta graveolens syn. Ruta hortensis
Plant Family: Rutaceae
Other Names: Common Rue, Herb of Grace, Herbygrass, Garden Rue, Hreow, Mother of Herbs, Rewe, Ruta, Ruda, Countryman's-Treacle, Herbe de la Rue, Rue des Jardins, Rue, Common Rue, Rue Fétide, Weinraute, Arruda, Arruda dos jardins, Ruta de Cheiro Forte, Ruda de Monte, Erruda & Sudapa.
Description: Rue is an evergreen perennial herb that is native to Southern Europe and can also be found growing in North America and Australia. It grows to a height of 0.5-1 metre, older stem growth is woody. The compound, tri-pinnate leaves are comprised of 5-11 leaflets which are alternate and glaucous green in colour and very bitter. The 4-5 petaled flowers are approximately 1cm in colour and greenish-yellow in colour, rising in terminal panicles.
Brief History: Pliny in the 1st century A.D. wrote that rue improved the eyesight of artists, something that Micheal Angelo was said to have believed and ate rue leaves every day. Pliny also considered rue an antidote for all forms of poison, an insect repellent and a means of warding off scorpions and snakes. During the Black Plague in England circa 1348 people carried rue in pouches around their necks in the belief that it would ‘ward off’ the disease. Rue was incorporated into a ‘Four Thieves Vinegar’ alongside rosemary, sage, lavender, camphor, garlic, cloves and vinegar, which was used to keep later infestations of the plague away across Europe. It’s been used as a flea deterrent and for expelling worms and to treat gout. Culpeper says of Rue ‘if it be drunk after it has been boiled in wine to the half, with a little honey; it helps gout or pains in the joints, hands, feet or knees applied thereto.’
Rue leaves can be added to sachets to act as a moth and flea repellent, it was a popular strewing herb of the Elizabethans for that very purpose. The leaves were used by the romans, but today they are considered too bitter although they are still used as a traditional ingredient in the Ethiopian spice blend berbere.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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