Common or Garden Rue. Nat. Ord. Rutace;e. Linn. Syst. Decandria Monogynia. Hab. Southern Europe, &c. Cultivated in England.
Med. Prop. and Action. The leaves are stimulant, narcotic, and irritant. They contain a volatile oil (Oleum RutAe), which renders them so acrid, that when they are rubbed on the skin, they cause great irritation and inflammation. Internally, they may be given in infusion, or the oil may be substituted. From the experiments of Dr. Helie, Rue appears to exercise a direct influence on the uterus, independent of its irritant and narcotic effects on other parts of the body; and also to have a remarkable power of diminishing the activity of the heart and arterial system, the pulse, in one instance, 'ailing thirty beats in a minute. The belief in its emmenagogue properties is very ancient, being mentioned by Hippocrates. At the present day it is regarded among Oriental nations as prejudicial to the foetus if given to pregnant women; and, in England, it is still occasionally used with a view to produce abortion. It is highly esteemed by the native doctors of India, who use the bruised leaves as a rubefacient in Paralysis, diffuse their vapour through an apartment in cases of Catarrh, and give them internally in atonic Dyspepsia.§
Offic. Prep. Oleum RutAe (the Oil distilled in England from the fresh leaves and unripe fruit). Dose, ij. - v. on sugar.
Dote of the powdered leaves, gr. x. - gr. xxx., twice or thrice a day.
In Amenorrha, Chlorosis, and other Uterine Affections, Rue has been held in high esteem for many centuries; but its efficacy is very doubtful. It is generally prescribed with other emmenagogues; and how far Rue contributes to effect a cure is uncertain.
2394. In Convulsions of Children arising from Flatulence and other Intestinal Irritations, Dr. A. T. Thompson || states that he has found a strong infusion of Rue, as an enema, of very great service. From the acrid quality of the leaves, it requires to be used with caution.
2396. Against Worms, the expressed juice of the herb, in doses of a teaspoonful for children of three years and upwards, has been deemed efficacious.
* Ranking's Half-Yearly Abs., vol. ix. p. 265. Dispensatory, p. 710.
Med.-Chir. Rev., vol. lviii. p. 604. § Ainslie, op. cit., p. 38. || Dispensatory, p. 712.