This plant is, for its medicinal properties, often cultivated in gardens. It has a strong odour, and a bitterish pungent taste. The leaves are very acrid; and, when in full vigour, are apt to raise blisters on handling, or applying them to the skin. Boerhaave recommends them as powerful stimulants, attenaants, and detergents-: hence they are reputed to be of great service to persons of cold, phlegmatic habits ; as they quicken the circulation : dissolve viscid or tenacious juices ; remove obstructions;and promote the fluid secretions. " What medicine," says he, " can be more efficacious for promoting sweat and perspiration; for the cure of the hysteric passion, of epilepsies ; and for expelling poison?"—Nevertheless, the rue has lately been seldom prescribed, probably because many absurd and superstitious notions prevail respecting this herb, in domestic life.
Rue, the Meadow, or Thalic -trum, L. a genus of plants, comprising twenty-three species, four of which only are indigenous : the principal of these, is the flanum,. Common Meadow-rue, Spurious Rhubarb, or Rue-weed : it is perennial, grows in moist meadow-, pastures, and on the banks of rivers ; where it flowers in the month of June.
The root, branches, and leaves of this plant, impart to wool a yellow colour ; which, on adding ammoniac, assumes a pale shade ; and, on dropping oil of tartar into the decoction, acquires an orange colour; but, in order to give it lustre, the cloth should be inured in alum-water; and the tint itself may be fixed, by dissolving cream of tartar in the last liquory-A cataplasm prepared of the leaves,. is said to have afforded relief in the Sciatica : See Rheumatism.—• From the yellow flowers, bees extract a large portion of honey.— Cows, horses, goats, and sheep, eat the Meadow-rue ; but it is disliked by hogs.