Rue

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What other names is Rue known by?

Common Rue, Garden Rue, German Rue, Herb-of-Grace, Herbe à la Belle-Fille, Herbe de Grâce, Herbe de Repentance, Herbe de la Rue, Herbygrass, Raute, Ruda, Ruda de Castilla, Rue Fétide, Rue des Jardins, Rue Officinale, Rue Puante, Ruta Grav, Ruta graveolens, Rutae Folium, Rutae Herba, Sudapa.

What is Rue?

Rue is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Be careful not to confuse rue with goat's rue (Galega officinalis) and meadow rue (Thalictrum species).

Despite serious safety concerns, rue is used as a medicine for a long list of conditions. It is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, upset stomach, and diarrhea. It is also used for heart and circulation problems including pounding heart (heart palpitations) and "hardening of the arteries" (arteriosclerosis). Some people use rue for breathing problems including pain and coughing due to swelling around the lungs (pleurisy).

Rue is used for other painful conditions including headache, arthritis, cramps, and muscle spasms; and for nervous system problems including nervousness, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Bell's palsy.

Other uses include treatment of fever, hemorrhage, hepatitis, "weakness of the eyes," water retention, intestinal worm infestations, and mouth cancer. Rue is also used to kill bacteria and fungus.

Some women use rue for menstrual problems, to stimulate the uterus, and to cause an abortion.

Rue is sometimes applied directly to the skin to treat arthritis, dislocations, sprains, injuries of the bone, swollen skin, earaches, toothaches, headaches, tumors, and warts; and as an insect repellent.

In foods and beverages, rue and its oil are used as flavoring.

In manufacturing, rue oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of rue for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Rue work?

The chemicals in rue help decrease muscle contractions and reduce swelling (inflammation).

Are there safety concerns?

Rue is considered safe when consumed in food amounts. It is UNSAFE when used as a medicine. When taken by mouth, it can cause side effects such as stomach irritation, changes in mood, sleep problems, dizziness, spasms, serious kidney and liver damage, and death. When applied to the skin, it can cause rash and increased sensitivity to the sun.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is UNSAFE for anyone to use rue in medicinal amounts, but people with the following conditions are especially likely to experience dangerous side effects.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE for both mother and unborn child to take rue during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Rue can cause uterine contractions, which can cause a miscarriage. That's why rue is used to cause an abortion. But it also has serious effects for the mother. Some women who have tried using rue to cause an abortion have died.

Stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) problems: Rue can make existing GI problems worse. If you have any stomach or intestinal disorder, you have an extra reason not use rue.

Kidney and urinary tract problems: Rue can harm the kidney and irritate the urinary tract. If you have a kidney or urinary tract problem, you have an extra reason not use rue.

Liver problems: Rue can make existing liver problems worse. If you have any liver disorder, you have an extra reason not use rue.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Rue might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking rue along with medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering, or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).

Dosing considerations for Rue.

The appropriate dose of rue depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for rue. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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