Goat's Rue

Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Faux-Indigo, French Honeysuckle, French Lilac, Galega, Galéga, Galéga Officinal, Galega bicolor, Galega officinalis, Galega patula, Galegae Officinalis Herba, Geissrautenkraut, Goat's Rue Herb, Italian Fitch, Lavanèse, Lilas d'Espagne, Lilas Français, Rue-de-Chèvre, Rue des Chèvres, Sainfoin d'Espagne.


Goat's rue is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Be careful not to confuse goat's rue (Galega officinalis) with rue (Ruta graveolens).

Goat's rue is used along with conventional treatment for diabetes and as a diuretic.

In combination with other herbs, goat's rue is used to stimulate the adrenal gland and pancreas; to protect the liver; for digestion problems; and to start the flow of breast milk. Some people use herbal combinations that include goat's rue as a tonic and for “blood purification.”

How does it work?

Goat's rue contains a chemical that may lower blood sugar in a test tube. But it is unclear if goat's rue has this effect when taken by people.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diabetes.
  • Blood purification.”
  • Digestive problems.
  • Other uses.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of goat's 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).

Side Effects

There isn't enough information to know whether goat's rue is safe. No harmful effects have been reported in humans, but fatal poisoning has occurred in grazing animals that ate large quantities of goat's rue.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking goat's rue if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding conditions: Goat's rue might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, goat's rue might make bleeding disorders worse.

Diabetes: Goat's rue might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use goat's rue.

Surgery: Goat's rue might affect blood sugar levels. There is concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using goat's rue at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Goat's rue might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking goat's rue along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Goat's rue might slow blood clotting. Taking goat's rue along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


The appropriate dose of goat's 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 goat's 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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