Rue, Ruta Graveolens - The Herb

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Ruta Graveolens - Uses, Benefits, Properties, Description, Effects and Details of Ruta Graveolens explanation and other information*

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Common Name/s: Other Name/s: Botanical  name/s:
Rue, Ruta, Ruta Graveolens Rue, Garden Rue, Herb of Grace, Herbygrass Ruta Graveolens

General description and domicile:
Originally found growing wild in Southern Europe only this hardy plant is grown domestically in many parts of the world and is found in the wild in Britain where it does well in poor soils.

Part used and extraction:
The aerial parts are harvested at the commencement of flowering.
 

Remedy preparation:
The herb is mostly dried and powdered but fluid extracts are also used.
 

History:
Rue was a popular remedy in Ancient Greece where it was used for poisoning (Hippocrates prescribed this herb frequently for poisoning and gastric trouble). Ruta Graveolens was also used against magical spells.
During the Middle Ages Rue was popular throughout Europe as a defense against witchcraft and was also prescribed for vertigo and epilepsy. Rue was believed to correct failing sight and was used by artists like Michelangelo to sharpen their eyesight and relieve eyestrain. Ruta was also used as an insecticide.
 

Used for treatment of:
Psoriasis:
Furanocoumarins in Rue are phototoxic (specifically the Furanocoumarin Psoralen) and are used to treat Psoriasis and related skin disorders. 

Bronchitis:
Rue used on a compress is said to be good for chest infections. This should be done with care as Rue is also very irritant to the skin.

Headaches:
Bruised fresh leaves applied to temples is said to easy headaches.

Coughs

Flatulence:
in very low dosages it eases flatulence but in higher doses it is a strong emetic so care must be taken in the administration.

Properties:
Anthelmintic
Antispasmodic
Anti-inflammatory
Stimulant
Emennagogue
Stomachic
Rubefacient
Emetic
Uterine stimulant.

Constituents:

Limonene: Limonene has been studied for the anti-tumour effect noticed in mice. Herbalists often prescribe herbs with this constituent as an antioxidant and cancer or tumour inhibitor although there is evidence that these properties are volatile and may be lost as a result of processing of the herb. Limonene also has antiviral properties.

Arborinine:
A quinoline alkaloid.

Quinoline Alkaloids: Quinoline alkaloids are common in the Rutacea family of plants.

Alkaloids Typical alkaloids are alkaline organic vegetable substances containing one or more nitrogen atoms. This nitrogen base is capable of combining with acids to form crystalline salts. Most alkaloids are derived from amino acids while a few are derived from isoprene units. Alkaloids are white or colourless solids containing oxygen (oxygen free alkaloids are few and far between and then can only exist as liquids) Most alkaloids are not water soluble, extraction is normally by tincture.
Alkaloids are found in about one quarter of all flowering plants. Thousands of alkaloids have been identified from a large number of plants where the alkaloid can be present in virtually every part of the plant or just a specific part like rhizome, leaf or seed.
Alkaloids generally have profound physiological impact on the human body and nervous system effects are predominant.
Many alkaloids are used as extracted and refined compounds derived from the actual plants or synthesised compounds in pharmaceutical drugs.
Several Alkaloids are banned in many countries because of the extreme impact on the nervous system (strychnine for instance is a deadly poison in very small doses) and the habit forming nature of some of the alkaloid compounds.

Rutin:
A flavonoid discovered in Ruta Graveolens but present in many other plants

Flavonoids: Flavonoids occur (as white and yellow plant pigments found almost as commonly as chlorophyll) as Glycosides or in a free state. In plants it is essential for protecting plant tissue from UV radiation and acts as antioxidants. As pigments it is also responsible for Autumn colors in leaves and yellow/red pigmentation in flowers.

Laboratory experiments have been conducted on the beneficiary effect of Flavonoids on the heart and circulatory system. Flavonoids are also used to mitigate stress, especially environmental stress. Flavonoids are often used for their antioxidant effect against free radicals. There are also strong indications that they have antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties but dosage has not been determined which will obviously have a profound effect on their efficacy as a component of this herb.

Pinene: Commonly found in Oil of Turpentine extracted from Pinus specie trees, pinene (alpha-pinene and beta-pinene) is also widely distributed in other plants. It is used for Rheumatism as a liniment but is best known by Aromatherapists and a tonic of the mucus membranes of the respiratory system. Pinene is also important for its pleasant fragrance and is believed to have diuretic properties by many.

Phenol: Phenol is extracted from coal tar.
Phenol has an anesthetic and disinfectant effect on the skin but is very toxic and must not be ingested. even in very small quantities phenol may cause nausea, vomiting, paralysis, convulsions and respiratory failure.

Fatalities from skin absorption has been reported as well as circulatory collapse. This product should not be used under any circumstances.

Linalyl Acetate: An Ester (see below) Linalyl Acetate is the primary constituent, along with Linalool in Lavender oil, although small amounts are found in other plants.

Esters: Mainly found in small amounts in flowers, Esters are responsible for the characteristic fragrances of the flowers and volatile oils.

Esters are mostly sedative and antispasmodic and generally non-irritant and mild, although some, like Methyl Salicylate, found in wintergreen, are more irritant.

Menthol: Used widely in pharmaceutical products as an inhalant to decongest the respiratory tract, Menthol has spasmolytic, antimicrobial and carminative properties.

Menthol is one of the many aromatic alcohols found in plants, highly valued for their healing properties and fragrances. Most are non irritant to skin and mucus membranes.

Quercetin:
A Flavonoid

Flavonoids: Flavonoids occur (as white and yellow plant pigments found almost as commonly as chlorophyll) as Glycosides or in a free state. In plants it is essential for protecting plant tissue from UV radiation and acts as antioxidants. As pigments it is also responsible for Autumn colors in leaves and yellow/red pigmentation in flowers.

Laboratory experiments have been conducted on the beneficiary effect of Flavonoids on the heart and circulatory system. Flavonoids are also used to mitigate stress, especially environmental stress. Flavonoids are often used for their antioxidant effect against free radicals. There are also strong indications that they have antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties but dosage has not been determined which will obviously have a profound effect on their efficacy as a component of this herb.

Psoralen: A linear Furanocoumarin with photosensitizing properties often used in treating skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Furanocoumarins: Furanocoumarins have sun- or photosensitizing properties and are often used for the treatment of skin conditions sometimes with controlled exposure to the sun.
Other effects of Furanocoumarins reportedly are: hypotensive activity, antiasmatic and antispasmodic.
Furanocoumarins are potentially photo-carcinogenic and may promote a cancer that is initiated by interference with the skins natural ability to protect underlying cells against the carcinogenic effect of harmful ultra violet radiation.
Furanocoumarins are Coumarins with a furan ring

Coumarins: Coumarins are lactones of hydroxycinnamic acids. Coumarins are lactones. There are many variations of coumarins: Furanocoumarins found in Angelica have a spasmolitic effect but must be used with caution as they have a strong phototoxic effect as has many of the Furanocoumarins (Warfarin a blood thinning drug but also virulent rat poison, is a coumarin derivative). In general coumarins have antifungal, hypotensive, anticoagulant and antimicrobial properties.
Many of the Coumarins are phototoxic and skin sensitising.

Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.

Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and febrifuges.

 

Bergapten: has photosensitising properties and is often used in conjunction with solar radiation to treat psoriasis. Bergapten causes photosensitivity which is frequently used therapeutically against skin conditions like psoriasis and vitiligo where the patient is exposed to the sun as part of the treatment.

Use of bergapten on normal skin will also cause photosensitivity so exposure to solar radiation (the sun) must be avoided while using medications that contain this constituent.

Bergapten is a Linear Furanocoumarin.

Although it is generally held of all Furanocoumarins that they may be carcinogenic during exposure to the sun or other sources of UV light Bergapten is frequently mentioned as a potential photo carcinogenic, so please consult your medical practitioner before using substances that contain Bergapten.

Furanocoumarins: Furanocoumarins have sun- or photosensitizing properties and are often used for the treatment of skin conditions sometimes with controlled exposure to the sun.
Other effects of Furanocoumarins reportedly are: hypotensive activity, antiasmatic and antispasmodic.
Furanocoumarins are potentially photo-carcinogenic and may promote a cancer that is initiated by interference with the skins natural ability to protect underlying cells against the carcinogenic effect of harmful ultra violet radiation.
Furanocoumarins are Coumarins with a furan ring

Coumarins: Coumarins are lactones of hydroxycinnamic acids. Coumarins are lactones. There are many variations of coumarins: Furanocoumarins found in Angelica have a spasmolitic effect but must be used with caution as they have a strong phototoxic effect as has many of the Furanocoumarins (Warfarin a blood thinning drug but also virulent rat poison, is a coumarin derivative). In general coumarins have antifungal, hypotensive, anticoagulant and antimicrobial properties.
Many of the Coumarins are phototoxic and skin sensitising.

Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.

Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and febrifuges.

 

 

Alkaloids Typical alkaloids are alkaline organic vegetable substances containing one or more nitrogen atoms. This nitrogen base is capable of combining with acids to form crystalline salts. Most alkaloids are derived from amino acids while a few are derived from isoprene units. Alkaloids are white or colourless solids containing oxygen (oxygen free alkaloids are few and far between and then can only exist as liquids) Most alkaloids are not water soluble, extraction is normally by tincture.
Alkaloids are found in about one quarter of all flowering plants. Thousands of alkaloids have been identified from a large number of plants where the alkaloid can be present in virtually every part of the plant or just a specific part like rhizome, leaf or seed.
Alkaloids generally have profound physiological impact on the human body and nervous system effects are predominant.
Many alkaloids are used as extracted and refined compounds derived from the actual plants or synthesised compounds in pharmaceutical drugs.
Several Alkaloids are banned in many countries because of the extreme impact on the nervous system (strychnine for instance is a deadly poison in very small doses) and the habit forming nature of some of the alkaloid compounds.

Lignans: Lignans occur in a variety of plants and cannot be classified in terms of properties as a group. Some are antiviral and antimicrobial while others are antioxidant and anti-tumour. The latter are currently being researched as there is some indication that they may have a positive cardiovascular effect.

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