Homeopathic Ruta Graveolens: Facts, Health Benefits, and Uses

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Homeopathic RutaAmong homeopathic remedies, ruta is definitely a good one to have on hand for a homeopathic first aid kit. It is the ultimate remedy for treating sprains, strains, bruises, and tendon or joint pain. As a result, athletes love ruta for treating injuries or as part of a rehabilitation program. Homeopathic ruta is also effective for eye strain, chronic arthritis, anxiety, and low back pain. Studies also show it may complement cancer treatment.

Homeopathic ruta is made from the plant Ruta graveolens—also called garden rue. The herb rue has an interesting history among many cultures in folk medicine, and as a common culinary spice featured in tomato sauce, coffee, and Ethiopian dishes. Read on to learn more about this natural remedy, and its many health benefits and uses.

What Is Ruta Graveolens?

Ruta is an ornamental evergreen subshrub and herb that is native to the Mediterranean and the Balkan Peninsula, southwest Asia, and Macaronesia. Today, ruta is cultivated in the U.S., including Louisiana and California. It is commonly found in gardens, and grows about three feet tall. The leaves of the ruta shrub are green or blue-green, and they have a feathery appearance. The plant also grows best in the bright sun, and thrives in sandy, dry, and hot soils.

The ruta plant belongs to the family Rutaceae. Other names for the herb include mother of the herbs, herb of grace, bitter herb, rue bitterwort, and witch bane. Chemical compounds found in ruta include the flavonoid rutin; alkaloids like rutacridine and graveoline; and lignans in the root. It also contains furocoumarin, which is toxic to humans and animals. High amounts of ruta in humans will cause poisoning symptoms such as convulsions, exhaustion, stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea. The herb rue has also been reported to cause a negative interaction with the blood thinner warfarin. Pregnant women are also advised against using the herb.

That being said, herbalists and chefs have been using rue for centuries. In Italy, rue is a bitter spice that combines well marjoram, lovage, and basil. Sometimes it is used to flavor liquors, and is called “grappa con ruta.” Rue is also part of an Ethiopian spice mix called berbere that is sometimes used to flavor coffee.

A History of Ruta (Rue)

Herbal rue has been used since the time of ancient Greece and Egypt for inducing abortion, stimulating menstruation, and strengthening eyesight. Rue has also a popular role for Romans, Mayans, Aztecs, and Native Americans. Michelangelo and other artists also believed rue would improve eyesight.

In the Middle Ages, rue would also help defend against the plague due to its intense odor. It would be scattered on courtroom floors to help prevent typhus from spreading in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was also called jail fever, since the disease would thrive in filthy jail cell conditions. In the right dose, the ruta herb was also used to treat coughs, headaches, croup, and colic. It was also a common antidote for the treatment of mushroom poisoning.

Rue also has an interesting history in witchcraft. The rue herb was used as a charm for breaking hexes, and warding off the evil eye. It is also a classic herb for protection and increasing psychic powers. Some old love spells even call for rue.

Modern Uses of Homeopathic Ruta

Unlike the herb rue, homeopathic ruta is generally safe, and unlikely to cause any harmful effects. As a result, ruta perfectly exemplifies the homeopathic principle: “like cures like.” In other words, although the rue plant has potential harmful effects in high doses, when it is heavily diluted into a homeopathic remedy, it is considered to be very effective in the treatment of many health conditions.

People that respond best with homeopathic ruta are prone to feeling anxiety and panic attacks, and often are weepy. They may also be suspicious, quarrelsome, and feel they are frequently being watched or deceived. The ruta-type person is also chronically dissatisfied, argumentative, often depressed, and will also often contradict the actions of others.

It is most often used for connective tissue problems that result in pain and stiffness in the tendons and muscles due to overuse of muscles, sprains, or injuries. Homeopathic ruta is also used for the following:

  • Dental and mouth conditions related to dental surgery
  • Jaw fractures and pain due to tooth extractions
  • Heart palpitations in menopausal women
  • Digestive issues like gas, loss of appetite, nausea, parasitic conditions, and stomach and abdominal cramps
  • Cysts
  • Plantar warts
  • Severe headaches
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Venous congestion
  • Nervousness
  • Vertigo

Let’s take a more detailed look at the reported health benefits of homeopathic ruta.

Potential Health Benefits of Homeopathic Ruta 

1. Strains, Sprains, and Bruises

Homeopathic ruta is often used for strains, sprains, injuries, bruised bones, and pulled ligaments. Ruta may be particularly useful when strains and sprains continuously fail to heal. Ruta could also benefit other pain-related problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, severe sciatica, tennis elbow, gout, bursitis, tendonitis, ganglions on the wrist, and chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Other symptoms include painful stiffness in the hands and wrists, sore tendons and ligaments, painful ankles and feet, and an aching heel tendon. Nodules or deposits are also found in the joints or tendons. It is also used for knee conditions, and for bruising where the bone is covered thinly by the spine, knee, wrist, and skin. The bruising will also worsen after pressure, lying down, dampness, drafts, or cold air, but it gets better from motion, rubbing, or warmth.

2. Eyestrain

Ruta is a common treatment for eyestrain symptoms from frequent computer use. It is required for stiffness in the eye muscles and when the eyes feel hot, red, or burnt after prolonged activities like reading, studying, or sewing. Homeopathic ruta also treats headaches related with eyestrain. The usual patient is also prone to criticism, anxiety, and depression, and experiences dim vision and pressure that affects the eyeball or the area over the eyebrow. Gently massaging the eyes will often improve symptoms.

3. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic, widespread muscular pain without an obvious cause. There often is a variety of other symptoms, including incapacitating fatigue, memory problems, depression and anxiety, sleep problems, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome. Homeopathic ruta is often used for fibromyalgia when there is body soreness and a deep aching around the joints and in the bone tendons. Joint weakness and stiffness are also present. Warmth and limbering up will improve symptoms, whereas dampness, sitting, and standing contribute to fibromyalgia pain.

4. Lower Back Pain or Stiffness

Ruta is also a go-to remedy for back pain, aches, or stiffness. Homeopathic ruta may be useful for deep low back pain where the thigh feels broken, and the pain is often relieved from lying down on the back or putting pressure on the painful area. There may also be a weak and bruised feeling at the lower area of the back. Strained back ligaments and damaged joints are also common. There is also a wide range of emotion that the person experiences, including phobias, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. Symptoms will worsen from sitting, stooping, bending, or stepping hard.

5. Complementary Cancer Treatment

The homeopathic ruta is also used in conjunction with tricalcium phosphate for the treatment of brain cancer in humans, and glioma in particular. In a study published in the International Journal of Oncology, six of seven glioma patients  experienced a completely regressed brain tumor with a combination preparation of ruta 6 and tricalcium phosphate.

Final Thoughts on Homeopathic Ruta

It is important to understand the difference between homeopathic ruta and the herb rue, especially when buying the products over the counter at your local pharmacy or health food store. Herbal rue can be purchased for culinary purposes or as an extract, whereas homeopathic ruta is found in liquid or pellet form.

Although there are potential side effects associated with high doses of rue, homeopathic ruta is considered to be safe and effective for many health problems. For instance, ruta is often the go-to remedy for strains, sprains, bruises, and other sports-related injuries. It is also used to complement cancer treatments, eyestrain, fibromyalgia, or low back pain or stiffness. Remember that it is best to consult a homeopath to help determine if ruta is the right fit based on your emotional, physical, and mental symptoms. The best dose is based on the guidance of your qualified homeopath.


Sources:
Shealy, C.N., The Healing Remedies (Hammersmith: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1998), 194.
Lockie, A., Encyclopedia of Homeopathy: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to Homeopathic Remedies and Treatments for Common Ailments (New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 2000), 220-221, 273.
Hershoff, A., N.D., Homeopathic Remedies: A Quick and Easy Guide to Common Disorders and Their Homeopathic Treatments (New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1999), 120-121, 165, 198-199, 206, 213, 260-261, 288-289.
Pathak, S., et al., “Ruta 6 selectively induces cell death in brain cancer but proliferation in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes: A novel treatment for human brain cancer,” International Journal of Oncology, October 2003; 23(4): 975-982. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12963976.
Gentile, M.T., et al., “Ruta graveolens L. Induces Death of Glioblastoma Cells and Neural Progenitors, but Not of Neurons, via ERK 1/2 and AKT Activation,” PLOS One, 2015; 10(3): e0118864, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118864.
“Rue Cure Oil for Hemorrhoids Treatment,” Natural Health Cure; http://www.natural-health-cure.com/about-rue.htm, last accessed May 25, 2017.
Davidson, T., et al., “Ruta,” Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2005; http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100680.html, last accessed May 25, 2017.
“Know Your Remedies – Ruta graveolens (Ruta),” HomeopathyPlus!; http://homeopathyplus.com/know-your-remedies-ruta-graveolens-ruta/, last accessed May 25, 2017.
“Ruta Graveolens A Homeopathic First Aid Remedy,” Homeopathy for Health, Feb. 1, 2010; http://www.homeopathyforhealth.net/2010/02/01/ruta-graveolens-a-homeopathic-first-aid-remedy/, last accessed May 25, 2017.

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