Ruta Graveolens - Perennial
Rue does have a culinary use if used sparingly, however it is incredibly bitter and severe gastric discomfort may be experienced by some individuals. Although used more extensively in former times it is not a herb that typically suits modern tastes, and thus its use declined considerably over the course of the 20th century to the extent that it is today largely unknown to the general public and most chefs, and unavailable in grocery stores. Rue leaves and berries are an important part of the cuisine of Ethiopia and rue is also used as a traditional flavouring in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. In Istria, there is a grappa/rakija recipe that calls for a sprig of rue. The plant produces seeds that can be used for porridge. The bitter leaf can be added to eggs, cheese, fish, or mixed with damson plums and wine to produce a meat sauce.
Aromatic shrub, attractive blue-green foliage, musty smell. Frilled slipper shaped greenish yellow petals on flowers. Excellent as a low hedge in knot gardens.
In European folk medicine, rue is said to relieve gas pains and colic, improve appetite and digestion, and promote the onset of menstruation and uteral contractions. For this reason the refined oil of rue has been cited by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder and the gynecologist Soranus, as a potent abortifacient (inducing abortion). Rue contains pilocarpine which is used in horses to induce abortion, and is a traditional abortifacient among Hispanic people in New Mexico.
Rue can also be made into an ointment for external use against gout, arthritis, rheumatism and neuralgia.