The notion that a plant can provide protection is, perhaps, a bit strange in our modern thinking. And yet many plants—basil, rosemary, and tobacco among them—were once believed to possess profound spiritual abilities. Even today, people the world over believe in the energetic gifts of certain herbs. This hearty, evergreen shrub with yellow flowers is one of them. Derived from the Greek word rua, which means “to set free”, rue is still believed by many to liberate people from disease, and energetically, from envy, evil eye, fear, and grief. Not surprisingly, it also possesses great medicinal benefits and is known as “herb of grace”.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Europe, Central America, South America, Alabama, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Alberta,
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Stimulant, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, rubefacient, nervine, vermifuge, antivenomous, carminative, and treats stomach cramps, epilepsy, vomiting, difficult childbirth, rheumatism, sore muscles, headache, backache, exhaustion, cough, multiple sclerosis, sciatica
For all conditions, squeeze the extract of 9 small, leafy branches into a glass of lukewarm water. Strain, and drink twice daily before meals. Pregnant women begin sipping it once contractions begin, and then throughout labor. Pregnant women should not use rue until labor. For rheumatism, headaches, and backaches, soak rue leaves in alcohol, and place on the affected area. You can also use the alcohol- soaked leaves to massage sore muscles, or those suffering from fever or exhaustion.
For coughs, boil 1 leaf in 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon sugar until it is syrupy. Administer
by the teaspoon as necessary. For spiritual disease, such as envy, evil eye, fear, and grief, place sprigs in a cross formation over your doorway so that all who enter your house are cleansed. If you have recently been the target of negativity or envy, place a small sprig under your tongue until it dissolves. For snakebites, mash the leaves and pack into the fang marks. For sciatica, bruise the leaves and place directly on the affected area.
RUE SALVE Makes about 3 cups
To make this recipe, you will need either a slow cooker or double boiler, which you can fashion yourself with a metal mixing bowl and slightly smaller pot filled with a bit of water.
Rue Salve is excellent for massaging areas affected by rheumatism, sore muscles, fibromyalgia, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other conditions.
2 cups olive oil
1/3 cup chopped rue leaves 1 liter water
2/3 cup beeswax
• Place the first three ingredients in your slow cooker or double boiler. Simmer for 4 hours, stirring from time to time.
• Remove from heat, and allow to cool enough to handle. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing the rue with the back of a spoon to extract all the oils. Discard the rue.
• Chill for 24 to 48 hours, until the water and oil separate. Skim off the water, and discard.
• Place the oil in a heavy saucepan and simmer over low heat. Do not allow to come to a boil.
• Add the beeswax, stirring until dissolved.
• Pour into storage containers with lids.
Massage directly onto the affected area.