Arvada, Aruta, Common Rue, Garden Rue, German Rue, Herb-of-Grace, Herbe à la Belle-Fille, Herbe de Grâce, Herbe de Repentance, Herbe de la Rue, Herbygrass, Raute, Ruda, Ruda de Castilla, Rue Fétide, Rue des Jardins, Rue Officinale, Rue Puante, Ruta Grav, Ruta graveolens, Rutae Folium, Rutae Herba, Sadapaka, Satap, Sudabugida, Sudapa.


Overview Information

Rue is a perennial, evergreen shrub. The parts that grow above the ground and the oil are used to make medicine.

People use rue for conditions such as menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), anxiety, headache, and many others, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Rue can also be unsafe when taken in large amounts.

In foods and beverages, rue and its oil are used as flavoring.

In manufacturing, rue oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

How does it work?

There isn't enough reliable information to know how rue might work.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of rue for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Rue is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when products containing dried rue leaves are used as a medicine. It can cause irritation of the gut, cramps, drowsiness, and dizziness. Rue is LIKELY UNSAFE when the fresh leaves or oil are used, or when the dried leaves are used in large amounts. These can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, liver damage, kidney damage, breathing problems, and death.

When applied to the skin: Rue is LIKELY UNSAFE. It can cause a rash and blistering, which can become worse if the affected area is exposed to the sun.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Taking rue by mouth is LIKELY UNSAFE when you are pregnant. It causes contractions of the uterus which can cause a miscarriage. Some women who have tried using rue to cause an abortion have died.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if rue is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Kidney problems: Rue can make existing kidney problems worse and should be avoided.

Liver problems: Rue can make existing liver problems worse and should be avoided.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with RUE

    Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Rue might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking rue along with medication that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

    Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).



The appropriate dose of 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 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.

View References


  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
  • Puig L. Pharmacodynamic interaction with phototoxic plants during PUVA therapy. Br J Dermatol 1997;136:973-4.
  • Radotra I, Gardiner S, Barnes D. A phytophototoxic injury at a burns unit: the ungraceful after-effects of the "common rue" plant. J Burn Care Res. 2018;39(6):1064-6. View abstract.
  • Salman HA, Venkatesh S, Senthilkumar R, Gnanesh Kumar BS, Ali AM. Determination of antibacterial activity and metabolite profile of Ruta graveolens against Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus. J Lab Physicians. 2018;10(3):320-5. View abstract.
  • Sifton D, ed. The PDR family guide to natural medicines & healing therapies. New York, NY:Three Rivers Press, 1999.
  • Weiner MA, Weiner JA. Herbs that heal: prescription for herbal healing. Mill Valley, CA:Quantum Books, 1999.
  • Williamson EM, Evans FJ, eds. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Essex, England: CW Daniel Company Ltd., 1998.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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