Rutae Herba. Rue.

Botanical name: 

Related entry: Oil of Rue

Rue consists of the fresh or dried herb, Ruta graveolens, Linn. (N.O. Rutaceae), an undershrub indigenous to Southern Europe, but commonly cultivated in Britain. The stem is woody in the lower part only. Leaves alternate, exstipulate, bluish-green, mostly bipinate or tripinnate, with more or less spathulate segments, and exhibiting numerous oil-glands when examined by transmitted light. Flowers greenish-yellow, with four or five concave, dotted petals, eight or ten stamens, and conspicuous disc. Odour, strong and disagreeable; taste, bitter and nauseous. It should be gathered before it flowers.

Constituents.—The drug contains about 0.06 per cent. of volatile oil, which is contained in glands distributed over the entire plant. It also contains a yellow, crystalline body, rutin (rutic acid, sophorin, phytomelin, melin), C27H30O16, melting-point, 188° to 190°, which is closely allied to quercitrin, and yields, on hydrolysis with dilute acids, quercetin, glucose, and isodulcite.

Action and Uses.—The properties of rue are virtually those of the volatile oil; it is occasionally given on sugar as a carminative and antispasmodic in hysteria, and flatulence; huge doses may cause violent gastro-enteritis. The herb is sometimes employed in the form of infusion as an emmenagogue.

Dose.—1 to 2 grammes (15 to 30 grains).


Confectio Rutae, P.L., 1851.—CONFECTION OF RUE.
Rue, freshly powdered, 6: laurel berries, in powder, 6; black pepper, in powder, 1; caraway fruit, in powder, 6; sagapenum, 2; clarified honey, 64; distilled water, a sufficient quantity. Confection of rue is an antispasmodic and carminative; sometimes used in the form of enema for infantile convulsions. Dose.—4 to 8 grammes (60 to 120 grains).

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.