276. RUTA.—RUE. The leaves of Ru'ta graveo'lens Linné. Habitat: Mediterranean region; cultivated. The whole plant is active, but the leaves are the portion generally employed. They are ternate, the leaflets being obovate-oblong, yellowish-green, thickly dotted with minute, transparent oil-vesicles; odor strong, disagreeable, increased by rubbing; taste bitter, hot, and acrid.
Their medicinal value depends chiefly upon the volatile oil, but there is also present a peculiar coloring matter, rutinic acid, found also in other plants, and an acrid principle, the activity of which is diminished in the dried leaves; the fresh leaves will inflame or even blister the hands if much handled.
ACTION AND USES.—Emmenagogue, vermifuge, and diaphoretic. Dose: 5 to 20 gr. (0.3 to 1.3 Gm.) in infusion. The Romans used rue as a condiment, as the Germans still do.
OLEUM RUTAE.—A yellowish-green volatile oil, powerfully irritant; used as a uterine stimulant, emmenagogue, etc. Dose: 2 to 5 drops (0.13 to 0.3 mil).