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Ruta graveolens

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rue rue

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Ruta graveolens, commonly known as rue, common rue or herb-of-grace, is a species of Ruta grown as a herb. It is native to the Balkan Peninsula, southeastern Europe. It is now grown throughout the world as an ornamental plant in gardens, especially because of its bluish leaves, and also sometimes for its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions. It also is cultivated as a medicinal herb, as a condiment, and to a lesser extent as an insect repellent.

Common rue is said to promote the onset of menstruation and of uterine contractions, for this reason the refined oil of rue was 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. It is also used in Brazil as the key ingredient in homemade herbal cough syrup, when mashed with caramelized sugar and honey.
Exposure to common rue, or herbal preparations derived from it, can cause severe phytophotodermatitis which results in burn-like blisters on the skin. Rue does have a culinary use if used sparingly, but it is extremely 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.

It was used extensively in ancient Middle Eastern and Roman cuisine. Rue leaves and berries are an important part of the cuisine of Ethiopia. Rue is used as a traditional flavouring in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. In Istria (a region in Croatia), and in Northern Italy, it is used to give a special flavour to grappa/raki and most of the time a little branch of the plant can be found in the bottle. This is called grappa alla ruta. The bitter leaf can be added to eggs, cheese, fish, or mixed with damson plums and wine to produce a meat sauce. Rue is also grown as an ornamental plant, both as a low hedge and so the leaves can be used in nosegays. Most cats dislike the smell of it, and it can therefore be used as a deterrent to them.

Rue is considered a national herb of Lithuania and it is the most frequently referred herb in Lithuanian folk songs, as an attribute of young girls, associated with virginity and maidenhood. It was common in traditional Lithuanian weddings for only virgins to wear a rue (ruta) at their wedding, a symbol to show their purity.
In mythology, the basilisk, whose breath could cause plants to wilt and stones to crack, had no effect on rue. Weasels who were bitten by the basilisk would retreat and eat rue in order to recover and return to fight.

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100 seeds
Read 8633 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 16:33
45.00 HRK
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