Rue, a strong scented shrubby plant belonging to the Rutaceae family, is native to the Mediterranean region.
Ruta, the Latin name of this plant, is derived from the Greek word reuo, meaning freedom.
Herbalists believed that Rue would ward off many diseases because of it’s strong disagreeable odor.
Rue has a woody stem, the leaves have a feathery appearance, and are green to strongly glaucous in colour. Rue has yellow flowers, with 4-5 petals, about 1 cm diameter. The fruit is a 4-5 lobed pod, containing numerous seeds. Rue has a very disagreeable odour and a bitter taste.
It is very easy to grow Rue, as it will grow just about anywhere, it flourishes in somewhat protected and arid conditions. Rue is grown from herb seeds which are sown outside during the spring. The seedlings, when about 5 centimeters (2 inches) high, are transplanted into beds with a space of about 45 centimeters (18 inches) at each side of the plant, as it grows out to cover a large area.
Rue is both used for culinary purposes as well as for its medicinal benefits.
In Mediterranean countries small amounts of Rue are used in foods such as cheeses and salads.
Since ancient times Rue has been considered a protective herb.
It is used as a remedy for coughs, croupy affections, colic and flatulence.