Jul 10, 2009

Magical Herbs- Rue

Rue is a hardy evergreen perennial. The color of its leaves are a greenish blue, with an almost grayish cast... makes it a useful ornamental plant in today’s gardens. The leaves are rounded lobes of 4-5 spoon shaped segments. If you look at a leaf, you can see that it looks very much like the suit of clubs in playing cards, and is supposedly the inspiration for that symbol. The small, yellow, waxy, star-shaped flowers become attractive seed pods that are long-lasting and make an exceptional decorative accent in dried arrangements. Rue enjoys a sunny but protected site in well drained or poor soil.

Rue has been used as a medicine and a magicical herb for centuries. People have used it to treat almost every kind of sickness. During the Middle Ages, people used rue in a potion to protect themselves from the black plague and to defend against witches. Artists, including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, thought they could improve their creativity and eyesight by eating rue. Rue is a symbol of regret, sorrow,and repentance. Catholics used sprigs of it to sprinkle holy water on worshippers.

For centuries Rue has been considered one of the foremost protective herbs, especially against the evil eye, a belief that originated in the Middle East and which holds that magical harm can come to people through the glance of an envious onlooker. In Italy, faith in the protective qualities of Rue is so great that a special charm, the Cimaruta or "Sprig of Rue" is worn as a pendant to ward off the evil eye. It is always made of sterling silver (the most common metal for apotropaic charms, due to the metal's symbolic association with the moon, which is thought to protect women and children, (the most frequent victims of the evil eye) and it is most often found in the vicinity of Naples, where generations of artisans have developed a variety of Cimaruta designs.


GENDER: Masculine

PLANET: Mars, Sun


DIETIES: Mars, Diana, Aradia


clairedulalune said...

Liz thank you so much for this! Very well researched and the best information on the background of the herb I have found! I can't seem to find rue anywhere about, but I will go search some more. Part of the fun isn't it? Hope you are well!

His Precious said...

I agree, thanks for posting. I have found rue plants on a few sites, but I have not ordered any yet.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Interesting info, thanks!

Hibiscus Moon said...

Ty for posting this. I often see that I need rue oil for various concotions and have often wondered where it comes from.