Common rue (Ruta graveolens) is a hardy evergreen shrub which is native to southern Europe and northern Africa. It produces clusters of small yellow flowers during the spring and summer months. R. graveolen is used as an aperitif in alcoholic beverages, an additive to salads, a powerful local irritant, emmenagogue, and the most frequent, intentional use of the plant has been for induction of abortion.
All parts of the plant are toxic, although the highest concentration is in the leaves. The main toxins include glycosides, furocoumarins, alkaloids, alcohols, essential oils, dictamine, ammafagarine, skimmianine, pteleine and kokusaginine. The dried herb contains a small amount of volatile oil (about 0.1%). Contact with the plant may cause mild contact dermatitis or photosensitization in horses.
- Oedema Of The Tongue