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Ruta graveolensRue
Ruta graveolens  

During the Middle Ages, rue was hung in doorways and windows to keep evil spirits out.  It was thought to protect against plague, and since people also rubbed their floors with fresh rue to keep out fleas, it probably did.  Many spiritual paths have recognized the potency of rue: It apparently got the name Herb of Grace because early Christians used it as a tool for asperging during exorcisms and before performing Mass, and this herb is the only one that the Prophet Mohammed blessed. This herb was grown around Roman temples to Mars and is considered sacred to him as well as to Diana and Aradia.  Sensibly enough, it is good for purifying objects made of iron, Mars' metal, before consecrating them. Rue was sometimes called witchbane because people carried bunches to keep off witches (who must have been thick as mosquitoes in those days), and the expression "rue the day" is said to come from the practice of throwing rue at an enemy while cursing him. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Italians made amulets called cimaruta from tin or silver made to resemble the tops of rue. The tip of each branch was decorated with a symbol, usually concerned with fertility: phalli, horns, solar disks, crescent moons, fish, keys, even the Sacred Heart of Jesus (how'd that get in there?). A cimaruta was meant to protect the wearer from the evil eye. Nowadays, rue is thought to be ritually helpful in developing second sight, probably because it has a long history as a medicinal herb for strained eyes (Italian Renaissance painters regularly ate rue and cress sandwiches to sharpen their eyesight), and for bringing blessings and protection to one's home.  An excess of rue causes vomiting and can interefere with the liver's work; don't use during pregnancy. Rue is also known as Herb of Grace, Garden Rue, German Rue, Herbygrass, Hreow, Mother of the Herbs, Bashoush, Rude, and Rewe.

Recently rue has become difficult to source, especially the organic stuff, so I have switched to a non-irradiated, non-GMO conventionally grown variety from a new supplier committed to high-quality, natural and ethically-sourced herbs.

1 oz. $6.50


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Grow your own rue
Get some rue essential oil
Make some Four Thieves Vinegar

Uses In Witchcraft & Magic:

Protection Spells
Purification of Iron
Honoring Mars, Diana, Aradia
Baneful Work
Fertility Charms

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