Rue (Ruta graveolens) has long been the symbol of sorrow and repentance, and may have been nicknamed the “herb of grace” in Christian times for the grace given by God following repentance for one’s sins. Brushes made from rue were once used to sprinkle holy water at the ceremony preceding High Mass.
(Luke 11:42) “But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
According the 1918 “The Herbalist” Rue is a bitter aromatic stimulant.
Good for gas pains and colic.
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
I don’t grow rue because it is very irritating to the skin and has no culinary value at all to me.
I have read two different opinions about yes it is…and no it isn’t poisonous to ingest.
I don’t advise trying it.