Ruta graveolens - Cal State LA

Ruta graveolens
Ruta graveolens
• General description: Hardy, evergreen herb with a woody stem at the
lower part. Its leaves are blue-green in color. It is commonly known for its
terrible smell and bitter taste which is used for the plants to keep insects
away. Its fruits are 4-5 lobbed capsules which contains numerous seeds.
• Common names: Ave-grace, Common Rue, Garden Rue, German Rue,
Herb of Grace, Herby grass
• Plant Family: Rutacaea (Citrus Family )
• Origin: Mediterranean or Western Asia.
• Parts used: aerial parts, harvested in the flowering season.
• Ethno medical uses: flea and Insect repellent (used during the plague),
defense against witches, antidote for poisoning, to improve eyesight,
against epilepsy, as a menstrual tonic to induce abortion.
Ruta graveolens
Medicinal use:
• It is vigorously used in homeopathy medicines
• Rue has many medicinal uses though it is primarily used to stimulate the
beginning of the menstruation flow, mainly in horses.
• In some countries rue is used to treat hysteria, epilepsy, medical disorder
of brain, colic, nausea, intestinal worms, antidote for atropine poisoning,
as well as eye problems.
• Rue is also said to have anti-spasmodic properties. It is also taken for
coughs, stomach aches and flatulence.
Ruta graveolens
Death can result in extended or large doses.
Adults and children:1 or 2 tablets to be
dissolved on the tongue. Unless otherwise
directed; for acute conditions, 1 dose 2
hourly for up to 6 doses. Thereafter and
where less acute, 1 dose 3 times a day
between meals for no longer than a month.
When relief is obtained reduce the dosage
frequency or discontinue.
Ruta graveolens
Culinary uses:
• Rue berry and leaves are an important source of cuisines in Ethiopia. The
fresh leaves are used to flavor coffee, while the dried berries and leaves
are part of a classic seasoning mix called berbere.
• It is also used as a traditional flavoring in Greece and other Mediterranean
• Rue seeds are used in porridge and its bitter leaves can be added to eggs,
fish, chicken, cheese, and wine to produce a meat sauce.
Lavandula augustifolia
• Lavandula augustifolia is native to the
Mediterranean region but now they are
grown and cultivated in many parts of Europe,
United States, and Asia.
• They are perennial shrubs.
• They belong to the Lamiaceae “mint” family
of flowering plants. [e.g.: oregano, thyme,
mint, and basil]
• They are aromatic. Hence much of its
traditional uses were related to its potent
• They are “sun-loving” and does not grow
well in even partial shade.
• They grow best in slightly alkaline soil (pH of
• Growth height: 1-3 feet
Interesting Notes in History: They say that lavender has been used for over 2000 years.
In Egypt:
They used it in
their mummification
process, as perfumes,
and for decoration.
Biblical context:
It is referred to as
“spikenard” and
used it to anoint
In Rome:
They used it as a spice
for cooking and added
them to bathing water.
[“lavare” latin meaning
‘to wash’]
The Renaissance:
It was used to protect
against infections
The Plague.
In England:
In the Victorian Era, English royalties were particularly fond of Lavender.
Queen Victoria in particular encouraged the use of lavender. She anointed
officials with it and had fresh lavender bundles brought to her everyday. It
became a symbol for cleanliness and purity. This brought high demands for
the flower. Hence, cultivation and commercial farming of lavender began;
“English Lavender” began.
Note the date
Traditional / Ethnobotanical Uses
• antispasmodic (muscle relaxant)
• carminative (relieves gas from digestive tract)
• diuretic
• antiseptic
• acne
• headaches and migraines
• common cold
• induce or increase menstrual flow
Modern Uses
• aromatherapy
• for insomnia, increase mental capacity,
diminish fatigue and stress, antidepressant.
• insect repellent
• anti-viral and anti-bacterial purposes
• fragrance: in perfumes and bath products like soap
• spice
How lavender is administered:
• Tea, oils, and pills
• Taken internally or applied topically
Side effects:
• Allergic contact dermatitis
• When taken in higher doses, may
cause drowsiness
Many research groups are
studying the potentials of
• However, lavender has not been
evaluated by the FDA for safety,
effectiveness or purity.
Current researches and Chemistry:
Efficacy was examined by comparison with Placebo
CNS depressant effects of sedative-hypnotics:
1. Lavender oil exhibits CNS depressant activity, decreases movement,
and induces sleep.
Insomnia and stress:
2. Lavender aromatherapy exhibits to help patients with insomnia, diminish fatigue,
and work as an antidepressant.
3. Lavender bath additive shows to relieve perineal discomfort from childbirth.
Perillyl alcohol (a distillate of L. augustifolia)
• has shown to exert anticancer effects
• Proposed mechanism of action:
•Inhibits post-translational regulatory proteins (such as Ras), interfering with
these pathways to regulate malignant cell proliferation.
• promotes apoptosis (more than 6-fold higher)
• has shown to lower blood cholesterol levels
• Proposed mechanism of action:
• found to suppress hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity (a rate limiting step
in cholesterol synthesis) thereby lowering serum cholesterol.
• also found in cherries, mint, and celery seeds.
Arnica montana (a.k.a.
mountain arnica,
leopard's bane, wolf's
bane, and mountain tobacco)
daisy + sunflower
• Herbaceous perennial
• grows to a height of 1 - 2 feet
• Range and habitat:
moist, grassy upland meadows in the hills and
mountains of northern and central Europe and
Siberia. It is also found sparsely in the northwestern
United States
• Native to the mountains of Europe and Asia
• been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s
• Parts Used:
Fresh or dried flower heads and the roots
• Sesquiterpene lactone
• Flower heads
• Anti-inflammatory for sprains,
bruises, and strains
• the same effect as the use of
NSAIDs (ibuprofen) in treating
the symptoms of hand
• Topical, pills, or ointments
• Can develop an allergic
reaction on the skin
• Poisonous if ingested in large
quantities – internal bleeding
of the digestive tract
• Roots
• Vasodilators
-Relaxes muscles, veins
• Antiseptic
• Oral treatment of
gingivitis, infections,
small wounds
…parsley, sage, rosemary and
Thymus vulgaris
Thymus vulgaris
(Common Thyme)
• Of the Lamiaceae/Labiatae (mint family)
• Also known as: Garden thyme, German
Winter thyme, French summer thyme,
Narrow leaved French, Greek Grey, Broad
Leaf English, etc.
• Variety due to minute seed differences.
• Native to Western Mediterranean and
Southern Italy but now world-wide
• Naturalized in the United States in DE,
• Thrives in full sun and can tolerate
• Cultivated all over the world for culinary,
medicinal and pest-control uses.
Thymus vulgaris
Culinary Uses
• Over 15000 recipes using Thyme
• Flavoring comes mainly from the dried leaves
• A Savory herb used to season and flavor main
course dishes such as fish, poultry, soups,
vegetables, herb butters, cottage cheese, etc.
• Various cultivars chosen for look and particular
Thymus vulgaris
Ethnobotanical Uses
• During Medieval times, thyme was considered a
symbol of courage – Ladies would give thyme
embroidered scarves to their Knights as they left for the
• Middle Ages: belief that thyme tea would prevent
nightmares and enable the drinker to see nymphs and
• Herbalists recommended sleeping on thyme and
inhaling it as remedies for melancholy and epilepsy
(considered a stimulant and an antispasmodic).
• Used in monasteries in France and Spain for cough
remedies, digestive aids and treatment for intestinal
• One of the main ingredients used by Egyptians in their
mummification (Thymol).
• Ingredient in a poultice of the Native American
Blackfeet to clean and treat minor wounds.
Thymus vulgaris
• 1725 German apothecary discovers active ingredient in thyme oil: Thymol
•Active ingredient in Listerine and Vick’s Vapor Rub
• Shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties and effective against
salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria and athlete’s foot.
• Ingesting or inhaling oil loosens phlegm and relaxes the muscles of the
respiratory tract – used to treat coughs due to whooping cough, bronchitis
and emphysema.
• Used as a fumigant, antiseptic, disinfectant and mouthwash – used to treat
infections due to gingivitis.
• Used as an active ingredient in animal repellants and pesticides.
• FDA and EPA have declared Thymol safe to use, but over-medication can
lead to intestinal problems like diarrhea and bloating, and medicinal doses are
not recommended for pregnant women.

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