9 Wonderful Benefits of Rue Essential Oil

by Kiran Patil last updated -

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The health benefits of rue essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidote to poison, as well as an anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, insecticidal, sedative, digestive, anti-epileptic, and anti-hysteric substance.

What is Rue Essential Oil?

The essential oil of rue is extracted by steam distillation of the fresh plants of rue, which has a botanical name of Ruta graveolens. The main components of this oil are bergaptene, butanone, nonanone, nonyl acetate, psoralen, undecanone, and xanthotoxin.

Rue, or Ruta as it is commonly known, has been a well-known item in various homeopathic medicines, and like most of the herbal extracts which these medicines are made from, it is very poisonous. Again, ironically, it is this toxic or poisonous effect of rue that makes it useful as a medicine.

Health Benefits of Rue Essential Oil

Let’s explore the benefits of this essential oil.

Eliminates Fungal Growth

The toxic nature of rue essential oil explains its antifungal properties as well. It can effectively terminate fungal growth both inside and outside the body and can provide protection against fungal diseases like athletes foot, dermatitis, de-complexion of the skin, and various types of food poisoning.

Antidote to Poison

Since it is poisonous, rue essential oil, acts as an antidote for a number of other poisons and can be administered against symptoms of poisoning. However, it is effective on neurotoxins, not on hemotoxins. It can also be helpful in countering poisoning and inducing vomiting in case any poisonous substances are ingested. It is particularly beneficial against intoxication by narcotics, venomous snake bites (snakes like cobras and king cobras, which have neurotoxic venom, not vipers which have hemotoxic venom), insect bites, and stings.

Rue essential oil

Antibacterial Properties

The toxic nature of rue essential oil is effective in killing bacteria and preventing bacterial infections. If it has to be taken orally, which is normally recommended against, it should be taken in very mild concentrations and under the supervision of an expert. It can help you get rid of food poisoning by bacteria like salmonella, bacterial infections in the colon, intestines, and urinary tract, as well as those on the skin.

A study published in the Journal of Laboratory Physicians in 2018 found favourable antibacterial activity in rue. However, it concluded that further research was required.


This is yet another bright aspect of the toxic properties of this oil. Rue essential oil is more poisonous to insects and is thus effective in killing and driving them away. It can be used in vaporizers, fumigants, burners, and incense sticks to keep away insects.

Anti-arthritic & Anti-rheumatic

Rue essential oil is effective in reducing pain in the joints associated with arthritis and rheumatism due to desensitization and numbing effects, which work in a similar way to an anesthetic.

Nervous Sedative

The neurotoxic nature of rue essential oil acts as a sedative for the nerves and calms down nervous disturbances and afflictions, convulsions, and nervous hyperactivity, that can often result in trembling limbs and uncontrolled involuntary actions.

Improves Digestion

Although it is not known to promote digestion, it can help relieve indigestion, particularly digestive issues that result from bacterial infections or activities.

Anti-epileptic & Anti-hysteric

Being a nervous sedative, it is very effective in countering epileptic and hysterical attacks. The neurotoxins in this oil induce numbness in the nerves and make them completely relaxed and de-sensitized, thereby making the patient calm, inactive and tranquilized.Health benefits of rue essential oil - infographic

Other Benefits

It can be used as a disinfectant and in the treatment of boils and warts, as well as swelling that results from insect bites and stings.


Word of Caution: The utmost care should be taken while handling this essential oil of Rue and direct contact with the skin or eyes, as well as smelling or ingestion, should be avoided. It acts as an irritant to the skin and mucous membrane and it is phototoxic, neuro-toxic and abortifacient. Being an abortifacient, it can result in accidental abortions, so it should be strictly avoided while pregnant.

Blending: It blends well with the essential oils of Bay, Benzoin, Chamomile, Fennel, Frankincense, Myrrh, Thyme, Pennyroyal, and Wormwood.

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About the Author

Kiran Patil is the founder of Organic Facts. He has a keen interest in health, nutrition, and organic living. He completed his B.Tech and M. Tech (Chemical Engineering) from IIT Bombay and has been actively writing about health and nutrition since over past 12 years. When not working he likes to trek and do gardening.

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