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Herb of Grace

Herb of grace poster

We came across Herb of Grace we went “what is that as well”

Rue (Ruta graveolens, strong smelling rue), common rue, or herb-of-grace, is a hardy evergreen ornamental plant and herb.
Most Western European languages have similar names for rue: English and French rue, Dutch ruit and German Raute all go back to Latin ruta, which itself was borrowed from Greek rhyte. The ultimate origin of the word is not known. In English rue may also mean “remorse”,

Origins and history of Rue

Rue is a herb but isn’t commonly used in modern kitchens because of its bitterness. Rue was a very common spice in ancient Rome, often being used for country-style food like moretum, a spicy paste of fresh garlic, hard cheese and herbs (coriander, celery, rue) The Romans cultivated rue and brought it with them when they visited prisoners, because they believed the plant would avert “the Evil Eye”.

The Chinese used Rue to counteract negative thoughts or wishes. Celtic wizards said that rue was a defence against magic and could be used to promote healing.

Rue was sacred to the early Jewish and Egyptians whom believed it was a gift from the Gods. The Native Americans used rue for spells One love spell, involved placing a branch under the light of the moon before giving it to their love and they claimed they would win the heart of their love forever.

Rue is also a common ingredient in witchcraft and spell making. During the Middle Ages it was a symbol of recognition between witches.

The legend of rue lives on in playing cards, where the symbol for the suit of clubs is said to be modelled on a leaf of rue.
Shakespeare refers Rue in Richard II:
Here in this place
I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace;
Rue, even for ruth, shall shortly here be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen.’


Rue in Medicine

Rue has a long history of use in both medicine and magic and is considered a protective herb in both disciplines It was used for nervous afflictions, digestive problems and as an antidote to poison. Many cultures believed it was as a protection against evil.

Rue is mentioned by many writers (e.g. Pliny, Shakespeare) as an herb of remembrance, warding and healing. Early physicians considered rue excellent protection against plagues, pestilence to ward off poisons and fleas. It is one of the most well-known of the magical protective herbs and is often used in modern magic spells forwarding and protection.

Hippocrates recommend Rue as it constituted the main ingredient of the famous antidote to poison used by Mithridates. The Greeks regarded it as an anti-magical herb because it served to remedy the nervous indigestion they suffered when eating before strangers, which they attributed to witchcraft. In many parts of Europe from the Middle Ages onwards, it was considered a powerful defence against witches, and bestow second sight.

Rue was once believed to improve the eyesight and creativity and Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci regularly ate the small trefoil leaves.

At one time the holy water was sprinkled from brushes made of Rue at the ceremony before the Sunday celebration of High Mass. This why it was named the Herb of Repentance and the Herb of Grace. ‘There’s rue for you and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays.‘ The Catholic Church also used a branch of rue to sprinkle holy water on its followers during this time known as the “herb of grace”
(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.”

Rue essential oil has many health benefits and can help as an anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal aid. Rue itself has been used as an, sedative, digestive, anti-epileptic, and anti-hysteric substance.

The anti-fungal properties of rue also help to heal the de-complexion of the skin, to reveal a more beautiful and clear skin. Rue helps our body fight against fungal infections such as dermatitis and athletes’ foot. The antioxidant properties of rue ensure that your skin repels the free radicals that cause premature ageing of the skin, keeping your skin young and happy. Rue oil is often used in spas for providing therapeutic facial steams and for hair treatment, to give you hair that shines with health.

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