100 Garden Rue seeds, Ruta Graveolens, Herb-of-Grace
Rue is a pungent, hardy, evergreen, somewhat shrubby plant that is native to Europe. The stem is woody in the lower part, the leaves are alternate, bluish-green (similar to wormwood), and have an exceedingly bitter taste. The yellowish flowers bloom from May to September. In England, Rue is one of their oldest garden plants, cultivated for its use medicinally and its ornamental beauty, having been introduced by the Romans in ancient times. Rue thrives in poor soil, sunny hot conditions or shade, and can survive drought.
Rue has a long history in many cultures. It was used as a medicine, an antidote to poison, in magick spells, in church, as protection from witches, and is still eaten in salads in Italy. Pungent bitter leaves are used sparingly in stews, salads, sandwiches and vegetable juice. Two chewed leaves will quickly relieve nervous headache, according to herbal folklore. In early times judges relied on fresh sprigs of rue to repel fleas brought into court by prisoners.