Ruda, also known as rue, ruta graveolens, herb of grace, common rue, Rue 21 ( my favorite clothing store lol ) and many more names, is native to countries along the Mediterranean sea from northern Africa and throughout southern Europe. Spreading into Asia, Mexico and basically around the world ruda is a very popular herb. Aesthetically Ruda can make a great addition to any garden with it’s deep green and abundant leaves serving as a great back drop for the beautiful yellow flowers Rue produces. Not only can rue be visually appealing it also helps keep those pesky stray cats out of your garden. It is said that most cats can not tolerate Rue.
Rue has several health, culinary and esoteric uses known since ancient times. Parts of the plant, in high doses can be poisonous and may cause skin irritations on some people. Health wise Rue is known for treating digestive issues, the nervous system, joint and bone problems, parasites along with respiratory to menstrual issues as well. Ruda has a very strong and musky scent which is perhaps one of the main reasons why rue is known to be an effective insect and cat repellent as well as in magic, repelling negative vibrations and thoughts.
“Magically” Rue is a protection herb and has been said to be used by priests to sprinkle followers with holy water, to also protect against demons, negativity and the evil eye as it was known to be used in ancient Rome for this very purpose, as well as in Mexico, Brazil and throughout the Caribbean today. As a protection herb you can use Rue in baths, candles and pouches you can carry, to help empower and protect your aura, promote health, love, mental powers, concentration and many more self cultivating abilities latent within us. Rue has also been known to work well with prosperity, money and career situations. As a love and balancing herb, Rue works great with your desired intent to promote an environment free of negative thoughts and energy. Ridding you of bitter and sorrow feelings, Rue takes charge in protecting you from suffering heartaches and guilt and helping you to concentrate on positive options to overcome such emotions.
Growing up in such a versatile community (NYC) I have always seen ruda mingling with a wide variety of dried herbs in Mexican produce shops, Asian specialty shops and in African oil stands, mostly used to promote positive energy while at the same time abolishing negative vibrations that can sometimes hinder self development and progress. Ruda also grows in harsh places and where any other plant wont, symbolically representing it’s ability to withstand and thrive through difficult terrain and circumstances. Certain Swallowtail caterpillars and butterflies are actually dependant upon Rue, which makes for a great butterfly haven in your garden as well as representing renewal and transformation.
I first encountered ruda not as the herb but as a candle. I was browsing my local produce shop one day and came across this ruda candle. This candle caught my eye in particular because it was the first time I have come across an herb based candle. Usually I always see deity candles, solid colors but never have I seen an herb based candle. The candle is as deep green as the ruda plant leaves themselves and has at first a very strong scent which when lit, lingers for about a day or so. On the label you see a couple and the herb rue. This candle can be used for a variety of purposes so long as your intent is defined. Many use it to work with their heart chakra, for money, prosperity and to just simply create a quiet soothing vibration in your home, business,work area, study area, meditation room, etc.
Despite Ruda being known for it’s bitter strong smell this ruda candle actually has a light sweet scent but at the same time very strong. The first time I lit it, my room had this very soft evergreen aroma lingering for a day or two. Which helped enforce my intent every time I would smell it. Below is a photo of a vase I like to fill up with water halfway and place my candle in.
This is not only to enhance the water element but also to prevent fires. These candles are seven day candles (they last 5 days really), most people leave them on for that length of time so it is always best to use precaution when using candles. so I always place it in water just in case. You should try to have a space for you and your candles, free of noise, frequent movement, loose clothing, drapery etc.
Candle in vase with water
This is great because not only can you use it as a safety measure but you can always add essential oils to the water like petals, honey, anything you desire to help enhance your intent. Candles can be a great form of meditation, helping you focus and center your thoughts and intentions.
For more info on Ruda you can check out these very interesting books:
-Essential Herbal Wisdom: A Complete Exploration of 50 Remarkable Herbs By Nancy Arrowsmith
-Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs By Scott Cunningham