Rue Essential Oil

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Rue essential oil is extracted from Ruta graveolens of the Rutaceae family and is also known as garden rue and herbygrass.

Oil properties

Rue is a hazardous oil, is toxic and a skin and mucus membrane irritant, is abortifacient, phototoxic and neurotoxic.

Origin  of Rue

A native of Europe, it is an ornamental, shrubby herb with a strong, aromatic, bitter or acrid scent and has tough, woody branches and small, smooth, bluish-green leaves. Mustard-yellow, fringed 4-petalled flowers appear in summer, followed by 4-lobed capsules.

In ancient medicine, the herb was a favored remedy as an antidote to poison and was seen as a magic herb by many cultures and as a protection against evil. It was used for nervous afflictions, digestive problems and hysterics.

Rue essential oil is considered toxic, an abortifacient, an irritant to the mucus membranes, a neurotoxin, and causes sun sensitivity due to photo toxicity


Rue oil is extracted from the fresh herb by steam distillation.

Chemical composition

The main chemical components are 2-nonanone, 2-nonyl acetate, 2-undecanone, 2-butanone, psoralen, bergaptene and xanthotoxin.


Rue essential oil should not be used in aromatherapy as it is a hazardous oil that can burn and irritate the skin.




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