Ruta graveolens

Protection & hex-breaking
Fire & mars
Leo & Capricorn
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Also known as the Queen of herbs, the herb of grace, or,

interestingly enough, witchbane. This name stems from the plant being since the Middle Ages to ward away witches, as cats are deterred by the strong scent.

But really witches were making use of it; not only in spells, but as a great way to keep their kitties and neighborhood cats from using the garden as a litter box. 

In ancient times, the Romans thought it protected against the evil eye. And rue does have strong powers of protection.


It can also be used for strength, cleansing, money-drawing, or love, particularly in binding or friendship spells.

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Drought tolerant and sun-loving, rue is an easy herb to grow. Rue will tolerate some shade, but I have found it stunts growth somewhat.

It will self seed and it is easy to grow from seed, but also easy to start with cuttings. 

It usually gets to be no more than a couple feet tall.

Rue’s flowers come in clusters of yellow and its leaves are a pretty blue-green; almost grey. It is often used ornamentally because of its drought tolerance and pretty foliage.

The scent deters many insects, making rue a great companion

plant for vegetable gardens. Just beware, fresh rue can irritate the skin and cause a rash.

You’ll want to keep from brushing up against it in the garden.

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Rue attracts positive people and can be used in spells for binding, love and friendship. Rue oil can be used to consecrate tools and can encourage psychic abilities. 

Rue’s money drawing aspects can be amplified by use with thyme, mint, oregano, or other money drawing herbs; especially during a waxing moon. Try placing a few leaves in your change jar or wallet. 

Rue also has been used since the Middle Ages for its protective abilities. It cleanses bad energy and draws in good. Anoint thresholds with the oil to ward off curses and hexes. Provides protective vibes for the home when planted outside. Or mix with salt & other protective herbs and sprinkle in a circle for protection.

Rue can be burnt to break a hex. But beware, the herb does not burn very well. It takes willpower and determination to do so.


Stave off bugs by drying rue and keeping sachets or bundles around the house with other insect repelling herbs like rosemary or lemongrass. It can help get rid of and repel lice when used in a hair rinse. It is also sometimes used as soap.

Use it with rosemary and lavender for a protection and

purification bath. And bathing with an infusion of rue alongside rosemary & basil is also said to break a curse, but it can cause

skin irritation in some people. Boiling or drying leaves

can sometimes aid in avoiding this. 

It’s best to always test unfamiliar plants in small quantities before use. But don't be discouraged if you’re allergic, even the greenest witches aren't in tune with every plant.

As a bitter plant, it was once used in cooking as well as in beer making and brewing. Despite its history of use in the kitchen, rue is also toxic to ingest in anything more than minimal quantities. 

Ingest with caution and only with direction from a physician — I don’t recommend doing it at all. Pregnant women should never handle it, as it can cause miscarriage.