Common Rue May Treat Nervous System Conditions

Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) is a plant medicine showing promise in treating nervous system conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

Common rue COVID
Common rue extract has been found as a promising nervous system treatment in research.

These effects have been found from research on the Common Rue plant. This plant has traditionally been used for various purposes in herbal medicine. It has a long history of use in different cultures and is known for its medicinal properties.

What is Rue?

Ruta graveolens is called Common Rue or simply Rue. Rue is a flowering plant that belongs to the Rutaceae family and is native to the Balkan Peninsula.

It has a long history of medicinal use and has been traditionally employed in Eastern European and Western herbalism.

Common Rue has been used in these and other traditional medicines for centuries. It has been employed for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial effects. It has been used to alleviate menstrual pain, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive disorders. It has also been used with success on various rheumatic diseases, eye conditions, multiple sclerosis, skin dermatitis and pain.

Rue has been administered as fresh herbs, infusions (teas), extracts, oils and leaf powders.

Additionally, common rue has been utilized as an insect repellent and for its potential anti-cancer properties.

Research on Common Rue

In a 2020 study from the Italy’s University of Campania and the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, at Stockholm’s Karoliska Institutet, researchers found that rue exerted positive effects on the central nervous system. They found that its positive nerve effects had “wide spectrum activity.”

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With regard to its nervous system effects, the herb has been found to be an active inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). This anti-AChE effect gives rue the ability to improve memory and help with nervous system conditions.

A 2013 study found that it inhibits monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) – which makes it able to slow the progression of dementia. Lab studies have also found it potentially helpful in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s as well. And a 2018 study found it could be useful in the treatment of Huntington’s disease.

A 2020 study found that Rue’s compounds provide what is called selective MAO-A and MAO-B inhibition. This means that it inhibits the MAO-A and -B without causing disruptive side effects that have been found in some MAO inhibiting drugs.

A 2018 study on Alzheimer’s disease in mice found that a Rue extract improved the mice without toxicity. And a 2019 mice study found that Rue extract improved symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.

What does Common Rue contain?

Rue contains a number of important medicinal compounds, including rutin and rutamarin. The later is a coumarin that belongs in a family of naturally-occurring compounds known to boost levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

Rutamarin isn’t the only courmarin in the plant either. A 2015 study found the plant also contains three furanocoumarins, two quinolinic alkaloids and a dicoumarin.

Rutin is a flavonoid compound known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been investigated for its neuroprotective (nervous system), nephroprotective (bladder), and hepatoprotective (liver) effects. Rutin is found in various plants.

Rutin has also been studied for its ability to help prevent diabetes complications.

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Rutin is a flavonoid found in many plants and shows a wide range of biological activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, nephroprotective, and hepatoprotective effects. In this review, the antihyperglycemic property of rutin and its protective effects against the development of diabetic complications are discussed.

Rutamarin is another compound found in rue, and it has been investigated for its pharmacological activities, including antimicrobial and anticancer properties.

Meanwhile conditions such as Parkinson’s disease are related to a lack of dopamine production and availability.

Rue is not advisable during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before dosing with herbal medicines.


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Tao D, Wang Y, Bao XQ, Yang BB, Gao F, Wang L, Zhang D, Li L. Discovery of coumarin Mannich base derivatives as multifunctional agents against monoamine oxidase B and neuroinflammation for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Eur J Med Chem. 2019 Jul 1;173:203-212. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.04.016.

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  • Case Adams, Naturopath

    California Naturopath, Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, Doctorate in Integrative Health Sciences, Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. Diplomas in Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, certificates in Pain Management and Case Management/Contact Tracing. Has authored more than 30 books and hundreds of periodical articles on natural medicine. Recreational activities include surfing, sailing, running, biking, swimming, SUPing, hiking. Contact: case(at)caseadams(dot)com.

  • Reviewed by Alex Bernard, PhD

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