Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Common name:


Synonym name:

Garden Rue

Hebrew name:

פיגם מצוי

Scientific name:

Ruta chalepensis



Arabic name:

פיג'ם فيجن

perennial plant
50-100 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
Mediterranean Sea, north of the country, southern and western Carmel
common rue is One of Israel's Wildflowers. It can be grown in the garden, in pots and planters. The best way to increase it's growth is through seeds and cuttings. In the wild it grows unspoiled and economical in water.
You can also purchase it in every pharmacy at the medicinal herbs and spice department.
Common rue, known also in the folk names as Ruda or Rutashadab and Peijen; is known in the Mediterranean as an ultimate exorcist.
Our mothers and grandmothers used to put it under the pillow or grow it in doorways in order to keep out ghosts.
In Folk medicine it is used to treat arthritis, back pain, stomach poisoning, cough, eye infections and ear infections.
However; beyond any doubt that plant is also effective to treat headaches.
How to use
Rue oil: we pour olive oil into a glass jar until it half full,  into the oil we put the leaves and stems of rue until it rises up to the jar rim. We cover it and place it in a window facing the sun most of the day, for two weeks.  The extraction of the leaves in the sun is the most gentle and natural way to use them.
A quicker way would be to boil the jar in a pot full of water; the temperature mustn't go higher than 70 degrees Celsius.
Rue tincture:we pour boiling water on 100 grams of leaves and stems, and wait for 10 to 20 minutes. We filter the infusion and drink a full tablespoon. It is good against stomach poisoning.
For headaches: dip your fingers in the oil and massage the temples in circular motions for 5 minutes.
For ear infections: drip 3-2 drops of oil in each ear.
For Inflamed eyes: Wipe the eyes when theyr'e closed with the tincture.
For removing lice: Wash the head with the tincture after shampooing.
 From our ancestors we hear how to grow rue:
"The roots of mint and rue ... we moved planted" (Mishnah, Oktzin A, B).
In those days rue was also used as an herb. As example, for White smallpox, which was called by the ancestors Anabta.they rubbed the body with honey mixed with rue (Mishnahavodazarac"h) .
Because of the intense smell and shape of it, that reminds'khamsa' (luck symbol), It is used even nowadays in Israeli communities and mostly in Israel Arabs community, as a plant that Goes demons and ghosts.
Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon) said aboutrue :
"There are many species, for example one of the desert, one of the mountain and one of the gardens".
"The Spanish name of the rue of the garden is "Ruta ". The desert is " Pigeon " or " Tafsia"And if there are Flatulence (gas) , then take the "ruta" cooked with oil " .
" and the Warm and dry in their thirdly have twenty markers and they are : .. "ruta ."
"The dry figs, when eating with pink nut and rue before taking deadly poison, benefit, and save us from damage and death". And If not found (cure for deadly poison), take desert rue ... because it will cure from rattlesnake bite, so you should prepare"