I used to grow this in the fabulous "Sacred Circle Garden" (that's what I named it) I really miss that garden, I used to have nightmares about moving...because I had like 6 months to nightmare about it...anyway, the dream was about moving to an apartment or some other insufficient place the make plants grow, I would be re-potting and and re-potting and they would be dying, it was just horrible. I had a white sage plant, Salvia apiana, that I had started by seed. It took two years for it to do a thing, then POW...it got huge and beautiful and and when it came to smudging it burned better and smelled sweeter than any I wild-crafted, (I did get the seed in the wild though).......
....wow I really digressed, back to Rue...I had a fine specimen of Ruta graveolens in the garden, I have heard Hispanics use it extensively and it would be burned much like Sage to rid the air of negative energy, it has a funky smell when burned and it felt like it would be good for banishings.
The reason I wanted to comment on Rue is (ha! now we finally get to it!) I found out the hard way it has a photo-toxic effect on some
people. and I was one. Being the bathing beauty (I used to be) I would garden in as little clothing as possible, which usually meant barefoot and in a bikini, and usually slathered up with some kind of Sun accelerant like baby-oil or coco butter...then off to trim and crawl around in the bushes ...really becoming one with the plants. So I was giving the Rue a good butching back, I had to lean over the cut branches to reach other ones, and the juice of the fresh cuts were getting all over me. I continued about my day in the yard, which was all day...
Later I went in and showered...and then started to break out in really painful blisters. At first I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on, it was only on my legs and ankles and a couple spots on my belly and wrist. After a little research and reliving of where I went that day, It was the only one I was leaning over, plus it was stabbing me in the ankle when I was trimming, that's is where I got the biggest blister. Then it all got much worst the next day.
That whole episode made me very wary of the plant, although I have a feeling the oil on my body really made it much worse, plus, I would lay out to tan for a rest....just unknowingly baking it right in there. It was pretty bad took well over a week to start getting better, and I still have scars from it.
Now I don't want to freak anyone out ...Rue is one of the great
herbs, just treat it respect... and don't go rolling around in it while all buttered up in the Sun!