Garden of aromatic plants
Photos Credit: Salagon Museum
Translator: Jean-Marc Bulit
Rue (Ruta graveolens) is well known by crosswords lovers and by users of homeopathic medecine. Its smell and reputation have kept it away from our kitchens. Rue was plentily used by the Romans. Platearius has it as a medecine against head aches, toothaches, snakebites or epilepsy. But he also points out that rue makes the infant's bed come out, when it stays inside after birth: rue has abortive qualities that explain why it was used by the good ladies and why it is should not be eaten in big quantities by pregnant women.
The Menagier de Paris uses rue for arboulaste (a herbs omelet) depicting it as a strong and sour herb, but rue is absent from its garden. A few added rue leaves, chopped, will give a salad some character.