[Sca-cooks] Question about rue....

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Mon Nov 24 12:21:34 PST 2008

> In my search i found that *sage*, which we do not fear to eat, is also
> considered a known herbal abortifacient. And according to a paper from
> Sloan-Kettering, "Small quantities of safrole, which has been shown to be
> both a hepatotoxin and hepatocarcinogen [hepato- refers to the liver] in
> laboratory animals, have been found in nutmeg, anise, mace and cinnamon."
> So these spices, which i suspect most of us accept as safe as a flavoring,
> can also be potentially hazardous... if used in large quantities.
> I'm surprised that there is so much concern about using rue and no concern
> about using other herbs and spices. I can only guess that because we do
> not generally use rue any more, we look it up, but we don't look up the
> possible medicinal uses and side effects of herbs and spcies we commonly
> use.

Actually, one major issue is that oil of rue is in fact a known and
documented 19th century abortifacent that appears to have worked, where
oil of sage, though considered dangerous due to high levels of thujone,
doesn't have the documented history as an abortifacent.

(Also, some period doctors considered sage to be beneficial to maintaining
a pregnancy.)

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list