[Sca-cooks] Herbs

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 14 13:09:53 PST 2013

Jim Chevallier wrote: 
> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruta_graveolens
> "Rue contains pilocarpine which is used in  horses to induce abortion."

Thanks. I knew it was not merely humoral theory.

> Otherwise,  here's what the government (whom of course I trust implicitly) 

Nice to see rue is on the GRAS list! Some things on the list are of questionable safety, but they are items ordinary people are much more likely to ingest with some frequency - rue is unlikely to become something many SCAdians eat daily.

Also, i think rue doesn't cause contact dermatitis after it is dried. I didn't have a reaction to the rue i got, but that doesn't mean much, as some people don't react to it. So i still need to see if i can find more adequate info.

The wikipedia article mentions that too much rue in a meal can cause some people gastric distress, but there are other ingredients we use that can cause issues if too much is ingested, such as nutmeg.

So all this indicates that rue is safe in small quantities. I still think people should be given notice, so if know they will react, they can avoid it. And i think it would be good to include the information that shows it's on the GRAS list for general knowledge. There are food colorings that are more dangerous than rue, but about which many people have little concern.

I'd love to see rue reappear in Roman cooking. Getting it would be a problem, since it isn't commonly available (and avoiding contact dermatitis - rue gives some people blisters). It's not something i could grow in my apartment - i have no access to outdoors (no balcony or patio), my space is limited and i have a "black thumb".

Someone sometimes called Urtatim

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