Ruta graveolens (Common Rue): Mood Elevating Herb?

Ruta graveolens (Common Rue) is also sometimes called rue or the herb or grace. The plant is grown for its ornamental properties which include a distinctive yellow flower and its tolerance for hot climates. The plant is edible and often used in cooking, and evidence suggests that plant may contain some medicinal properties. In particular, the plant may be able to affect brain chemistry and in this regard may be of particular use in the treatment of mood disorders. In cell culture extracts of Ruta graveolens were significantly effective at inhibiting the enzyme monoamine oxidase B. This enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of a number of neurotransmitters including dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters that may be affected during the development of mood disorders. Ruta graveolens contains a number of alkaloids that may be responsible for this effect including furacridone, gravacridone, graveoline and graveolinine, as well as coumarins including gravelliferone, isorutarin, rutacultin, rutaretin, and suberenone.

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Stafford, G. I., Pedersen, P. D., Jäger, A. K. and Van Staden, J. 2007. Monoamine oxidase inhibition by southern African traditional medicinal plants. South African Journal of Botany. 73(3): 384-390

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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