Ruta: The Great First-Aid Remedy

Words: Dr Deborah OLENEV 

Ruta graveolens is one of my favourite remedies and creams, because when I need it, it doesn’t disappoint me. I actually had a call to use it recently after twisting my waist too hard in my Latin American dance class. I endured the pain for about a day and then I decided to see if the Ruta cream would help. I applied the cream to my waist at night and when I woke up in the morning the pain was gone.

I had a similar experience, four years ago, when I twisted my upper thigh doing T’ai Chi Ch’uan exercises. I lived with that pain for about six months, and then I decided I had had enough of it and applied Ruta cream to the thigh. The pain left within a day and I never had a recurrence of that pain. These are two personal testimonials of the power of this cream to relieve pain. In both instances the type of injury was a twisting injury and the sensation I was experiencing was twisting pain, which is characteristic of this remedy.

I also use the cream from time to time when I strain my shoulder by pushing a shopping cart that is too heavy for me. I just apply the Ruta cream and my shoulder feels better soon afterwards.

One of the most dramatic experiences I had with the Ruta cream was with my eldest son. He broke his forearm when he was sixteen years old while trying out his friend’s skateboard. At the emergency room they bandaged the arm, but did not set it, telling us to make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor to set the bone. The emergency room doctors did not give him anything for pain relief. That night he woke me up saying that the pain was too intense and he couldn’t take it anymore. I studied his symptoms and decided to give him a dose of Ruta 30C. The remedy helped him with the pain quickly. He was able to get to sleep and woke up pain-free in the morning.

I have given Ruta many times to patients/clients with knee injuries — from playing sports when they have pulled a ligament, or  tendon, or torn the miniscus. The remedy has a reputation in such injuries and it unfailingly lives up to that reputation.

From the case examples, I have listed above, you can see that this is a great remedy for sports injuries. Wouldn’t it be great if all nurses’ offices, hospitals and gymnasiums kept a jar of this little cream and the remedy pellets in their first-aid kits for muscle pulls, strains, twists and other mishaps that frequently happen when one exercises too vigorously?

Now, I would like to talk about the types of conditions that Ruta graveolens can help with.

  1. First, and foremost, think about Ruta graveolens for injuries to the ligaments, tendons and the periosteum, or lining of the bones. This remedy is of use in areas where the skin is close to the bone, and in injuries to cartilage and fibrous tissue. [Remember Hypericum perforatum is for injuries to nerve tissue, Arnica montana to muscle tissue, and Bellis perennis to soft tissue]. Ruta is for fibrous tissue, such as ligaments and tendons. Keeping these few essential facts about the remedies in mind will help you greatly in knowing which one to select in a trauma situation.

Consider Ruta in fractures, or bruising of the bone and the periosteum, from injuries such as a blow from a hammer. The injuries can be slow to heal, and there can be a lot of pain in the bones as well as bruising.

Under this category of injuries, you can think of muscle pulls and strains. Injuries, where the parts are twisted, such as in the thigh and waste injury I mentioned above. Ruta is well-known for injuries to the thigh. Knee, or ankle injuries, where the ligaments, or tendons, are pulled and torn, fall under this category of complaints and can be greatly helped by this remedy.

Overstrain, overuse, overexertion are all words that apply well to Ruta. Examples of overuse types of injuries that Ruta is well known for are:

  1. Tennis elbow. Ruta is a specific for this condition.

Carpal tunnel syndromeRuta is of great benefit for overuse injuries of typists, musicians, computer programmers and other people who use their wrists excessively.

EyestrainRuta is the remedy you need to think of for non-inflammatory injuries of the eye that are caused from overexertion of the ocular muscles. Seamstresses, people working at the computer for hours at a time, or anyone else doing fine work with the eye can benefit from this remedy for their eyestrain. It is also good for headaches and vision disturbances caused by overuse of the eye. I would suggest dabbing the cream around the eyes to help relieve this symptom, or you can take the remedy in potency.

  1. Hardened or thickened areas, or nodules over the bones, periosteum, or tendons caused by overuse, or injury. Construction workers, mechanics and farmers who develop such thickenings or nodular growths, on their hands from holding their tools all day long can benefit greatly from This remedy can help when there has been permanent flexing of the hands, or feet, caused by overuse, or exertion, of the hands, or feet.

One of my husband’s relatives has permanent flexing of the fingers of his hands and toes. At a family reunion one day, he complained about his arthritic pains and I asked him if he would like to try some Ruta cream to see if it would help. It turned out that this cream helped him a great deal with the pain, and I have been mailing him bottles of the cream ever since.

  1. Back Problems. Think of Ruta, the remedy, and Ruta, the cream, for helping to relieve back pain. The characteristic Ruta back pain would be a bruised sensation, as though the person had fallen on the back, or received a blow to the back, or coccyx. Ruta also has weakness and lameness of the back and lower extremities from overstrain, lifting, or spraining the back.

Other back problems that Ruta addresses are herniated disks with characteristic Ruta causation, such as overstrain and overexertion. The remedy helps people who strain their backs easily, or where the vertebrae slip out of place easily. Think of Ruta for morning back pain and for wounds to the spine.

  1. Dental and mouth problems. This remedy has a wide field of action when it comes to dental problems. You should consider Ruta for the following conditions:
  • Trauma to the tooth, where the tooth is loosened in the socket, or knocked out of position
  • Bone and periosteal pain following dental surgery, or pain after injection of a local anaesthetic
  • Pain of dry socket, at the beginning of an infection
  • Pain and trauma of tooth extraction, when Arnica does not help sufficiently
  • Discomfort associated with fitting and adjusting braces
  • Jaw fractures.
  1. Sciatica. Ruta can help with severe sciatic pains having the characteristic Ruta pain sensation listed above, as well as bruised and darting pains. The pains are often aggravated at night when the patient lies down; they are also worse on first motion like Rhus toxicodendron. The pains begin in the back and extend to the hips and thighs.
  1. Prolapsus ani. Ruta is good for prolapsus ani and many other symptoms pertaining to the rectum, including constipation. It has pain in the rectum when sitting. It is also a good remedy for haemorrhoids [piles] and strictures of the rectum, more so when the symptoms ‘fit’ with
  1. Lameness after sprains, especially of ankles, wrists and knees. Ruta is one of the first remedies to be thought of for injuries to the knees. It is good for bursitis of the knee; it is also useful when the knees give way on going up and down the stairs, and the foot turns under from weakness of the ankles. The hamstrings feel shortened and weak.
  1. Ruta should be given after joint surgery to assist in healing.
  1. Ganglion on the wrist.
  1. Pain in the feet. Ruta can help with pain in the bones and tendons of the feet. The pains are aggravated on stepping, standing and walking. The pains in the feet are often described as bruised, sore, raw and tender.
  1. Other things to know about RutaRuta is a rheumatic remedy, meaning that the patient is aggravated by cold, wet and stormy weather. Ruta helps with the bruised bone pains from injuries, strains, or dislocations.

As you can see there is a great deal to be said about Ruta graveolens — as it has a wide range of usefulness. This is a remedy that would not sit idle in your medicine chest.

Dr DEBORAH OLENEV, CCH, RSHom [NA], is a Classical Homeopath based in Mountain View, California, US. She treats people from all over the world via phone and video conferencing. Dr Olenev has had a passion for homeopathy for nearly forty years and has been in private practice since 1991. She has a vast knowledge of homeopathic Materia Medica, and integrates homeopathy with herbal medicine too. She is the owner of First Aid Cream, where she teaches about and sells homeopathic first-aid creams. She has several years of experience treating autistic children and people of all ages for all manner of health conditions.

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