Encyclopedia of Vedic Astrology: Remedies: Notable Herbs in Human Welfare, Chapter XV, Part – 12

Dr. Shanker Adawal

Rue (Ruta graveolens)

Its common names are common rue, garden rue, German rue and herb-of-grace.

Rue, primarily a medicinal herb, dates back to the early Greeks. The name itself comes from the Greek reuo, which means “to set free.” The Roman herbalist Pliny thought rue to be a remedy for nearly 85 different ailments. In the middle Ages people though rue would protect them from witches and wild beasts: it does repel insects.

It is bitter, pungent, and warm. The part used are the Arial portions.

Rue contains essential oil that contains caprinic, plagbnic, capryloic and oenanthylic acids. It also contains a yellow, crystalline body called rutin. The homeopathic juice of the fresh plant extract applied directly to strengthen the eyes, it may be applied with honey.

Rue is an emmenagogue, antihelmintic, carminative, stomachic and stimulant. It is used to regulate delayed or scanty menses, to treat cramping, strengthen the capillaries and vessels, and to lower arterial blood pressure. It is well known for relieving gout and rheumatic pains and for treating nervous heart problems. It is also useful for menopausal heart palpitations. Rue promotes onset of menstruation and is good for relieving gas and colic.

Note: Rue can cause a poisonous rash in sensitive people. No one should take large doses of the herb or take it for prolonged periods of time, because it can cause mild toxic effects. It is not to be used by pregnant women.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

The common names are blue skullcap, blue pimpernel, helmet flower, hoodwort, mad-dog-weed and side flowering, skullcap.

Skullcap is indigenous to the North America, growing best in wet and shady ground.

The above ground parts are used. Most illnesses are caused by tension, skullcap is added to many remedies for its relaxing properties.

Skullcap contains a volatile oil, scultellarin, with a glucoside that yields scultellarin on hydrolysis. It also contains tannin, fat, sugar and cellulose.

Skullcap is a sedative, tonic, antispasmodic and nervine. As an infusion, it is good for spasms, convulsions and nervous conditions, such as insomnia, nervous disorders, headaches and general restlessness. It may also be used for rheumatism and neuralgia.

Note: Overdoses of skullcap cause giddiness, stupor, convulsions indicative of epilepsy and intermission of the pulse.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva)

Its common names are red elm, elm bark, moose elm, Indian elm, rock elm, sweet elm and American elm.

In Appalachia people use slippery elm as a protective agent and a healing agent for wounds. Native Americans have used it to ease the removal of lead from gunshot wounds. Native American midwives use it to ease the births of children.

The dried inner bark is the part used. It is sweet, neutral and a mild expectorant, it soothes irritations of the alimentary and bronchial systems.

Slippery elm contains a mucilage similar to that found in linseed. The bark shows starch grains and very characteristic twin crystals of calcium oxalate.

Slippery elm is an emollient, nutritive, demulcent, pectoral and yin tonic. It may be used internally or externally.

It is used to sore throat, coughs, bleeding from the lungs and other lung problems, dryness of the throat, wasting diseases, digestive problems, nausea.

Slightly astringent, slippery elm is very gentle and can be retained by the most delicate of stomachs. It is soothing and healing to irritated and inflamed surfaces, such as wounds, burns and chapped skin. It is also useful for consumption or tuberculosis, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, nephritis, gastritis, gastric ulcers, pyloric inflammation or ulceration, calculi, scalding urine, abscesses, tumours, sore throat, ulcerated stomach and stomach weakness.

For gangrenous wounds, suppurating sores and bed sores, combine it with equal parts of Echinacea and comfrey root powders. It is often better to use the cut and sifte bark, rather than the powder which will be too mucilaginous to make slippery elm tea.


Dr. Shanker Adawal
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