Goat's Rue

Goat's Rue, Herb

Galega officinale Also called Galega, French lilac.

Growing wild in southern Europw and partáof asia, goat's rue is a bushyáperennial that canáreach aáheight of 1-1.5m. If brusied , theáleavesáconsist of six to eight greenáleftets and blue , pink or white, butterfly- shapedáflowers appear all summer. When ripe , its long seedpod twistáand burst open to scatter theáseeds.

Parts used


The flowers are collected when they are in full bloom between July and September.

Once dried, they are used in infusions, powders and tinctures.


The alkaloid galegine and its derivatives, are found throughout the plant. Goat's rue also contains chromium, flavonoids and tannins, which effect the clotting of blood.

Medicinal uses

Goat's rue can be useful as a supplementary treatment for Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes as it is rich in chromium which helps to combat the body's inability to absorb glucose Also. animal studies in Scotland have shown that Its galegine can lower blood sugar levels. While the herb's helpful, it is important that a diabetic patient also adheres to any prescribed regular courses of medication.

In addition. the Scottish research noted the ability of galegine to reduce appetite suggesting its potential for use in weight control. Goats rue IS also recommended for digestive problems and is known to relieve chronic constipation. It is adiuretic, helping to prevent swelling resulting from fluid retention, and can increase perspiration as well. Galegine is also responsible forthe plant's antibacterial powers as shown by scientists in India in 2001. This, combined with the known anti-inflammatory effect of its flavonoids, may explain why goat's rue is sometimes used to treat fever.


Preparations containing goat's rue should only be taken in consultation with a doctor or medical herbalist. As high doses are potentially toxic, it is very important to observe the exact dosages prescribed.


Goat's rue can be grown from seed, planted in autumn. It is suited to deep. moist, well-drainedásoil, and should be positioned ináthe sun or a lightly shaded spotá


As goat's rue canáreact adversely, especially to seek medical advice before usingáthe plant.á

Prescribedádoses of goat's rue must be closely adhered to since excessive consumption can lead to dangerous reductions in blood sugar.

Although goal's rue preparations are sometimes prescribed to increase breast milk production, it is best to av Ad them, until toxicity studies have been undertaken. Toxicity in Ihe milk of lactating sheep has been reported


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