Goat’s Rue

Galega officinalis

Goat’s Rue is a perennial which grows rapidly in urban environments. The plant can reach up to 1.2 metres in height. It has many branching stems, with clusters of white or purplish flowers arranged along the main branch of the plant.

Goat’s Rue is native to the Middle East and has been successfully cultivated in Europe since the Middle Ages. The species has adapted well to the urban environment and can be found growing in parks, gardens, along footpaths and roads.

Aerial parts of the plant were used medicinally in medieval Europe to treat plague, worms, snake bites, miasma and dysuria. The plant was also fed to livestock to increase milk yield.

Traditional uses
  • Goat's Rue was used to treat symptoms of diabetes1,2
  • Goat's Rue has a positive effects on the digestive system3
  • The plant also helps promote milk flow in lactating mothers 4
  •  Goat's Rue inhibits blood platelet aggregation 5 (in vitro)
How it can be used
  • A preparation of Goat’s Rue is used as diuretic9
  • It can be used as supportive therapy for diabetes but it is not recommended as its effectiveness has not been proven9
  • Do not use when pregnant or while breastfeeding
The information provided here is only intended to augment people's awareness and knowledge of the properties and uses of some plants. This information is not intended to substitute advice from a physician and is not a substitute for professional medical care. The authors do not recommend collecting and using wild plants from an urban environment as these can be contaminated by several types of pollutants that are harmful to human health. Although references are provided and information has been compiled with care, errors may be present. The remedies listed here should not be used without prior consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. The authors are not responsible for any adverse effect or consequences resulting from the use of the information published in this website.
  • In vitro evidence: evidence from studies using isolated components of living organisms such as cells or purified molecules
  • In vivo evidence: evidence from studies with whole living organisms
  • Clinical trial evidence: evidence from clinical trials conducted with humans
  1. Witters LA. 2001 The blooming of the French lilac J. Clin. Invest. 108: 1105-1107.
  2. Petricic J, Kalodera Z. Galegin in the goat's rue herb: its toxicity, antidiabetic activity and content determination. Acta Pharm Jugosl . 1982;32:219-223.
  3. Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs . Austin, TX: American Botanical Council. 1998;332
  4. Bisset N, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals . Stuttgart, Germany: CRC Press. 1994;220-221.
  5. Atanasov AT., Spasov V. 2000 Inhibiting and disaggregating effect of gel-filtered Galega officinalis L. herbal extract on platelet aggregation. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 69: 231-240.
  6. Stosic D, Bogavac P, Panov I. Medicinal plant raw materials with antihyperglycemic activity. Arh Farm . 1993;43:35-41.
  7. PALIT P., FURMAN BL., GRAY AI. 1999 Novel weight-reducing activity of Galega officinalis in Mice J. Pharmacology and pharmacology 51: 1313-1319.
  8. Turkyilmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17:139-42.
  9. Blumenthal, M., Ph.D, W. R. B. & Goldberg, A. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. (Elsevier Health Sciences, 1999).
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