Medicinal plants

Rhombus - Rhombus (Ruta graveolens)

Rhombus - Rhombus (Ruta graveolens)

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We know the taste of the rhombus or garden rhombus from aperitifs and liqueurs. In ancient times it was considered a powerful protection against various poisons, in the Middle Ages the "dead herb" was even supposed to cure the plague. Today we know: Rhombus contains medically effective substances, but also has strong side effects, including poisoning and death.

Profile of the diamond

  • Surname: Rhombus
  • Scientific name: Ruta graveolens (syn. Ruta hortensis)
  • family: Rutaceae - Diamond Family
  • Common names: Weed, rhombus, dead herb, dead herb, cross rhombus, noble rhombus, garden rhombus, rhombus wall, mercy herb
  • application areas:
    • stimulates the gastric juices
    • promotes digestion and bleeding
    • blushes
    • pigmented
    • facilitates the onset of menstruation
  • Parts of plants used: Shoot tips


Rhombus has essential oils, especially methyl nonyl ketone, and the flavonoid rutin (rutoside). The plant contains alkaloids of various structure types, including quinoline, furocholine and alkaloids of the acridone type such as rutacridone. The essential oil consists especially of medium-chain ketone compounds, and these act against microbes. There are also coumarins, furano- and pyranocoumarins. The furanocoumarins sensitize pigment formation and show their effect when the skin is exposed to the sun. It then tans faster.

So far, more than 120 natural substances have been identified that are found in garden rhombuses. The most important active components of the plant play an important role in the treatment of numerous diseases: flavonoids, rutin, quercetin, furocoumarin and lemonin. They can be found in many synthetic drugs today.


Wine herb has an intense aroma and has been used for centuries to produce alcoholic beverages. In addition to the taste, these alcoholics also promote digestion. Garden diamond stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and slows down the formation of gases. The rutin obtained from the dead herb protects the blood vessels and thus prevents bleeding caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, edema and varicose veins. The furocoumarins serve as a tanning agent. The essential oil has an antimicrobial effect, i.e. against bacteria and fungi.

Rhombus is suitable to prevent tumor growth, to slow down spasms, as a pain reliever, as a remedy for indigestion and irregular menstruation. In the past, Edelraute was a means of aborting fetuses. High doses contract the uterus.


In folk medicine, especially in rural areas, rhombus and diamond oil have been used against inflammation of the skin and throat as well as against suffering from the liver and bile, with menstrual problems and to abort fetuses. The complex of symptoms we now refer to as dyspepsia was also treated with rhombus. These include upper abdominal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, constant belching, heartburn, feeling of fullness, premature satiety, excessive accumulation of intestinal gas and pain behind the breastbone.

Risks and side effects

Rhombus is a narcotic poison. The fresh plant causes redness, swelling and blisters on the skin. Regardless of whether used internally or externally, consumption sometimes leads to painful vomiting and balance disorders, slow pulse, low temperature in the limbs and rarely even to psychological confusion, blurred vision.

Rhombus in all forms harms pregnant women. Not only does it have an abortive effect, it also causes bleeding and inflammation of the uterus. The dosage required for an abortion is very close to a lethal amount. It is not a specific abortive characteristic, but a general poisoning. Rhombus should never be used as an abortion agent. Larger quantities of the dried tips lead to inflammation in the gastrointestinal area and in the urogenital tract.

An irritant effect on the skin and mucous membranes is also possible due to the phototoxicity of the furoquinolines and furanocoumarins. So the drug should always be taken in small doses, and private collection and use for medicinal purposes should be left out. Allergic reactions in the form of contact dermatitis often occur in garden rhombuses.

Diamond oil and diamond herb

An oil was extracted from the above-ground herb of the plant by steam distillation (Rutae aetheroleum) and used for abortion, against cramps and menstrual cramps. The herbaceous parts of the plant were collected by people both in the midst of flowering (Rutae herba) and at the beginning of flowering.

The full flowers, like the oil, served as an abortivum against colic-like pain and dyspepsia; the fresh flowers, however, were mainly used externally against inflammation of the skin, bruises, bruises, rheumatic complaints, especially of the spine, and joint and muscle pain after physical exertion. For these purposes, too, the garden diamond can no longer be recommended for private collection from today's perspective and with today's medication as an alternative, which have a similar effect but are less irritating to the skin.

Anti-inflammatory effect

Methanolic extracts of Ruta graveolens with a concentration of 20 milligrams / kilogram and ethanolic extract with 50 milligrams / kilogram showed in the experiment with rats with induced inflammation of the paws a significantly higher effect than the usually administered diclofenac. In the case of induced arthritis in rats, there were also positive effects. The diamond extract contained the inflammation better than the standard drug indomethacin. The activity of both the antioxidant enzymes and the level of gluthathione reduced by vitamins C and E increased after treatment with methanolic extracts of ruta graveolens.

Rhombus as a contraceptive?

Folk medicine in Iran uses garden rhombus for male contraception. Iranian scientists have now carried out a study to investigate the effects of diamond extract on the motility of human sperm. The results were positive. Different doses of a liquid extract of Ruta graveolens were added to fresh sperm, and the researchers noted the mobility and survivability of the sperm and their mitochondrial activity.

Immediately after the extract hit the sperm, the sperm lost mobility. The strength of the effect depended on the dosage of the extract. 100 percent of the sperm became immobile. The effect of the extract also persisted when cooking. The result showed that the movement and survivability of the sperm were blocked by a thermostable component of the rhombus. Raute is therefore a promising candidate for new contraceptives for men.

The healing effects of rutin

The dangers of high doses of rue herb must not hide the fact that rutin, the flavonoid present in the plant, is effective for the prevention of diseases such as arthritis and similar inflammations.

In addition to rhombus, it is also found in citrus fruits such as limes, oranges, limes and grapefruit, in asparagus or mulberries. It was first discovered in the garden rhombus. Rutin is a flavonoid glycoside with a polyphenolic component. It fulfills various physiological functions in the human body. It is one of the best natural antioxidants we know. The microflora in the digestive tract transforms rutin into other substances.

Rutin has antibacterial and antiviral effects, prevents tumors as well as inflammation and allergies, and it works against cramps. The substance is vasoactive, which means that it has a (positive) influence on the vascular muscles and the vascular width and protects the cells. It lowers blood pressure and blood lipid levels. It absorbs UV rays.

Logically, rutin is used as an active component in many areas: in phytotherapy of various colors, in the cosmetic and chemical industry or in animal feed. The potential of rutin for medication, cosmetics and as a dietary supplement, as a study shows, is far from exhausted.

Sudab - diamond in the medicine of India

Rhombus is grown on a large scale in India and, according to a study, used in a variety of medicinal ways. Traditional applications are paralysis, joint pain, nerve disorders, colic-like pain, flatulence, arthritis, pain relief, especially in the chest with pneumonia and in the back.

Indian doctors give diamond leaf infusions as nasal drops to treat polio, and an oral extract is used to cure kidney and urinary tract disorders. Indians use diamond sheets as a tampon or drink a syrup from it to induce a missing menstruation.

Rhombus extract is also used in India to abort fetuses. In Indian medicine, the herb and oil are associated with uterine and intestinal complaints. Rhombus is considered valuable for drainage because it drives the urine. In some regions of India, ointments with diamond extract are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis - for example in Punjab.

The fragrant angel maker

In ancient times, the garden rhombus, which was originally widespread mainly in the Mediterranean region, was used as a remedy for animal and vegetable poisons, both by Greek and Roman doctors. According to Pliny, Mithridates should have established the plant as a medicinal herb. The drug named after him, “Mithridat”, contained 54 substances, including the diamond. In the Middle Ages, rhombus was considered one of the many (useless) anti-plague and anti-epilepsy remedies. The latter contains a partial truth, since the plant has an antispasmodic effect.

The garden diamond had its most important meaning as an "angel maker". This term refers to doctors and midwives who aborted fetuses. Under the conditions of the past, the “angel” referred, on the one hand, to the unborn, but on the other hand to the mothers, who all too often died from the consequences of abortions. The rhombus was one of these dangerous abortive agents. Because the difference between an abortive and a lethal dose was small, also depended on the constitution of those affected, and the content of the active ingredients also varied from plant to plant.

Garden rhombus is a good example that abortive measures of the past should not be glorified as "secret knowledge" and that low-risk abortions with the possibilities of modern medicine are the better alternative.


The wine herb grows in Europe and Asia especially in the Mediterranean region. Rhombus loves dry and stony soils and populates walls, rocks and dry meadows and rubble.


Garden rhombus contains numerous substances that develop a strong activity against various diseases. However, since the plant is also classified as toxic, you should not collect Ruta graveolens privately and use it as a home remedy. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Hiller, Karl; Melzig, Matthias: Encyclopedia of medicinal plants and drugs. 2. Volume L to Z, Spectrum, 2000
  • Zhila Naghibi et al .: Immobilization effect of Ruta graveolens L. on human sperm: A new hope for male contraception. Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 115, Issue 1, Pages 36-41, January 2008, sciencedirect
  • Kanika Patel et al .: The Beneficial Role of Rutin, A Naturally Occurring Flavonoid in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: A Systematic Review and Update. Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Arthritis and Related Inflammatory Diseases (Second Edition), in: Academic Press, Pages 457-479, 2019, sciencedirect
  • Shabir Ahmad Parray et al .: Ruta graveolens: from Traditional System of Medicine to Modern Pharmacology: an Overview. In: American Journal of PharmTech Research, Volume 2, Pages 239-252, 2012, researchgate

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