Ruta is another remedy often overlooked. It is sometimes overlooked and Rhus or Argentum nitricum given, or other remedies not fully related to the case are given because Ruta is not well known. Many of its symptoms are difficult to classify in the Repertory.
A knowledge of its nature must be obtained. It falls under a class of complaints that resemble Rhus, in that it is sensitive to cold, aggravated from cold, damp weather; aggravated from becoming cold, and the complaints are often brought on from straining the part; overstraining or overexertion of parts, but principally confined to parts that are of a tendinous character; aponeurotic fibres; white fibrous tissue; the flexor tendons especially; flexor tendons that are overstrained by exertion.
Rhus has something like this, but nothing like what is found in Ruta. Ruta often suits in various surgical conditions; periosteal troubles from injury. Periosteal trouble where the flesh is thin over the bone; over the tibia. Bruises go away slowly and leave a hardened spot; thickening of periosteum; a knotty, nodular condition; it remains sore; slow repair.
A lump in the periosteum that has existed for months or years; sensitive and sore and nodular; as a result of a blow with a stick or a hammer, or from bumping the shin bone. In farmers, woodmen, mechanics, from holding a hammer or iron instrument; hard nodules form in the palm from clasping the hand over an iron instrument in projecting it forward, as from using a crowbar; a hardened mass of tissue in the tendons, like a bursa. Tendency to the formation of deposits in the periosteum, in bone, in tendons, about joints. The especial location is in the wrist; bursae and nodules form in this part. Overstraining of tendons and in the place where it is likely to give out a nodule will form in the tendon; lumps, bunches, little tumors in the tendon. Gradually increasing contraction of flexors, so that the hands become permanently flexed; the foot becomes flexed so that the sole becomes increasingly concave, and the toes are drawn under from overstraining and violence to the flexors.
Overstraining of the muscles of the eye. These muscles are largely tendinous. Continual use until it becomes an overuse. Eyestrain followed by headache, and the effects are also on the globe of the eye, and coating of the eye, so that the overstrained eye is red. Pain in the eye, above and through the eye when he attempts to use the vision, that is aggravation from the exertion of vision. From looking at fine Print; fine sewing. This overexertion of vision brings about redness, pain and inability to concentrate vision on one point. Headache follows. Here Argentum nitricum resembles Ruta. Arg. nit. and Natrum mur. are the two remedies most frequently used, but Onosmodium is a very frequently indicated remedy for headaches from eyestrain. But they can be easily differentiated. Ruta is aggravated from cold, wants everything warm. Arg. nit, is aggravated from heat, wants to be in a cool place. The patient must be considered.
There is general exhaustion in Ruta. The legs give out on rising from a chair, the patient totters and makes several efforts on rising from a seat. Routinists give Phosphorus and Conium for this. Ruta and Phosphorus both have violent, unquenchable thirst for ice-cold water. Compare Phos. and Con. because of the weakness through the hips and thighs.
The remedy has not been proved sufficiently to bring out the mental symptoms. They are only common and belong to many other remedies. “Inclination to contradict and quarrel.” “Dissatisfied with him. self and others.” “Anxious and low-spirited, with mental dejection.” These symptoms are only common; they can be grouped in one of two classes. The patient can be irritable, or the opposite good-natured. This remedy is classified among the irritable. “Despondent,” that is, the opposite of happy another of two classes. “Melancholy disposition toward evening.” The only thing here is that it is aggravated toward evening. When things are brought out so that they belong to one of two classes, they are important only in a mild degree.
Many of the complaints are worse lying down, especially the pains that are sharp, stinging, tearing in the nerves. Ruta is a painful medicine, but is slow in producing symptoms, hence its pains are of a chronic nature. Old neuralgias, stinging, tearing, burning pains, especially in the lower extremities about the eyes; faceaches. It has all the pains, described by all the adjectives that apply to pain, but it is worse lying down and worse from cold. Rending, tearing pains in the sciatic nerves. The severest forms of sciatica; pains commence in the back and go down the hips and thighs; tearing pains; comfortable during the day, but aggravated as soon as he lies down at night. Gnaphalium is a great sciatic remedy, and it also has this aggravation from lying down.
“Eyes feel hot like balls of fire.” To use Ruta for a pure inflammation when the eyes feel hot would be a failure. Euphrasia, Belladonna and Aconite are used in simple inflammations from a cold; and the antipsorics when the case is chronic. But if a woman strains her eyes from long sewing on fine work, and the balls feel like fire, she needs Ruta. Aconite if, after exposure to cold winds, there is inflammation with lachrymation; and the eyes look like raw beef.
“Eyes burn, ache, feel strained; sight blurred; aggravated from using them in the evening,” a part of the general aggravation in the evening. When, in copying, the manuscript is placed here, and the copy at a different distance, this necessitates a constant change of vision in looking from one to the other, and especially if the copying is done in a poor light, a headache will come on, which Ruta will cure. After overusing the eyes in this way, if the patient rides in a cold wind, a paralytic weakness results, and this is a further indication for Ruta. Lachrymation from exposure to the wind or riding in the cold. Paralysis of certain muscles of the eye, even strabismus; all sorts of disturbances of accommodation. “Loss of power over internal rectus.” “Asthenopia; irritability of every tissue of eye from overwork or from using eyes on fine work; heat and aching in and over eyes; eyes feel like balls of fire at night; blurring of vision; letters seem to run together, lachrymation, etc.” Amplyopia, dependent upon overexertion of eyes, or anomalies of refraction; from writing by artificial light; fine needlework, etc.; in a weaver, could with difficulty distinguish one thread from another, and could not read at all; mistiness of sight, with complete obscuration at a distance.
Constipation is a striking feature, with prolapsus of the rectum at stool. “Frequent unsuccessful urging with prolapsus ani.” “Protrusion of rectum after confinement.” Pain in rectum when sitting. Great soreness in rectum as from ulceration. It is a useful remedy in piles and stricture of the rectum.
Back symptoms. It is a decided rheumatic remedy. All those remedies which are susceptible to cold, aggravated by cold, wet, stormy weather, are described as rheumatic remedies. Rheumatic symptoms of the back. “Pains as if bruised in lumbar vertebrae.” “Pain in back or coccyx as from a fall or blow, or as if bruised.” “Hamstrings feel shortened and weak; lames give way going up or down stairs.” “Pain and lameness in the ankles after a sprain or dislocation.” “Lameness after sprains, especially of the wrists and ankles.” Immediately after a sprain, for the inflammatory state, you will most likely need to give Arnica, and Rhus will probably follow. But when nodules occur in the tendons as a result of the strain Ruta is called for. Ruta is a great remedy for a mere sprain; it has all the soreness and Weakness of tendons. Arnica, Rhus and Calcarca are often necessary in a routine way when there is absence of all symptoms, except the strain alone.
Paralytic weakness in the lower extremities after a sprain of the back. Under the aggravation in the evening Is melancholy disposition, burning in the eyes, green halo around the light; sight blurred; eyes ache; pain below right scapula.
Extreme restlessness like Rhus. So restless he can’t keep still; a nervous restlessness.
“Bruised feeling all over as from a fall or blow, worse in the limbs and joints.” Bruises and other mechanical injuries of bones and periosteum; sprains; periostitis; erysipelas.
Ruta is related to and is an antidote to Mercury.
Eruptions on the skin with itching, which changes place after scratching like Mezereum. Compare Phos. in the thirst for cold water and the weakness of the lower extremities. In the rheumatism distinguish Phytolacca. Compare Rhus, Sepia, Silicea and Sulphur. Ruta is an antipsoric, but not so deep as Silicea and Sulphur.
Written by James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) and published first in his book "Materia Medica" (1905) James Tyler Kent was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy.