Goat's Rue herb (Galegae officinalis herba)

Published September 24, 1993.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Galegae officinalis herba, goat's rue herb.

Composition of Drug

Goat's rue herb consists of the dried, above-ground parts of Galega officinalis L. [Fam. Fabaceae], harvested during the flowering season, as well as preparations thereof.

Pharmacological Properties, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology

The herb contains galegin, which affects blood sugar. The blood sugar-lowering effect of goat's rue herb has not been documented.

Clinical Data 1. Uses Uses as result of evaluation:
None. Claimed uses which have been negatively evaluated:
Preparations of goat's rue herb are used as a diuretic, as well as supportive therapy for diabetes. In combinations, preparations containing goat's rue herb are also used as a stimulant for the adrenal glands and the pancreas, for "glandular disturbances," for "blood purification," as a purifying remedy for the mesenchyma, for disturbances pertaining to the secretion of digestive fluids in the gastrointestinal tract, fermentative dyspepsia, Roemheld syndrome, diarrhea, abnormal bacterial flora in the colon, as a galactogogue, as an alterative, as a liver-protective remedy, for "status lymphaticus," as well as for exudative diathesis.

The effectiveness for the claimed applications is not documented.

2. Risks

The herb contains galegin, which, like the synthetic guanidine derivatives, has a hypoglycemic action. A therapeutic application for diabetes mellitus, however, cannot be justified because of the uncertain effectiveness of the herb, the severity of the disease, and the therapeutic alternatives available.

Poisoning by goat's rue herb has been observed in grazing animals.


Since the effectiveness for the claimed uses is not documented, a therapeutic application cannot be recommended. It cannot be justified for diabetes mellitus because of the severity of the disease and the availability of effective therapeutic alternatives.