Syrian rue has many traditional uses across the Middle East and parts of Asia, having influenced religion, industry, medicine and local folklore.
In Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Turkey the dried capsules of the Syrian rue seeds are mixed with other ingredients and placed on hot coals. This causes them to explode and release fragrant, incense like smoke. It is during this process that prayer is recited.
In Turkey, it is believed that the dried capsules of the plant can be strung up within the home to protect against “the evil eye”, a malevolent look that is thought in many cultures to cause injury or misfortune to those who were subjugated to it. In Morocco it is believed to offer protection from djinn.
The seeds of Syrian rue are used as a traditional way of making dye throughout the Middle East.
Syrian rue is used as a traditional medicine in the Middle East and has been used to help with skin inflammation as well as kill lice.
The seeds have been used as a hallucinogen in both the Middle East and Europe for a very long time. They are now also quite often used as an analogue for Ayahuasca style brews.