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As lots of you already know I have a problem with my ligaments, my ligaments are too lax which results in lots of muscular injury and spasm, dislocation of joints, sprains and of course pain. I'm always on the look out for things that can help with this which is how I came to be spending £5.50 on a 25g tube of Ruta Ointment. This ointment is made by Weleda which is a brand name I trust and have bought a variety of items from in the past.
Ruta is apparently a strongly scented evergreen native to the Mediterranean, I didn't know that I had to look it up! The ointment is for treatment of sprains, injuries where the tendons are involved and for dislocations so it sounded like just the thing for me. It is actually classed as a Homeopathic ointment as it is also taken orally in homeopathy. I've had my tube for the best part of a year and have tried it several times when I've been looking for something to apply to an area.
The actual ointment is yellow, most of Weleda's ointments are for some reason. It also contains lanolin, yellow beeswax (that would be the yellow explained then!), Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil and Wool Alcohols. The alcohol content is 7.6% so it is worth remembering this contains alcohol if your skin is likely to object to it. The tube is a metal one with a plastic cap and mostly yellow again. I purchased mine online but some Health Food stores will stock it too. A quick Google search brings up countless websites that sell Ruta both in ointment and oral capsule form.
The ointment is quite thick and obviously very oily. If you apply some you need to keep it away from clothing and bedding etc as it will leave an oily mark behind. It smells a bit herby and a bit sour so it isn't a pleasant scent either. The yellow does vanish as you rub the ointment in but the fragrance remains. Adults and children can use this ointment and it is to be applied directly either rubbed in gently or on a dressing as needed. That's as much information as is given.
Over the time I've had this ointment I've had countless occasions to use it, I didn't plan on using it on any of my constantly painful areas just areas where an acute sprain or strain happens like my wrists and knees which I frequently injure. The first time I used this I can quite clearly remember wondering if I should be icing instead because sprains produce inflammation which produces heat and applying an oily ointment to a hot area seemed rather silly like applying butter to a burn. I persevered however and applied this several times throughout the day and before I went to bed. That was a wrist sprain and it didn't help at all. The next day I iced belatedly and then used one of my much used wrist supports for a week or so until it calmed down in its own time.
The next time was on a knee sprain and I was limping around looking for something to apply when I stumbled across this again. This time I used a dressing and squeezed a big dollop of ointment onto the dressing before wrapping my knee up and the next day I did have less pain, but in all honesty I would have anyway from splinting my knee and letting it calm down. I've tried it again a few more times when I've forgotten it doesn't work and it really hasn't helped. I actually get more help from icing then alternating ice and heat a few days later and just resting the joint. If you want to apply anything to this type of injury I would say use a comfrey product instead. This Ruta ointment makes you feel like you're doing something productive so perhaps people who have found it useful are getting the "placebo effect"? It certainly didn't help me one bit and actually hindered at times because I skipped the ice which is the best immediate treatment for sprains.
Overall this smells nasty, stains clothes and sheets, doesn't help and will set you back over a fiver in most places. Not recommended and one star just because I have to rate it.
Weleda Ruta Ointment; / Helps ease symptoms of muscular stiffness where the tendon is affected / Suitable for vegetarians / Sprains mostly affect the tendons and ligaments / Most vulnerable joints are ankles, wrists, knees and fingers / In the case of mild sprains the joint remains functional with pain and swelling.