Rue, Pegam פיגם in Hebrew (Ruta chalepensis) is a shrub which can be found throughout Israel. Its small bluish leaves are shaped like an open hand, which is the 'chamsa' in Arabic, thus explaining the believe that the plant can be used against the evil eye. Rue was once even used as a spice, but because it is so bitter, it is much less used today. But it still appears in some liquors, the most known and famous liquor containing rue is an Italian brandy called 'grappa con ruta'.
All photos by me Yael Eshkar.