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Common Names :Syrian Rue, Hermal, Sirski Rue, Harmal peganum
Harmal seeds or sometimes Esphand or Espand from the Persian word where it originates from, Wild rue, Persian rue, Hermal seeds, or Harmal seeds
Habitat : Peganum Hermala is native to Europe – Mediterranean and Southeast Europe It grows om dry steppes, especially where grazing is heavy, and dry waste places. It is often found in saline soils.
It is a bushy herb with leaves divided into numerous narrow segments. It has white solitary flowers, spherical fruits and brownish seeds in various shapes.
The seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
Prefers a light well-drained but moisture retentive soil and an open position in full sun. Prefers a dry soil[ and succeeds in poor soils.
Although this species comes from dry desert areas, it responds well to cultivation so long as the soil is very well drained. It can tolerate temperatures down to about -20Â°c if the soil is dry.
There is speculation that this plant was the sacred ‘Soma’ plant, which was used by the ancients of India and Persia as an hallucinogenic aid to understanding the deeper meaning of life.
Seed – sow late spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny part of the greenhouse for their first winter. Be careful not to overwater, especially when the plants are dormant. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Oil; Oil.
Seed – used as a spice and purifying agent. Some caution is advised because the seed has narcotic properties, inducing a sense of euphoria and releasing inhibitions. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.
It has been used as an entheogen in the Middle East, and in modern Western culture, it is often used as an analogue of Banisteriopsis caapi to create Ayahuasca, a South American entheogen. Syrian Rue, however, has a distinctly different chemical makeup than caapi, and a unique character of its own.
In Turkey, dried capsules from this plant are strung and hung in homes and vehicles to protect against the evil eye.
In Iran, dried capsules – mixed with other ingredients – are burnt so as to produce a light, distinctly scented smoke. It is used as an air as well as mind purifier, to be linked to its believed entheogenic properties. This practice, which roots back in pre-Islamic – Zoroastrian – times, is still used by the Iranians.
The active alkaloids of Harmal seeds are the MAOI (MonoAmine Oxidase Inhibitor) compounds harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine (collectively known as harmala alkaloids).
The seeds of which can be taken internally in minute doses, providing a valuable Ayurvedic remedy against depression. They have also been taken to treat eye disorders and to stimulate breast-milk production. In central Asia, harmala root is a popular medicinal remedy, used in the treatment of rheumatism and nervous conditions.
The fruit and seed are digestive, diuretic, hallucinogenic, narcotic and uterine stimulant. They are taken internally in the treatment of stomach complaints, urinary and sexual disorders, epilepsy, menstrual problems, mental and nervous illnesses. The seed has also been used as an anthelmintic in order to rid the body of tapeworms This remedy should be used with caution and preferably under the guidance of a qualified practitioner since excessive doses cause vomiting and hallucinations. The seeds contain the substance ‘harmine’ which is being used in research into mental disease, encephalitis and inflammation of the brain. Small quantities stimulate the brain and are said to be therapeutic, but in excess harmine depresses the central nervous system. A crude preparation of the seed is more effective than an extract because of the presence of related indoles.
Consumption of the seed in quantity induces a sense of euphoria and releases inhibitions. It has been used in the past as a truth drug.
The oil obtained from the seed is said to be aphrodisiac. The oil is also said to have galactogogue, ophthalmic, soporific and vermifuge properties.
The seed is used externally in the treatment of haemorrhoids and baldness.
The whole plant is said to be abortifacient, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue and galactogogue. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of rheumatism.
The root has been used as a parasiticide in order to kill body lice. It is also used internally in the treatment of rheumatism and nervous conditions.
Dye; Incense; Miscellany; Oil.
A red dye is obtained from the seed. It is widely used in Western Asia, especially as a colouring for carpets.
The ripe seed contains 3.8 – 5.8% of the alkaloids harmine, harmaline, harmalol and peganine. Ineffective as a contact poison, they are active in vapour form where they are effective against algae, in higher concentrations to water animals and lethal to moulds, bacteria and intestinal parasites.
The seed is used as an incense.
Known Hazards: Use with caution. Although the seed is used medicinally and as a condiment, it does contain hallucinogenic and narcotic alkaloids. When taken in excess it causes hallucinations and vomiting.
The information presented herein by is intended for educational purposes only.Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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