Peganum harmala - Syrian Rue

Nan's Nook : Archives : Botanicals : Peganum harmala
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Growing Syrian Rue  -    
Foods to Avoid on MAO-Inhibitors  1 08/23 12:08pm Admin
Syrian Rue Increasing Mushroom Potency  10 10/23 04:51pm  
Pharmahuasca: On Phenethylamines and Potentiation 1 7/03
MAOI inhibitors?  5 12/08 11:36pm boomer
Syrian Rue Extraction -    

By Nan (Nanook) on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 04:58 pm:


                     Peganum harmala seeds, common name: Syrian Rue

Biological name (genus and species):
Peganum harmala
Parts used for medicinal purposes:
Various parts of the entire plant, frequently differing by
country and/or culture
Chemicals this herb contains:


  • Causes hallucinations.
  • Destroys bacteria (germs) or suppresses their growth or reproduction.

    Miscellaneous information:

  • Wild rue is often abused where it grows in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.


  • Destroys intestinal worms.
  • Decreases pain.


    Don't take if you:

  • Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or plan pregnancy in the near future.

    Consult your doctor if you:

  • Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn't improve in 2 weeks. There may be safer, more-effective treatments.
  • Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs.


  • Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.


  • Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.

    Infants and children:

  • Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.


  • Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.


  • Keep cool and dry, but don't freeze. Store safely away from children.

    Safe dosage:

  • At present no "safe" dosage has been established.


    Rated slightly dangerous, particularly in children, persons over
    55 and those who take larger than appropriate quantities for
    extended periods of time.





































    By Nan (Nanook) on Monday, October 22, 2001 - 04:35 pm:

    reprinted from erowid...
    Peganum harmala
    An Indo-European Plant Teacher
    . . . a note from underground
    by Gracie and Zarkov
    Number 10


    Encounters with entities who teach or guide are a characteristic feature of hallucinogenic ayahuasca trances. For discussion purposes, we have granted ontological status to these entities without regard for the epistemological or metaphysical implications of that status.

    We have been interested in these phenomena for several years, but the South American vine, Banisteriopsis caapi, which is the basis for ayahuasca, is not readily available in North America. The DMT-containing admixture plants, Psychotria viridis, and Diplopteris cabrarana, which produce the vivid hallucinations, are even harder to obtain. Therefore, we have been investigating combinations of synthetic DMT with various beta-carboline containing plants, not only B. caapi, but also Passiflora incarnata and Peganum harmala.


    P. harmala, or Syrian Rue, is the plant from which harmine was first isolated, as well as a source of harmaline and tetrahydroharmine. Total beta-Carboline content runs almost 4% by weight in the seeds of Syrian Rue. These alkaloids occur in roughly the same proportions as in B. caapi. Ten grams of Syrian Rue seeds provide about 400mg of total beta-Carbolines, about that amount in a typical dose of ayahuasca.

    Syrian Rue grows in semi-arid conditions. It originated in Central Asia, and is held in high esteem throughout Asia Minor as a medicinal, aphrodisiac and dye plant. There is no solid historical evidence of ritual or religious use. It is sometimes known as "ruin weed" since it often grows on the tells covering the ruins of ancient cities in the Near East. It now grows wild in Eurasia and has recently been spread to Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and Southern California. Dye quality seeds are available from several West Coast seed services for about $50.00 per pound.


    We prepared our hallucinogenic brew in a manner similar to that used to prepare ayahuasca. Fifty grams of seeds were finely ground in a spice mill. The powdered seeds were added to 4 quarts of water and boiled in a slow cooker overnight. The resulting liquid was poured off and saved, and 4 quarts of fresh water were added to the residue. This second wash was also boiled for 12 hours. Both washes had a noticeable yellow color, indicating the possible presence of harmine. Both washes were strained while hot though a cloth coffee filter and then reduced to a final volume of 500ml. Synthetic N,N-DMT-HCl was boiled in during the final reduction (not boiling in the DMT adversely affects the brew's potency).


    We drank the brew on empty stomachs. First effects were noticed in about five minutes. Physical side effects include tingling extremities, slight tremor, lassitude and very slight nausea. The mental effects of the come-on are similar to the initial effects of smoked DMT but are milder and in slow motion. The anti-depressant effects of the beta-Carbolines are quite striking; a strange calm elation is felt.

    The DMT-like effects peak in about 25-30 minutes with strong visual disturbances. We were in a darkened room and the closed-eye geometric patterns were very vivid. We felt a "presence" in these patterns which we could bring into direct contact by a combination of repeated nonsense babbling (which turned into glossolalia) and direct address to the "entity," e.g. "Who are you?" "Show yourself!" "Do you want to talk?" etc.


    On both occasions, we contacted a "teacher" who identified himself with the Syrian Rue plant. During our discussions with him (which were out loud; subvocalizing was ineffective) the teacher showed us visions, answered questions and provided specific health, emotional and psychological advice. The "voice in the head" phenomenon was not as strongly constituted as on high dose mushrooms. However, the vividness, clarity and understandability of the visionary illustrations which often accompanied the conversations were striking. Intense feelings (which shifted with the visions), changes in tone of voice and manner of speaking, including glossolalia (as recorded on tape) and strong contact highs were additional phenomena noted. The plant teacher had a definite personality which was strongly male, very friendly, humorous, with an interest in story-telling bordering on the garrulous.

    We have independent confirmation of contact phenomena by an associate who tried the same combination.


    Representative visions and raps included:
    Plant diagrams and information on watering, plant diseases and placement of the Syrian Rue plant in our garden.

    A diagram of a human heart, showing the auricular node and the neurology of the heartbeat.
    Art and artifacts from the Old European civilization C. 10,000 BC, e.g., Catal Huyuk; including pottery and statuary.

    A vision of the Goddess, holding the plant teacher and the human contactee intertwined in Her hands.
    An amazingly vivid and intense "movie" of the last scene from Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers, showing the destruction of an insect planet by human warriors.

    The ruins of Persepolis, then, upon request, Persepolis in its original polychrome, sunlit splendor.
    A vision of the plant teacher as a Mongol warlord, in golden armor, astride an armored and caparisoned woolly mammoth.

    A vision of Gracie's mother at Gracie's age, from the inside, that is, Gracie experienced her mother from her mother's point of view. Various pieces of psychological and relationship advice, including insights into both our childhoods. The visions faded about three hours after ingestion with the presence slowly fading in the fourth hour. The total trip lasts about 6 hours.


    This brew can be very intense and we could not recommend it to anyone who has not had significant experience with similar visionary states such as high dose mushrooms (5gm+, smoked DMT (40mg+) or mescaline (500mg+). Individual sensitivity to the beta-Carboline/DMT combination varies greatly, so we recommend that one "sneak-up" on the effects. While our nominal dose would be 10 grams of seeds with 40 mg of DMT, 30 mg of DMT will definitely allow for contact. Five grams of seeds with 20 mg of DMT seems to be the threshold dose. The intensity of the visual effects seems most dependent upon the dosage of DMT. The length of the effects and the depth of the contact seem most dependent upon the dose of Syrian Rue. Our personal preference is 7 grams of seeds with 30 mg of DMT, with a booster dose of 5 grams Rue and 20 mg DMT after one hour.


    The interaction of certain foods and drugs with the MAO inhibition brought on by beta-carbolines can be fatal!! The following substances must not be ingested within 48 hours before and after taking the brew: [A more complete list is available here] All amphetamines or related compounds, such as MDA, MDMA, phenylpropanolamine, ephedrine, etc. [add "smart drugs" to this category.]

    Any foods containing tyramine, or where enzymatic processes have been used: e.g., yoghurt, sour cream, aged cheeses, wines, especially port or Chianti, beer, fermented sausages (pepperoni), soy sauce, etc.. Certain other foods, including: shellfish, bananas, liver, avocados, broad beans, chocolate, coffee and others.

    This list is not all-inclusive. Please do further research before attempting to experiment! The dangerous interaction usually precipitates a hypertensive crisis and certain people are especially sensitive to the effects, particularly those with heart abnormalities or high blood pressure. We ourselves have had a few close calls while investigating the beta-Carbolines.  Good physical health and the advice of a "quo" physician are helpful, nevertheless, exercise caution if you become interested in these combinations.


    While our direct experience with B. caapi and DMT admixtures is very limited, we have these preliminary comments. The Syrian Rue experience is less heavy, and the entity more casual, garrulous and intimate. The caapi entity seems more formal, more experienced with human contact, especially in health and psychology, and seems to be a more powerful teacher.


    The chemical analysis of ayahuasca can be found in Stafford, Psychedelics Encyclopedia, and Schultes and Hofmann, The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens. A more detailed analysis of the brew is in McKenna, et. al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 10 (1984), 195-223.


    A full account of our various experiments with beta-Carbolines and DMT will be in our forthcoming book: Notes from Underground: Psychedelic Perspectives for the Next Millennium, which will be published by High Frontiers Press sometime early in 1992.

    We'd like to acknowledge the information and moral support provided by Dennis, Terence and Kat McKenna, which made it possible for us to structure the experiments so as to make contact on our first attempt. Finally, the plant teacher said that it would like to communicate with any human willing to take the brew. Stay High and Stay Free!

    Gracie and Zarkov
    Copyright © 1986 by Gracie and Zarkov productions. We believe that in a truly free society the price of packaged information would be driven down to the cost of reproduction and transmission. We, therefore, give blanket permission and encourage photocopy, quotation, reprint or entry into a database of all or part of our articles provided that the copier or quoter does not take credit for our statements!

    O.K., for all the poor souls who had to ingest those horrible seeds, here is an extraction than I think anyone on this newsgroup can do in their kitchen without blowing themselves up. From "The Alkaloids" Vol. II by Manske (p393). Printed without permission.


    "The crushed seeds of Peganum Harmala are covered with three times their weight of water containing 30 g of acetic acid per liter of water [white vinegar is about 50g / l or 5 %]. The seeds swell as they absorb the liquid and form a thick dough which is pressed after 2-3 days. The pressed seeds are once more treated as above with twice their weight of dilute acetic acid and, after maceration, the liquid is again pressed out. To the combined liquors, sodium chloride [that's table salt, man] (100g. / liter of liquid) is added to transform the acetates of harmine and harmaline into the hydrochlorides which are insoluble in cold sodium chloride solutions and are precipitated during cooling. The supernatant liquid is siphoned off, the crystalline residue filtered with suction and redissolved in hot water. Addition of sodium chloride to the filtered solution causes the precipitation of the hydrochlorides as a crystalline mush and this process is repeated until the hydrochlorides have acquired a yellow color (for the purposes of this newsgroup, once is enough). The final product is then recovered by filtration."

    The paper then goes on to describe the separation of harmine from harmaline, but this procedure is slightly more complicated and not necessary for most purposes.

    Pierre St Hilaire
    MIT Media Lab

    P.S. While this procedure is legal in the U.S. (where harmine and harmaline are currently unscheduled), it is illegal in Canada where harmine and harmaline are Schedule I.

    These are extremely potent alkaloids. Misuse of them can result in serious, even fatal, consequences. Read the FAQ about MAO inhibitors.

    [Quoting Quo]

    I've always had real good results using 30grams P. viridis powdered leaf with 4 grams ground Peganum Harmala per dose extracted with 100 ml of 30% lime juice three times. Bring to a rapid boil stirring vigorously. Combine the three extractions and reduce. Has never left anyone standing. I like my brew strong!

    By Nugdumper (Nugdumper) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 06:12 am:

    Ok, some questions

    1. Does anyone routinely use Syrian Rue when they eat shrooms? Is the increase in effects pretty noticeable?

    2. Do you use the extract or the seeds? If so, how do you dose and ingest?

    3. Where can one purchase SR extract?

    4. Anyone ever taken rue w/ shroom tea?

    It seems tea makes the trip a bit shorter, but more intense at the peak, at least for me. I'm curious to see if the anxiety would just be too much when the rue extract is used with tea.

    By quote: (Quote) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 12:12 pm:

    i've used rue.
    it roughly doubles the intensity and duration of the 'trip'.
    i just ground the seeds, 3-4 grams, in my coffee blender and wash it down with my shrooms.
    i got mine from
    as for tea, most drink it way too fast, and that's when anxiety can hit, as it can be like a rocket ride into space.
    slow down, and take 45 minutes or so to drink the tea, and you should have a more 'normal' experience.
    oh yes, very important.
    before you use rue, be sure to read the dietary restrictions.
    it's a maoi, and ingesting the wrong thing can send you to the emergency room.

    By patoban (Patoban) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 11:38 pm:

    try, they have seeds and a harmine extract.