Also known as
Peganum harmala is a plant of the family Nitrariaceae, native from the eastern Mediterranean region east to India. It is also known as Wild Rue or Syrian Rue because of its resemblance to plants of the rue family.
Harmane, Harmine, Harmaline, Harmalol, Tetrahydroharmine
In Turkey Peganum harmala is called yüzerlik or üzerlik. Dried capsules from this plant are strung and hung in homes or vehicles to protect against "the evil eye." In Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, dried seeds mixed with other ingredients are placed onto red hot charcoal, where they explode with little popping noises, releasing a fragrant aroma that is wafted around the head of those afflicted by or exposed to the gaze of strangers. As this is done, an ancient prayer is recited. This prayer is said by Jews and Muslims as well as by Zoroastrians. This Persian practice dates to pre-Islamic, Zoroastrian times. In Iran, this ritual is sometimes performed in traditional restaurants, where customers are exposed to the eyes of strangers. Additionally, a red dye, "Turkey Red", from the seeds is often used in Western Asia to dye carpets. It is also used to dye wool. When the seeds are extracted with water, a yellow fluorescent dye is obtained. If they are extracted with alcohol, a red dye is obtained. The stems, roots and seeds can be used to make inks, stains and tattoos.
A much praised herb considered sacred by many different cultures with a variety of uses ranging from ceremonies to art, Peganum harmala is currently being investigated for potential anti-cancer and anti-bacterial qualities.
Syrian rue contains MAO inhibiting compounds. If consumed, these compounds pose a very serious risk if taken with or within close proximity to many different herbs, drugs, & supplements. Please heavily research and be very cautious with this herb.
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