Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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Syrian Rue

syrian_rue_seedsSyrian Rue is Uncontrolled in the United States.

Addictive Potential: None

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: None

Mechanism of Action: harmala alkaloids are MonoAmine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI)


Syrian Rue is also known as Peganum Harmala. It is a plant of the family Nitrariaceae, native from the eastern Mediterranean region east to India.

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 an entheogenic brew similar to Ayahuasca.

The active alkaloids of syrian rue seeds are the MAOI (MonoAmine Oxidase Inhibitor) compounds harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine (collectively known as harmala alkaloids).

In Turkey dried capsules from the Syrian Rue plant are strung and hung in homes or 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 or incense. It is used as an air and mind purifier, perhaps linked to its entheogenic properties. This Iranian practice dates to pre-Islamic Zoroastrian times.

Syrian Rue seeds are also what inspired the magical tales of flying carpets. The seeds were used as a dye in the process of making persian rugs. The rug makers stockpiled the seeds. As they were making the rugs, they were also traveling the cosmos on flying carpets.

Syrian Rue is currently legal to buy, sell, and possess in the United States.


When ingested orally, MAOIs inhibit the catabolism of dietary amines. Sufficient intestinal MAO-A inhibition can lead to hypertensive crisis, when foods containing tyramine are consumed (so-called “cheese syndrome”), or hyperserotonemia if foods containing tryptophan are consumed. The amount required to cause a reaction exhibits great individual variation and depends on the degree of inhibition, which in turn depends on dosage and selectivity.

The exact mechanism by which tyramine causes a hypertensive reaction is not well understood, but it is assumed that tyramine displaces norepinephrine from the storage vesicles. This may trigger a cascade in which excessive amounts of norepinephrine can lead to a hypertensive crisis. Another theory suggests that proliferation and accumulation of catecholamines causes hypertensive crises.

Foods to Avoid with MAOIs

Drugs to Avoid with MAOIs


Syrian Rue (Peganum Harmala)


Acute Toxicological Studies on the Extract of Iraqi Peganum Harmala in Rats

Toxicity of Peganum harmala: Review and a Case Report

Alkaloids of Peganum harmala

Alkaloids from the seeds of Peganum harmala showing antiplasmodial and vasorelaxant activities

An easy rapid metal mediated method of isolation of harmine and harmaline from Peganum harmala

High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography Densitometric Method for the Quantification of Harmine, Harmaline, Vasicine, and Vasicinone in Peganum harmala

A case of β-carboline alkaloid intoxication following ingestion of Peganum harmala seed extract

Collective poisoning with hallucinogenous herbal tea

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