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Peganum harmala, Peganum (seed)

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    Peganum harmala

    Origin: Morocco

    Peganum is found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In Iran it has a long history accompanying medicine.

    In Morocco, where these seeds come from, its name is Harmel and is also used to ward off evil spirits (jinns) and witchcraft in general.

    Peganum harmala is an inhibitor of MAO (Monoamine oxidase)

    Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that degrades 20% of dopamine in the brain once it is used. So avoiding this degradation means that Dopamine will still continue its effect on the brain. Its now recognized effect is a powerful (the most powerful) neuro-protective.

    Peganum harmala should be used with caution, there may be undesirable effects depending on the sensitivity of each person:

    Neurosensory symptoms, visual hallucination, bradycardia

    hypotension, agitation, tremor, ataxia, abortion, vomiting.

    More than 400 studies since the 1980s demonstrate interest in this plant with its particular virtues.


    Various pharmacological activities,  carminative, galactagogue, diuretic, emmenagogue, antithrombotic and analgesic. In modern herbal medicine, P. harmala has demonstrated numerous medicinal effects, including cardiovascular, neurological, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antineoplasmic, antiproliferative, gastrointestinal, and antidiabetic.


    Harmine, hamaline, 

    Indications from studies 

    -Alzheimer (1, 2, )

    -Insulin resistance (2, )

    -Prevents the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons (3, )

    1 . Mina CN, Farzaei MH, Gholamreza A. Medicinal properties of Peganum harmala L. in traditional Iranian medicine and modern phytotherapy: a review. J Tradit Chin Med. 2015 Feb;35(1):104-9. doi: 10.1016/s0254-6272(15)30016-9. PMID: 25842736.

    2 . Saleh RA, Eissa TF, Abdallah DM, Saad MA, El-Abhar HS. Peganum harmala enhanced GLP-1 and restored insulin signaling to alleviate AlCl3-induced Alzheimer-like pathology model. SciRep. 2021 Jun 8;11(1):12040. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-90545-4. PMID: 34103557; PMCID: PMC8187628.

    3 . Rezaei M, Nasri S, Roughani M, Niknami Z, Ziai SA. Peganum Harmala L. Extract Reduces Oxidative Stress and Improves Symptoms in 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Parkinson's Disease in Rats. Iran J Pharm Res. 2016 Winter;15(1):275-81. PMID: 27610168; PMCID: PMC4986102.

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