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Peganum Harmala

Peganum Harmala or Esfand, also known as Harmala, is a perennial plant of African origin, mainly grown in the Middle East (Iran) and in parts of South Asia mainly in India and Pakistan. It is also known as Syrian rue and Wild rue. It grows to about 2.5 feet – 1 feet tall and is adversely known for its various uses.


One of the main uses of Harmala includes the extraction of dyes. The seeds of the plant are believed to release a red dye, called the “Turkey Red”, often used to dye carpets in Western carpets. Found vehemently in the lustrous mountains of Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Kashmir, prominently in Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley, Harmala also has some evident medicinal values.


Being a medicinal plant, Harmala is used in various Ayurveda medicines. The seeds especially the dried seeds of the plant, leaves, bark, and roots of the plant have high medicinal potentialities. Analytical studies on the chemical composition of Harmal demonstrate that the beta-carboline alkaloids such as Harmalol, Harmaline and harmine are the reason for the medical use of this plant in various Ayurvedic medicines.


The Harmala plant shows certain therapeutic properties like the stimulating action on the motor tracts of the central nervous system and cerebrum. Earlier, this plant was used as an aphrodisiac and a purifier. With all these properties, it has anti-bacterial properties as well.


Other Benefits of the Harmala Herb

  • Effective in providing relief in remittent and intermittent fevers. Also helps in curing chronic malaria.
  • Helps in curing Asthma.
  • Effectively eliminates tapeworm infestations. The alkaloid harmaline, present in the herb shows anthelmintic properties.
  • Helps in reducing sleeplessness and Insomnia, with its narcotic properties.
  • The plant is evidently effective in curing difficult and painful menstruation and helps to regulate menstrual periods.
  • It influences the secretin of breast milk in lactating mothers.
  • Highly effective in the cure of laryngitis or the inflammation of the larynx.
  • A paste of the roots of the plant with mustard oil helps to kill head lice when applied externally.


With so many properties and benefits, the dosage and the proper use of the herb should be looked into. Over dosage may lead to poison and show severe reactions on the nervous system. Therefore, the correct dosage of the drugs made from this herb should always be kept in mind.

Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies use these seeds and its oil to make their products.


For more info about this amazing seeds we refer you to the National library of medicine website.

Please click on the link.            National library of medicine

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