I was so intrigued by Syrian Rue that I experimented with many forms of extracting and ingesting it.  I extracted the pure harmala freebase for the first time in 2014.  I ingested, smoked/vaped,  insulated, and tested the harmala sublingually..  I finally came to the semi-conclusion that the tea and the properly prepared smoking extract were superior means of ingesting the MAOI.  The pure harmala freebase extract works sublingual after 15-20 minutes of holding the extract under your tongue.  The smoke is normally mildly effective after the second breath – you need to smoke more for proper MAO inhibition lasting about an hour.  The duration of an oral dose varies depending on the dose size, 8 to 12 hours is common– 30 hours is a large dose, and presumably doses can be higher yet with a diet nearing perfection.

I had concluded that smoke, or eating gelcaps packed with the smoking material are more effective than using pure harmala crystal extract.  I came across harmala freebase tested at 99% pure two years after I had concluded the test, so I re-searched it again.  I also obtained the alkaloids hydrochloride salt which is harmala HCL.  This gave me an opportunity to reassess my earlier findings without having to do another harmala extraction myself and I was testing with known purity.  I tested every mode of ingestion possible other than suppository with both forms of pure harmala.  I came to the same conclusion again.  The smoking mixture, as I prepare it, is most effective and most enjoyable.

Smoking the brown skin of the seed without the white core is far more pleasant than inhaling the fats and oils found in the center of the seed.  It burns curiously as smoke becomes smoother and more vapor like toward the last of the loaded pipe.  As the Syrian Rue seed skin burns it forms a crust forming a shell around the unburnt powder causing the flame to go around the rue without burning it so you must crush your smpoking material after each hit.  I have also discovered that a torch lighter works much better than a Bic lighter.  After just 2 to 3 breaths a calm sense of well-being sets in, which makes for a great set and setting anywhere.

In the Tihkal for harmaline it mentions that the effects of pure harmaline by itself, differ from the effects of Peganum harmala seeds, just by themselves. “They are very different from one-another.”  I concur with Shulgin’s observation, and add that the effects from the smoke are different than the effects from eathing the smoking material.

This is the most complete and accurate list of the known constituents of Syrian Rue that exists on the internet as of 2020:

The Beta-carboline alkaloids: harmine (telepathine, yageine, banisterine), isoharmine, acetylnorharmine, norharmine (tetrahydro-beta-carboline), harmaline(dihydroharmine,DHH,harmidine), harmalol, harman, harmalacidine(HMC), harmalidine and tetrahydroharmine(THH, leptaflorine), isopeganine, pegamine, dipeginol, dipegene

The Quinazolidine alkaloids: desoxypeganine, deoxyvasicine, vasicine (peganine), vasicinone, vascinol, peganol, peganidine, desoxypeganine, deoxypeganine(oxypeganine), isopeganidine. dipegine (the first dimeric quinazolidine alkaloid), vascinones

The Glucoalkaloids: ruine, dihydroruine
The Anthraquinones: peganone1, peganone2
The Sterols : kryptogenin, lanosterol, b-sitosterol
The Flavonoids: deacetylpeganetin, peganetin, kaempferol, quercetin, acacetin
Also contains: fatty acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, protein, and minerals.

Interestingly, harmaline, harmine, and norharmane are endogenous, they are naturally present in the human body.

In 2017 mankind learns of 10 newly discovered alkaloids in Peganum harmala.

After much, much – very much research i can publish onto the internet, the most accurate and comprehensive list of all the alkaloids known to exist in Syrian Rue.  Several of the alkaloids are known by various names.  The new alkaloids got simple names.


Investigation of the alkaloids from Peganum harmala seeds yielded two pairs of unique racemic pyrroloindole alkaloids, (±)-peganines A-B (1-2); two rare thiazole derivatives, peganumals A-B (3-4); six new ß-carboline alkaloids, pegaharmines F-K (5-10); and 12 known analogues.  Their structures, including stereochemistry, were elucidated through spectroscopic analyses, quantum chemistry calculations, and single-crystal X-ray diffraction.

J. Nat. Prod., 2017, 80 (2), pp 551–559
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b01146  Pub Date: January 27, 2017
The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy

Pure harmaline is only part of the medicine.  Vasicine is an expectorant and antitussive(cough medicine) and bronchodilator treating bronchitis and asthma by dilating the airways and improves overall lung functions.  That makes the remaining alkaloids more easily inhaled.

Syrian Rue smoke is used for the treatment of catarrhal diseases in the sinus cavity. Experiments prove that the smoke stops bacteria reproduction.  It is bacteriostatic for the bacterial strains responsible for typhoid fever, dysentery, and other diseases.

P. K. Alimbaeva and A. V. Goncharova, Wild-Growing Medicinal Plants of Kirgisia , Frunze (1971), p. 88; I. Isamukhamedov and N. Sharakhimov, in: The Pharmacology of Alkaloids and Their Derivatives , Tashkent (1972), p. 187.

Smoke from the seeds has been shown to kill algae, bacteria, parasites and molds.  The smoke was studied using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy analysis.

Degruyter Volume 60, Issue 9-10 (Oct 2005)
Ahmad R. Shahverdi, Hamid R. Monsef-Esfahani, Bahman Nickavar, Lila Bitarafan, Samira Khodaee, and Narges Khoshakhlagh

If you wish to prepare the seeds to smoke (or to get the most out of them) – grind the seeds against a metal screen to collect the brown powder that falls off.  Sift the powder through a fine steel mesh kitchen colander to filter out chunks, stems, and other impurities.  Lightly toasting the seeds before grinding them significantly simplifies the process.  It was discovered in 2017 that too much heat during during toasting significantly reduced the effects when it was ingested.  Toasting essentially dries the seeds so that the outermost layer of the seed comes off the dried/toasted seeds with little effort.  Do not burn the seeds – merely remove moisture.

Smoke is more bioavailable than eating.  This i know.  It makes sense because its a more direct path to the blood.  The experience is similar but not the same between eating and smoking.  The rapid onset of effect, at a good and proper dose can cause whats known as an MAOI twitch with a dozen good breaths.  The overall effects are nice.  Eating the rue has never taken me to the MAOI twitch without smoke also – eating Syrian Rue at very high doses takes me to what i call  “Rue Trails”.  They are unlike “Trails” from LSD or Mushrooms.  They are pleasant, hard to explain, and difficult to obtain without nausea.

I have found that using a small glass jar to grind the seeds against the screen colander will shave off the outer skin.  The smokable powder is caught under the screen.  If you don’t smoke, you can put that powder into gelcaps to consume it without tasting it.    After the seeds have had most of the skin scraped off, the seed with some skin remaining is perfect for a water (or alcohol) extract, which will almost thoroughly devoid the seed of all remaining harmala (without needlessly crushing the pit of the seed).

Alternatively, put the dry seed into a high speed food processor, then sift the powder from the pit.

In my earlier experiments with Syrian Rue I only drank it because the preparation is far easier than smoking it.  Smoking Syrian Rue has several advantages – the effect is immediate, dose is smaller compared to dose sizes for an equivalent effect via oral ingestion, and effects are shorter in duration than when orally consumed.  Additionally, the dietary restrictions are more relaxed when the MAOI does not pass through the stomach.  Smoke the Rue until feeling its relaxing effects.  The small amount of harmala present in your 5.5 liters of blood, after smoking it, is effective because it is concentrated between the lungs and the brain. The brevity of the effect is likely the dilution of the concentration as your blood continues to circulate and distribute it evenly until it is the equivalent of a sub-threshold oral dose.  Smoking it multiple times in 20 minutes intervals with a walk in between smoke sessions to circulate your blood causes the pleasant effects to be noticeable much longer after your final smoke.

Syrian Rue Smoke.jpg

Syrian Rue tea glows extremely bright under a black light, in fact it is so bright that even your urine and saliva will glow after you drink it.  Your tongue and lips glow as well – only under a black light.  That is Relatively irrelevant like the fact that Einsteinium glows blue in the dark.


Einstein has nothing to do with Syrian Rue, but he smokes a pipe and sticks his tongue out for pictures like I do.  His pupils are suspiciously dilated.   Dropout pupils open schools.

Many ancient history texts document that tents or temples were used to inhale psychoactive incenses for the purpose of altering consciousness.  Jewish history records that Acacia was used in ritual.  In the Himalayas and in African history,  inhaling smoke from Syrian rue seeds  is used as a cleansing magical incense and to enter a trance state.  The smoke of Peganum harmala seeds is traditionally used in Iran as a disinfectant agent to kill algae, bacteria, intestinal parasites and molds.  In 2005 smoke from Syrian Rue was studied using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy analysis and its ancient claim as a fumigation disinfectant was verified. Degruyter Volume 60, Issue 9-10 (Oct 2005)

The smoked effect is different than the ingested effect.  I expected that effectual difference was due to the difficulty in matching the inhaled vs. ingested dose – however we are Re-Searching this and other mysterious questions.