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 eating whole syrian rue seeds or the prepared smoking extract were superior means of ingesting the MAOI.  The pure harmala extract works sublingual after 15-20 minutes of holding it under your tongue.  The smoke is effective for 30 minutes after the 2nd or 3rd large breath. Smoking 3 times in 30 minutes intervals with smoked DMT in between creates the effect which is Ayahuasca.  Smoking rue every 3 hours without any DMT does have a serotonin building antidepressant effect. The duration of an oral dose varies depending on the dose size and intervals which are wiser than large doses. Slowly build up MAO inhibition with small oral doses every 90 to 180 minutes. At that rate, the doses overlap so to say and they build, slowly.  Alternatively, eating 1 huge dose has an effect on the body that peaks 5 or 6 hours later. Take small steps for a more enjoyable experience.

Eating rue, without DMT, 2 grams is barely perceptible in effect.  Things may seem just a bit brighter while MAO is inhibited enough that DMT would be orally active 50 minutes after eating the rue and your endogenous DMT and serotonin are building. Eating a large dose will likely cause nausea, it depends on diet. You can eat rue, smoke it, or work with pure halmala alkaloids.

Re-searshing, I came across harmala 99% pure freebase and 95%’pure hydrochloride HCL salt two years after I had concluded the test, so I re-searched it again.  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 almost every mode of ingestion possible and came to the same conclusion again.  The smoking mixture which is the brown skin of the seed with the white pits removed, is most effective and most enjoyable.

Smoking the pure 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.  Pure rue seed skin burns curiously as smoke becomes smoother and more vapor like toward the last of the loaded pipe.  As the pure Syrian Rue seed skin burns, it forms a crust shell around the underlying unburnt powder causing the flame to go around the rue without burning it so you must crush your smoking 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.

Back to the basics, in the year 2021, where I am up with only whole Syrian Rue seeds no electricity or Nutribullet food processor which makes shaving the skin from the pit very simple and easily sifted with a fine metal screen collider to separate the white seed pits from the skin.  Working with whole seed is not very difficult. Load a pipe of whole seed, smoke until they pop, then scrape out the most burnt seeds that have been fully blackened. To further burn those popped and blackened seeds produces a harsher breath with less medicine. The process of manipulating the smoking material between every breath or two improves the experience.  This leads to the question of what is actually happening?  The alkaloids, ALL of them, vaporize. First they melt. It is possible that heat changed something.  The endogenous constituents of Syrian Rue are important β-carbolines in brain chemistry regarding neurogenesis and serotonin levels. 

After smoking 3 bowls in a new small pipe, enough resins collect for another breath of the finest smoking material. This caused me to try packing a glass tube with whole Syrian Rue seeds and warming the tube with a torch until you can inhale a thick cloud of very smooth vapor which has great effect.  The process is a delicate balance of controlling the temperature which will be held in different durations depending on the thickness of the glass. Ive burnt up so much butane that I’m switching to propane. Being pure vapor, I hold the thick cloud as long as i can, by then the glass cooled down slightly below vaporization temperature. At some point, you will have exhausted the goods from the pit which will eventually burn and you find the harsher smoke which is avoidable multiple ways depending on what you have available at the time.

I have also discovered that using a tobacco pipe can work well by filling the deep bowl to the top then smoke till they pop then scrape the most blackened seeds from the top.  Only smoke 1/2 or 1/3 of the bowl scraping off the popped seeds exhausted of medicine as you go.  The top half of the bowl contains enough seed for 2 or 3 smoke sessions.  Refill it at 1/2 because the seeds in the lower half act as a resin catch.  After smoking the top 1/2 which has been reloaded a few times the seeds on the bottom will be wet with medicine.  Put fresh resin catch seeds in the lower half then smoke your resin coated seed on top.  Neither tobacco nor marijuana requires such manipulation, and the pure seed skin smoking material  is especially kind smoke when it has been used to soak up a concentrated water extract made from whole seed and seeds mostly shaved of skin.

The smoke, or technically the vapor, is “better” than eating Syrian Rue and eating it is better than working with pure extracts derived from of it.  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 eating.

This is the most complete and accurate list of the known constituents of Syrian Rue that exists on the internet. Several of the alkaloids are known by various names listed in parentheses.  The new alkaloids discovered in 2017 received simple names and are listed very last

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.

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 merely dries the seeds so that the outermost layer of the seed comes off with little effort.  Do not burn the seeds – merely remove moisture. If the house smells wonderful because you have an oven full of seed, that’s too hot, you smell the medicine in the air.

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 few good breaths, theory suggests this is from increased neuroactivity even neurogenesis.  The overall effects are nice.  Eating Syrian Rue at very high doses takes me to what i call  “Rue Trails”.  They are pleasant, hard to explain, and difficult to obtain without nausea. High doses might not be the objective. Rue is effective at about 1/8 of the dose required to see these “Rue Trails”. There are no visual hallucinations from rue alone, even the “Trails” are not a state of hallucinations.  Things appear slightly brighter.

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 required for 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 and the bible mentions that Acacia is to be used to build the altar of incense. Frankincense works on GABA receptors like a valium, However, only very small amounts are tolerable with very subtle effect – best inhaled.  

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.  According to the Bible, a priest is consecrated after 7 days in the tabernacle with the Altar of Incense burning(Lev 8:33) with the stipulation that “No Strange Incense shall burn thereon”(Ex. 30:9). 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. oral dose – however we are Re-Searching this and other mysterious questions.