This is the short list of the most common foods that conflict with Syrian Rue. Avoid aged cheeses such as Parmesan, Chedder, Blue Cheese, Swiss, Gouda, Feta, Brie, Gruyere, and Emmental. Cheeses such as American cheese, Cottage Cheese, and fresh Ricotta are not aged and need not be avoided. Avoid aged, smoked or preserved meat like Beef Jerky, Pepperoni, Mortadella, Salami, Shrimp paste, Pickled herrings, or salted Cod. Do not eat raw yeast, nutritional yeast, or any preservatives such as MSG which is a Yeast Extract. Do not eat fermented tofu or soy. Fermented soy is found in some vitamin supplements in large amounts.
The substance to avoid is tyramine. Very small amounts of tyramine will not make you nauseous or give you a headache/migrane headache, but large amounts will. Tyramine is poison to everyone, but the levels of tolerance to tyramine vary from person to person and from time to time. The berries of the mistletoe plant contain poisonous amounts of tyramine to all people at all times. Although Syrian Rue is an antidote to other poisons, it lowers your tolerance for tyramine causing you to become more sensitive to it. Poisonous tyramine is found more in old, mishandled, or damaged food because many food sources contain the beneficial amino acid tyrosine. Tyramine is created by bacteria that decarboxylate the tyrosine into poisonous tyramine. It allegedly can be created by bacteria in your own bowel after eating foods rich in tyrosine, it definitely can be created by bacteria before it enters your body.
Begin digression on Cyanide:
On the topic of poison, consider cyanide which, without an antidote, causes death by asphyxiation in large amounts and some amount of cellular death in small amounts. Corn, sudan grass, sorghums, cherry, apple, broccoli, and peach may accumulate large quantities of cyanide – mostly in leaves and seeds. 3.7 pounds of Lima beans contains a lethal dose of cyanide. The accumulation of cyanide in certain plants occurs when they are injured or drought stressed. The good news about cyanide poisoning is that the simple antidote is garlic. Garlic and Shallots do some magic to mineral sulfur making it water soluble so that the presence of sulfur in your blood will react with cyanide, destroying it. Garlic is essential prior to drinking Morning Glory tea.
A cyanide ion combines with sulfur to form thiocyanate. Curiously the hepatic enzyme, rhodanese (properly called thiosulfate:cyanide sulfurtransferase), also converts cyanide to the far less toxic thiocyanate. An enzyme of the rhodanese superfamily is ubiquitous to all life just as Dimethyltryptamine and Water are found in all living organisms.
Garlic and Shallots are natures silver bullet against cyanide which occurs in over 100 plants. The biosynthesis rate of endogenous rhodanese enzymes is coded in your DNA – just like your MAO and the many other metabolic enzymes that you naturally biosynthesize. Your own enzymes will manage small amounts of cyanide. For large amounts of cyanide in the body – you will need an antidote.
You COULD ingest more rhodanese enzymes that were cultured in large quantities. Microorganisms are generally used as sources for industrial enzyme production. The enzyme Lactase, which aids in the digestion of milk, is produced with Escherichia coli. The Microorganism Sulfobacillus sibiricus is used to create rhodanese enzymes. Sulfur in your blood, obtained predominantly by eating Garlic (Kale has some sulfur also) does the SAME thing as pharmacutical rhodanese enzymes. They both destroy cyanide, turning it into thiocyanate. Sulfobacillus sibiricus sure seems silly when we can just eat Garlic.
Hydroxocobalamin, a manmade analog of Vitamin B12 called B12a, will nonenzymatically react cyanide into non-toxic cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is a form of Vitamin B12 and even more ideal than creating useless (and mostly harmless) thiocyanate in your blood. Hydroxocobalamin is a more effective form of Vitamin B12 for many people, as it is more readily available in the body.
End of digression on cyanide.
Tyramine is also created by plants – not just bacteria.
You dont want to become a religious nut about your diet and abstain from a mostly harmless dash of cinnamon or from ALL tree nuts in an attempt to eliminate ALL tyramine from your diet when your body can metabolize a little. Brazil Nuts are far worse than Almonds or Cashews which I frequently combine with Syrian Rue to no ill effect. Avoid large quantities of: spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, italian flat (romano) beans, pineapple, dates, snow peas, avocados, raw onion, papaya, eggplants, figs, beets, olives, broccoli, red plums, kim chee, prunes, raspberries, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, coconut, ginseng, licorice, cinnamon, anise, curry powder, hot paprika, nutmeg, beer and wine.
Some of the aforementioned foods are safe in small quantities, but they are all known to have some tyramine. On a mild dose of Syrian Rue I ate half of a large papaya and experienced no nausea or sickness of any kind, on a very large dose I do not experiment. For example there are many varieties of spinach, some contain low levels of tyramine that will not be a problem unless you eat too much of it. Be careful with spinach. Some varieties have a high tyramine level.
Alcohol does not conflict with Syrian Rue – yeast in beer and wine does. A slice or two of FRESH yeast raised bread is safe because most yeast dies during baking, unleavened bread is perfectly safe you could eat a pound of it.
Strawberry seeds contain tyramine. Do not eat a large bowl full of strawberries with Syrian Rue. I discovered that wild strawberry is much smaller and the seeds are not embedded in the fruit. It has a layer of seed that can be easily peeled revealing a tyramine free berry inside. Just like a banana is 100% tyramine free – but there is tyramine in the strings under the banana peel – so peel it proper and complete.
Food that is ideal is 100% tyramine free:
Fresh chicken, eggs, fish, beef, white bread, wheat bread, rye bread, English muffins, crackers, bagels, hot and cold cereal, cream of wheat, rice, cooked dried beans, peas, and lentils, all pasta, apple, banana, blueberries, melons, spaghetti, egg noodles, rice, corn, asparagus, carrots, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, potatoes, cooked onion, American cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese, eggs, canned salmon or tuna fish, tuna salad, milk: whole, 2% or skim, salt, chives, sugar, maple syrup, honey, and salad dressing made from olive oil and lemon juice. Baby kale can be cooked or in a salad.
Beware of Yeast Extracts, (the yeast of the Pharisees). Yeast extract is the common name for various forms of processed yeast products that are used as preservatives. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the most well-known yeast extract. MSG side effects range from headaches and nausea to heart palpitations or chest pain in about 14% of Americans. Syrian Rue amplifies the effects of yeast extract poisons.
Due to the common knowledge that MSG is bad for your health, corporate chemists/scientists have created other yeast extracts with lesser known names. The general method for making yeast extracts for food products is to add salt to a suspension of yeast, making the solution hypertonic, which leads to the cells shriveling up. This triggers autolysis, wherein the yeast’s digestive enzymes break their own proteins down into simpler compounds, a process of self-destruction. The dying yeast cells are then heated to complete their breakdown, after which the husks (yeast with thick cell walls that would give poor texture) are separated. When consumed with an MAOI such as Syrian Rue, it will raise your blood pressure and may produce nausea/vomiting in some cases.
Yeast extracts are found in various condiments and seasonings and should be avoided, those to be avoided includes but are not limited to bouillon cubes/powder, meat tenderizers, dry packaged and canned soups, gravy, sauces, stew mixes, instant soup dry powder bases, Soy and Teriyaki Sauce and sourdough bread. Some vitamin supplements contain brewer’s yeast or fermented soy and should be avoided.
Yeast and yeast extracts and their synthesized relatives, aka “preservatives” are poison. Their poisonous effects are amplified by an MAOI. Most popular eye drops contain them in concentrate unless they state that they are preservative free. This is why eye drops are poison when ingested internally – like eating berries from the berries of the mistletoe plant. I experimented with eye drops and when used as directed externally do not conflict with the MAOI that is in the blood.
Technically, Syrian Rue is a reversible MAOI also called a RIMA. Alternatively, pharmaceutical MAOIs are irreversible which means they covalently bind to the MAO enzyme rendering it permanently deactivated and cannot be restored until the body replaces the enzyme through new enzyme synthesis. The rate of MAO synthesis occurs according to DNA codes. Reversible MAOIs like Syrian Rue can be displaced from the MAO enzymes so that the risk from tyramine is significantly reduced. Many sources of information referring to general MAOI food interactions are specifically with regard to non-selective irreversible pharmaceutical MAOIs such as Parnate and Nardil, applying somewhat less or not at all to Syrian Rue which is much safer than pharmaceuticals. RIMAs are displaced by tyramine on the MAO enzyme therefore tyramine can be metabolized so a hypertensive crisis is not easily encountered using Syrian Rue like it is using pharmaceutical MAOIs. Using Syrian Rue as an MAOI, tyramine is more likely to produce nausea than a hypertensive crisis.
There are many safe foods. These are a few of the GOOD foods that will prepare your body chemistry for some GOOD tea and a GOOD experience. Fresh chicken, fish, and beef is GOOD. Eat perishable foods within two days after purchase. Go to the market often. Eat fresh white bread, wheat bread, rye bread, English muffins, crackers, bagels, hot and cold cereal, cream of wheat, rice, cooked dried beans, peas, and lentils, all pasta, apple, banana, blueberries, melons, spaghetti, egg noodles, rice, corn, asparagus, carrots, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, potatoes, cooked onion, American cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese, eggs, canned salmon or tuna fish, tuna salad, milk: whole, 2% or skim, salt, chives, sugar, maple syrup, honey, and salad dressing made from olive oil and lemon juice. Baby kale can be cooked or in a salad(but no Spinich( and no vinegar salad dressing)) Properly canned or frozen FRESH food is GOOD if it is eaten immediately after opening or thawing it. Eggs must also be eaten immediately. A slice or two of FRESH yeast raised bread is safe because most yeast dies during baking, unleavened bread is perfectly safe you could eat a pound of it. Eat the energy of living foods not the energy of decaying death. Some information sources say “all nuts have tyramine”, I do not know about that, because several handfuls of (Pistachios, Cashews, Almonds, and Pecans) feel safe to me.
I used Syrian Rue many 100’s of times between 2014 and 2017 without experiencing sickness. It is not very difficult to eat a Syrian Rue compliant diet and with all of this information available, bad experiences will be rare but not altogether eliminated. Even with dietary knowledge – accidents happen. On one occasion I ate a large amount of processed de-shelled sunflower seeds that contained tyramine. Although Sunflower seeds contain no tyramine, they can spoil. Although I opened the bag and it was within the freshness date – that bag was spoiled and contained enough tyramine to make me sick.
Do not eat anything other than very fresh food. No dried fruit, old bananas, banana bread, and just about all prepared packaged ‘meals’( canned, frozen, or dry packaged ) contain tyramine. Products should not be used if they are close to the expiration date.
To guarantee dietary success you might to choose to eat nothing for 24 hours prior to eating Syrian Rue. THE VERY BEST THING TO EAT IS NOTHING, otherwise follow the diet and be strict if you are using large doses of Syrian Rue. Drink plenty of GOOD water.
Diabetics: Eat a small piece of bread and fruit juice 60-90 minutes before taking the Rue and keep fruit juice handy. A 2007 study suggests that Syrian Rue acts like thiazolidinediones, however, harmine does not cause significant weight gain or hepatic lipid accumulation. Syrian Rue is used to treat diabetes. Type 2 diabetics might be able to achieve a reversal of their condition from the harmine in Syrian Rue. Type 1 diabetes patients are able to produce healthy new pancreatic beta cells.
Pregnant Women: Syrian rue contains uterotonics. You should definitely not use Syrian Rue in later stages of pregnancy as it may induce labor. Extremely large doses(50 to 150grams) will cause an abortion due to the release of prostaglandins. Clearly the best advice is to wait until after you have the baby.
Pharmaceutical irreversible MAOIs combined with certain other medicines is a certain recipe for hypertensive crisis and possible death. Although the dangers of a reversible MAOI like Syrian Rue are far less – they still exist. Do not combine with SSRI antidepressants, decongestants, dramamine, antihistamines, or cough syrup with DXM, or any amphetamines/stimulants (which include MDA, MDMA, phenylpropanolamine, ephedrine, pseudo-ephedrine, cocaine, and caffeine (soda, coffee, Excedrin, tea)), Ginseng found in energy drinks.
Wait at least 3 weeks after taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) before starting with MAOIs. This includes antidepressants such as the herb kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) and pills such as paroxetine (Seroxat), citalopram (Cipramil), fluvoxamine (Fevarin) and sertraline (Zoloft). It’s recommended to wait 6 weeks after fluoxetine (Prozac), as it has been blamed for at least 1 death in combination with Ayahuasca which is a reversible MAOI just like Syrian Rue.
I have seen Syrian Rue successfully mixed with Xanax and Klonopin resulting in no negative interactions.
With specific regard to MDMA, which most information says can be lethal when mixed with an MAOI, when in fact more specifically, inhibition of MAO-B protects against MDMA-induced neurotoxicity in the striatum. Irreversible inhibition of MAO-A can be lethal and should not be mixed with MDMA. Syrian Rue is reversible and possibly can be mixed with small dose MDMA which will potentate the MDMA effect. There are mixed reports about combining Rue with small dose MDMA so proceed with extreme caution or do not proceed until more is known. One kind of MAOI, MAO-B, is helpful for MDMA users and irreversible MAO-A inhibition is unquestionably harmful when used at the same time as MDMA.
Although MAOI related deaths do happen from drug interactions (not from food interactions), I have concluded that the dangers of using Syrian Rue as an MAOI are mostly overstated in an abundance of copy-paste-precaution that does not apply. Overstating dangers convolutes the truth. High levels of tyramine can cause blood vessels to narrow. This can lead to very high blood pressure, a severe headache, and possibly bleeding – a situation that possibly cannot happen with a reversible MAOI like Syrian Rue or only at very high doses. On lower MAOI doses you will find that many of the forbidden foods are safe in small quantities – as you increase the amount of Syrian Rue you take, you will discover that the dietary guidelines do become more important to follow and that they are not altogether irrelevant. In the spirit of caution in abundance, you should keep foods handy that are known to lower blood pressure in the event that you accidently ingested enough tyramine to make you uncomfortable. Extra-virgin olive oil, Oregano, Hawthorn, Cardamom, Basil, Calamus Root, and Wandering Jew are all medicines that lower blood pressure. 2 grams is a dose, 7 grams is a very high dose. 50 to 100 grams will render you unconscious and is commonly used as an an effective emmenagogue and abortificient agent in some cultures.
I have carefully experimented with mixing the forbidden stimulants with Syrian Rue – start with caffeine. The dangers of being slightly under stimulant may be overstated for combination with Syrian Rue when it is the irreversible pharmaceutical MAOIs that more commonly have more danger associated with stimulant combinations . Everybody has unique personal body chemistry, so they need to figure out for themselves what is comfortable and safe. Caffeine is definitely potentiated proportionally to the MAOI dose- doubling its stimulant effect and increasing the length of its effects. Many information sources state that caffeine is forbidden, however in light of the fact that Theobroma Cacao contains an MAOI and caffeine, the mixture of these two medicines is a natural powerful combination that can be mixed carefully.
Note: Contrary to many information sources, Gin, Vodka, Rum, and Bourbon contain no tyramine so it is perfectly safe to mix a drink. You should not drink beer or wine with Syrian Rue due to the yeast in brewing however you can mix alcohol with Syrian Rue. Small amounts of alcohol were neither toxic nor had a magnified effect when tested on myself – still I generally do not mix them. Interestingly, when attempting to perform extractions of pure harmine/harmaline from Syrian Rue using either Methyl or Ethyl alcohols creates an inactive red harmala as opposed to an active water extracted yellow harmala. This same reaction could be happening in the body although that is pure speculation. More study needs to be done to compare various extraction methods.