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Peganum harmala is known since antiquity and its seeds have been used ritually and medicinally in Central Asia and the Middle East for probably a few millenia.
Its use has been associated with Soma, 'the drink of immortality' that was employed by the ancient Indo-Europeans to communicate with the divinity in sacred drunkenness. Pegan-ha has also been proposed as a candidate for the Zoroastrian drug "haoma".
The entheogene properties of Peganum harmala derive from MAO-inhibiting beta-carboline alkaloids.
b-carboline alkaloids stimulate the brain and may induce visual hallucinations.
In North-Western South America psychotropic drinks (ayahuasca brews) are prepared from several Banisteriopsis species that also contain b-carbolines. Because Peganum harmala is very rich in b-carbolines it can be used effectively for the preparation of ayahuasca-analogs; it can prolong and intensifiy tryptamine- and phenylethylamine reactions (DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, psilocybin, mescaline).
3 g seeds is a standard dose to induce MAO inhibition. Higher doses exhibit potent psychoactive effects.
Smoking Pegan-ha seeds gives some MAO inhibition and a mild, marijuana-like buzz.
Peganum harmala plays a important role as a magic protection against witchcraft, magic, spells. In Maghreb it is used in fumigations for therapeutic and ritual purifications, causing sometimes drunkenness, hallucinations and deep sleep in people who submit to such practices, individualy or collectively.
A Peganum harmala trip: Biblio (4) (5)
One experiences a state of physical relaxation, lightheadedness and very vivid visual images with the eyes closed. Time and space perception are seriously altered.
Autonomic changes: dilated pupils, nausea, tremor, retching, increased cardiac output and blood pressure and evelation of body temperature.
The initial effects include nausea, vomiting, increased blood pressure and heart rate, profuse sweat, dizziness and body tremors. During this initial period you may hear humming or buzzing noises and you may notice a wave-like movement of the environment. You may feel alternations of hot and cold, you may even experience the feeling of sinking together with the sensation of flight. These initial effects can be discomforting. They tend to produce anxiety and encourage a withdrawal from the external wold. You will probably perceive environmental sights and sounds, especially other persons, as disturbing objects and wish to avoid them. Seek a dark, quiet place where you can enjoy the hallucinatoy trane which follows. The hallucinatory trance consists of three successive stages of hallucinations.
You will know stage one when your sense of darkness is interrupted by bright flickers of light. These phosphene-based sensations first appear as colored dots, specks, stars or simple flowers. They give way to undulating lines, circles, grids, simple forms, abstract designs and multi-shaped geometrical patterns. Relax and enjoy a closed-eye contemplation of the floating, ever-changing pattern of these little images.
In stage two the abstract designs of stage one give way to slowly moving masses of shapes and colors. Larger shapes take form in a slowly developing pattern of hallucinatory images. These images acquir personal character as your unconscious mind projects your fears and desires upon the shapes and clos of your visions. Do not be alarmed if the horizon seems to collapse in a bright flash of light r i your hallucinations turn into frightening animals. Huge birds of prey, large jaguars and snakes are common hallucinations with harmala alkaloids. Observe and enjoy the bright colored imagery as it changes continually in a flowing transformation of dream-like sequences.
Hours later, in stage three, this panorama of vivid fantasy fades into the slow movement of shapes and colors. These images disappear, in turn, as the last stage of the hallucinatory trance wears off. If your harmala experiment is part of a group experience, you may be surprised by the unusual similarity in the content of each other's hallucinations. The harmala alkaloids tend to produce collective hallucinations - especially archetypal imagery - among group members. This access to "collective unconscious" is such an extraordinary effect that the harmala alkaloids have earned the name "telepathines".