Peganum harmala

Plant Name

Peganum harmala Linn.

Botanical Info

A glabrous perennial plant with numerous herbaceous forked-corymbose stems from a shrubby base, 75 -100 cm tall.


South Eu South Europe , Asia Minor,Middle east, South Russia, Central Asia, Iran, Pakistan, Tibet, India, Mexico, Western Asia, North and Latin America.
It is considered as a common cosmopolitan weed of waste places, occurring in arid and semi-arid regions up to 4000 m.

Chemical Content

The plan Plant contains flavonoids—kaempferol, quercetin and acacetin. Aerial parts and seeds contain
alkaloids—harmine, harmaline, peganine and harmalol (called harman alkaloids).
Other constituents:
Lipids (13.3%), 13-sitosterol and amyrin.

Traditional Use and Activity

Plant—emmenagogue, abortifacient. Seeds—narcotic, hypnotic, antispasmodic, anodyne and emetic; used in asthma, hiccough, colic, neuralgia, hysteria, dysmenorrhoea; used as abortifacient . Dried seeds constitute the drug Harmal of Indian medicine. Leaves and flowers are used for rheumatism and stomach problems. Seeds are used also as an anthelmintic.
The smoke is considered antiseptic and wounds are fumigated by burning seeds and leaves and letting the smoke pass over them.