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Medicinal properties of Peganum harmala L. in traditional Iranian medicine and modern phytotherapy: A review



To review the pharmacological activities of Peganum harmala L. (P. harmala, Nitrariaceae) in traditional Iranian medicine (TIM) and modern phytotherapy. Opinions of TIM and modern phytotherapy about safety and acceptable dosage of this plant are discussed. Various medical properties of P. harmala were collected from important TIM references and added to scientific reports derived from modern medical databases like PubMed, Scirus, ScienceDirect and Scopus. The main medicinal part of the plant is the seed. In TIM resources, this plant possesses various Pharmacological activities such as carminative, galactagogue, diuretic, emmenagogue, antithrombotic and analgesic. In modern phytotherapy, P. harmala demonstrated numerous medicinal effects including cardiovascular, neurologic, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antineoplasmic, antiproliferative, gastrointestinal and antidiabetic effects. Adverse events such as neuro-sensorial symptoms, visual hallucination, bradycardia, hypotension, agitation, tremors, ataxia, abortion and vomiting cause people to use this plant cautiously. P. harmala is contraindicated during pregnancy, due to its abortive and mutagenic activities. Because of increasing the expression of CYP1A2, 2C19, and 3A4 and inhibition of monoamine oxidase, the pharmacokinetic parameters of drugs which are mainly metabolized by these enzymes may be affected by P. harmala. The medicinal properties declared for this plant in TIM are compared with those showed in modern phytotherapy. Some of the TIM properties were confirmed in modern phytotherapy like emetic and analgesic activities and some have not been evaluated in modern phytotherapy such as its therapeutic effects on paralysis, epilepsy and numbness. Finally, the current review provides the evidence for other researchers to use TIM properties of P. harmala as an efficacious natural drug. Further preclinical and clinical studies for adequate evaluating safety and therapeutic efficacy are recommended.
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© 2015 JTCM. All rights reserved.
Medicinal properties of Peganum harmala L. in traditional Iranian
medicine and modern phytotherapy: a review
Mina Cheraghi Niroumand, Mohammad Hosein Farzaei, Gholamreza Amin
Mina Cheraghi Niroumand, Department of Traditional
Pharmacy, Faculty of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University
of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417653761, Iran
Mohammad Hosein Farzaei, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kerman-
shah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah
6734667149, Iran; Department of Traditional Pharmacy, Fac-
ulty of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sci-
ences, Tehran 1417653761, I ran
Gholamreza Amin, Department of Pharmacognosy, School
of Pharmacy and Medicinal Plants Research Center, Tehran
University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417653761, Iran
Correspondence to: Dr. Gholamreza Amin, Department
of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Medicinal
Plants Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Scienc-
es, Tehran 1417653761, Iran.
Telephone: +98-21-66482609
Accepted: February 16, 2014
OBJECTIVE: To review the pharmacological activi-
ties of Peganum harmala L. (P. harmala, Nitrariace-
ae) in traditional Iranian medicine (TIM) and mod-
ern phytotherapy.
METHODS: Opinions of TIM and modern phyto-
therapy about safety and acceptable dosage of this
plant are discussed. Various medical properties of P.
harmala were collected from important TIM refer-
ences and added to scientific reports derived from
modern medical databases like PubMed, Scirus, Sci-
enceDirect and Scopus.
RESULTS: The main medicinal part of the plant is
the seed. In TIM resources, this plant possesses vari-
ous Pharmacological activities such as carminative,
galactagogue, diuretic, emmenagogue, antithrom-
botic and analgesic. In modern phytotherapy, P. har-
mala demonstrated numerous medicinal effects in-
cluding cardiovascular, neurologic, antimicrobial,
insecticidal, antineoplasmic, antiproliferative, gas-
trointestinal and antidiabetic effects. Adverse
events such as neuro-sensorial symptoms, visual
hallucination, bradycardia, hypotension, agitation,
tremors, ataxia, abortion and vomiting cause peo-
ple to use this plant cautiously. P. harmala is con-
traindicated during pregnancy, due to its abortive
and mutagenic activities. Because of increasing
the expression of CYP1A2, 2C19, and 3A4 and inhi-
bition of monoamine oxidase, the pharmacokinet-
ic parameters of drugs which are mainly metabo-
lized by these enzymes may be affected by P. har-
CONCLUSION: The medicinal properties declared
for this plant in TIM are compared with those
showed in modern phytotherapy. Some of the TIM
properties were confirmed in modern phytothera-
py like emetic and analgesic activities and some
have not been evaluated in modern phytotherapy
such as its therapeutic effects on paralysis, epilepsy
and numbness. Finally, the current review provides
the evidence for other researchers to use TIM prop-
erties of P. harmala as an efficacious natural drug.
Further preclinical and clinical studies for adequate
evaluating safety and therapeutic efficacy are rec-
© 2015 JTCM. All rights reserved.
Key words: Peganum harmala; Pharmacological
phenomena; Medicine, traditional; Phytotherapy;
www. journaltcm. com February 15, 2015
Volume 35
Issue 1
Mina CN et al. / Review
Peganum harmala L. (P. harmala) commonly known as
Syrian Rue is a widely used medicinal plant from the
family Nitrariaceae.1The names used in Traditional Ira-
nian Medicine (TIM) for this plant are "Esfand", "Es-
pand"and "Harmal".2,3 Its habitat is semi-arid condi-
tions including those which obtain in Iran, steppe areas
and sandy soils.4The primary origin of P. harmala is
central Asia but nowadays it grows in Australia, north
of Africa and southwest of America.5
It is a highly branched perennial, herbaceous, glabrous
plant which grows from 30 to 60 cm tall with short
creeping roots. It possesses narrow leaves arranged alter-
nately on fleshy, bright green stiff stems. The flowers
are solitary, small, pale yellow or white, and 5-petaled.
The fruits are capsules with 3 chambers and about 6 to
10 mm across. The unripe fruits are green and turning
orange-brown when mature. The capsules contain
more than 50 small black-brown triangular seeds.6,7
The main medicinal part of the plant is the seed in
both TIM and modern phytotherapy.2,3,6 Pharmacologi-
cally active compounds of P. harmala are several alka-
loids, β-carbolines (such as harmine, harmaline, har-
man and harmalol) and the quinazoline derivatives vasi-
cine and vasicinone.8
The ideology of TIM is based on quadratic elements.
These elements are air, fire, water, and soil with particu-
lar qualities. For example, air is hot and moist, fire is
hot and dry, water is cold and moist, and soil is cold
and dry. Believers of this doctrine suppose that the en-
tire world is made of quadratic elements and the differ-
ences and diversities among objects originate from dif-
ferent ratios of these four elements used in their struc-
tures. This definite quality has been known as tempera-
ment (Midzaj).9,10 Theory of temperament also existed
in many other traditional medical ideologies, including
Unani (Greek), Arabic, Roman, Indian, European, and
Traditional Chinese Medicine.11 Based on this theory, P.
harmala is thought to have hot and dry nature.2,3,12,13
The goal of this study is to systematically review the
pharmacological activities of P. harmala in TIM and
modern phytotherapy. Opinions of TIM and modern
phytotherapy about safety and acceptable dosage of
this plant are discussed.
Various medical properties of P. harmala were collected
from important TIM references including the twenti-
eth book of Al-Havi, the second volum of Canon, the
Tohfe- al-omenin and the Makhzan-al-Advia.2,3,12,13 The
data added to scientific reports are derived from mod-
ern medical literatures. For this purpose, databases in-
cluding Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, and Google
Scholar were searched for studies focusing on the bio-
logical and pharmacological activities, herb/drug inter-
action and toxicity of P. harmala . Data were collected
from 1966 to 2014 (up to June). The search terms
were: "Syrian Rue" or "Peganum harmala" or "P. har-
mala". There was no language restriction. Results from
primary search were screened by two independent in-
vestigators. The reference list from retrieved studies
was also reviewed for additional applicable articles. All
published articles as well as abstracts presented at meet-
ings were evaluated. In vitro,in vivo and human studies
were separated and the data from each were discussed
in our paper.
Pharmacologic properties
View of TIM: the seeds have been known to be intoxi-
cating, emetic,2,3,12,13 carminative, anthelmintic, aphrodi-
siac, galactagogue, diuretic, emmenagogue, antithrom-
botic, phlegmatic purgative,2,3,13 and strengthening the
vision.2,3 They are useful for epilepsy, psychosis, loss of
memory, chronic headache, kidney stone, dropsy, jaun-
dice, colic and sciatica.2,3 Aqueous extract of the seeds
is useful for blood purification.2,3,12 A mixture of the
seeds with flax seeds and honey has been used for the
treatment of dyspnea.2,3 The decoction has been used
for numbness, lung and liver diseases.2,3 The poultice
from seeds is beneficial for paralysis, numbness, joints
pain, coxalgia and back pain.2,3 The incense of seeds is
used for toothache and repelling mosquitos.2,3 The
most popular traditional use of P. harmala seeds is its
use as a disinfectant. For this purpose, seeds are
smoked by straight heat.14 Its smoke has also been used
as a talisman against "evil-eye".15
View of modern phytotherapy: numerous pharmaco-
logical studies reported a wide range of cardiovascular
effects from P. harmala including reducing systemic ar-
terial blood pressure and total peripheral vascular resis-
tance, bradycardia, elevating cardiac contractile force,
pulse pressure and peak aortic flow,16 as well as vasore-
laxant17 activities. It also exhibited angiogenic inhibito-
ry effects.4The aqueous extract of the seeds of P. harma-
la has antispasmodic, anticholinergic, antihistaminic
and antiadrenergic effects.18
P. harmala and its active alkaloids possess a wide range
of pharmacological effects on the nervous system in-
cluding psychoactive,19 analgesia,20 hallucination, excita-
tion,21 anti-depressant,20 neuroprotective,22 and strong
inhibition of monoamine oxidase (MAO).23 Its analge-
sic effect acts both centrally and peripherally.20,24 It has
been proven that the alkaloids possess good anti-parkin-
sonism effects via inhibition of MAO-B.25,26 In an in vi-
tro study desoxypeganine, one of the P. harmala alka-
loids, lessened ethanol consumption in female Alko al-
cohol rats dose-dependently, with no effect on food
and fluid consumption.27
Various studies have revealed antiparasidal,28 antifungal,
antibacterial,29 insecticidal30-32 and antileishmanial8,33 ef-
fects from P. harmala alkaloids. Different species of bac-
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Mina CN et al. / Review
teria have been shown to be susceptible to the P. harma-
la alkaloids; such as Proteus vulgaris and Bacillus subtil-
is.4,29 In one study, P. harmala demonstrated inhibitory
effects on the growth of Candida albicans, Aspergillus
flavus, Aspergillus fumigates and Aspergillus niger.4,34 P.
harmala also exhibited larvicidal effect on Plodia inter-
punctella,30 insecticidal activity against Tribolium casta-
neum,31 as well as strong growth inhibitory activity on
the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.32
Various investigations reported cytotoxicity activity on
tumor cells from P. harmala in vitro and in vivo.35-40 It ex-
hibited anti-proliferative effect on leukemic cell lines,36
inhibitory action on the metastasis of melanoma cells,
inducing apoptosis in melanoma cells,37 tumor angio-
genesis inhibition38 and binding to RNA of tumor
Anti-inflammatory activity of P. harmala and its alka-
loids has been proven in various studies. P. harmala per-
forms anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory ef-
fects via suppressing pro-inflammatory mediators such
as prostaglandin E2, tumor necrosis factor alpha and
nuclear factor-Kappa B.4,40
P. harmala also exhibited gastrointestinal activities in-
cluding alleviating colic syndrome, through blocking
different types of intestinal calcium channels, antispas-
modic and anticholinergic,42,43 noticeable nauseant and
emetic effects44,45 as well as hypoglycemic function.46
The adverse effects of P. harmala in TIM are headache,
dizziness and nausea.2,3 It is used cautiously in patients
with hot temperament. The most important character-
istics of these people are feeling hot more than normal
in a hot condition, getting warm easily in a cold condi-
tion, having enough energy, inability to stand hunger
easily, preferring cold drinks, suffering from sore eye
and headaches, a sudden hot feeling in a normal condi-
tion and having blood hypertension.11 It should be
used by these people with juice of sour fruits or oxymel
(a syrup made from honey and vinegar) which prevents
adverse events.2,3
In modern phytotherapy, the abortive effect of P. har-
mala has been reported by Shapira et al 41 Several cases
of human and animal intoxications that are induced by
P. harmala have been reported in literature.4In an in vi-
tro study, intrapretoneal administration of P. harmala
extract at a dose of 50 mg/kg resulted in symptoms
such as: abdominal writhing, body tremors and slight
decrease in locomotor activity while oral administra-
tion demonstrated no toxicity.24 The same symptoms al-
so have been reported in human cases subsequent to in-
gestions of P. harmala seed extract or its infusion in-
cluding neuro-sensorial symptoms, visual hallucina-
tion, slight elevation of body temperature, cardio-vascu-
lar disorder (i.e. bradycardia and low blood pressure),
ataxia, diffuse tremors, psychomotor agitation and
vomiting.4,47,48 High-doses of P. harmala extract can be
toxic and can lead to liver degeneration, paralysis, spon-
giform alterations in the central nervous system,49 eu-
phoria, hypothermia, convulsions as well as bradycar-
dia.47,48,50 Nevertheless, it has been confirmed that thera-
peutic doses are safe in rodents.51 MAO inhibition ac-
tivity of P. harmala constituents are the main reason for
toxicological effects subsequent to ingestion of the
plant.52 In addition, the intercalation of P. harmala alka-
loids into DNA causes its mutagenic activity that can
result in genotoxic effects.4,53
Drug interaction and dosage
P. harmala interacts with various drugs metabolism due
to its significant function on the expression of cyto-
chrome P450s (CYP). The seeds increase the expres-
sion of CYP1A2, 2C19, and 3A4 dose-dependently,
while reduce the expression of CYP2B6, 2D6 and
2E1.54 It also possesses strong inhibitory action on
monoamine oxidase.23 It has been proven that beta-car-
bolines from P. harmala interact with a wide range of
signaling pathways including opioid, dopamine, gam-
ma-Aminobutyric acid, benzodiazepine, 5-hydroxytryp-
tamine and imidazoline.4
Based on TIM texts, the therapeutic dose of seeds is ap-
proximately between 4 -9 grams.2,3 There is no certain
dosage for this plant in modern phytotherapy. Effects
can vary; low doses of seeds (25 to 50 mg) are mildly
stimulating and may cause agitation or depression
whereas higher doses (300 to 750 mg) have hallucino-
genic effects.55
Traditional medicines of nations as the main source of
complementary and alternative medicine have recently
made some hopes in management of various human
diseases. Medicinal plants play a pivotal role in thera-
peutic approach of traditional medicines. A wide range
of safe and available medicinal plants have been used
for alleviating the symptomatologies associated with
many diseases in TIM.56-58 P. harmala is a widely used
medicinal plant with various pharmacological effects in-
cluding cardiovascular, neurologic, antimicrobial, anti-
cancer, gastrointestinal and antidiabetic activities.
Some of pharmacologic properties documented for this
plant in TIM have been confirmed by different studies
in modern phytotherapy. Among these properties,
emetic activity of the seeds is very popular in TIM.
The other confirmed pharmacologic properties of P.
harmala mentioned in TIM include analgesic (for the
management of sciatica, joints pain, coxalgia, chronic
headache and toothache), intoxicating, abortive, disin-
fectant (antibacterial and antifungal activities), anthel-
mintic, insect repellant, carminative and its beneficial
effect in colic disorder (due to calcium channels block-
ing, antispasmodic and anticholinergic mechanisms).
Anti-inflammatory and suppressing pro-inflammatory
mediators indicate its antithrombotic function in TIM.
Also potential effects of P. harmala in the management
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Mina CN et al. / Review
of kidney stone may be due to its antispasmodic and
anticholinergic activities. In contrast, various medicinal
indications mentioned in TIM resources have not been
evaluated in modern phytotherapy including its thera-
peutic activity on paralysis, epilepsy, numbness, loss of
memory, vision performance, dropsy, jaundice, dys-
pnea, as well as its carminative, and purgative proper-
ties. It is mandatory to perform experimental investiga-
tion in order to evaluate the therapeutic activity of this
plant on mentioned diseases.
There is a wide range of therapeutic dosages in modern
phytotherapy from 25 to 750 mg, while therapeutic
dosage in TIM ranges from 4 to 9 g. The higher thera-
peutic dose in TIM may be due to using the seed of P.
harmala with its correctives. Moreover, TIM is a holis-
tic therapeutic system, and the nature of the patient is
considered before treatment. With regard to TIM liter-
ature, the most adverse events of this plant are ob-
served in people with a hot nature, and it is preferred
not to administer this plant for them, whereas in mod-
ern medicine the nature of patients is not considered
for treatment.
Since serious adverse events have been reported follow-
ing ingestion of specific amounts of P. harmala seeds, it
is recommended that high dose administration of this
plant be avoided till adequate studies confirm safety
and quality. P. harmala is abortifacient; thus, it is con-
traindicated during pregnancy. Because of inhibition of
cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), the pharmacokinet-
ic parameters of drugs that mainly metabolized with
this isoenzyme may be affected by P. harmala. Consid-
ering TIM recommendation such as using P. harmala
with its correctives can lead to producing a safer and
more tolerable product from this plant.
Finally, the current review provides the evidence for
other researchers to use TIM properties of P. harmala
as an efficacious natural drug and its safety and accept-
able dosage were discussed. Further preclinical and clin-
ical studies for adequate evaluation of the safety and
therapeutic efficacy of P. harmala are recommended.
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www. journaltcm. com February 15, 2015
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... Peganum harmala L. (Zygophyllaceae) is one of the most famous plants, the so-called Harmal, used in popular medicine. As a perennial herb, it is widely distributed in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Northwest India, and Northwest China [10,11]. The full plant, aerial parts, seeds, and fruits have generally been reported to exhibit a traditional herbal medicine with various pharmacological activities, such as analgesic activity, antiproliferative, anti-parasitological, and antimicrobial activities, anticancer, and other activities [10,12]. ...
... In particular, the total content of harmine and harmaline is more than 50% in the total alkaloid extracts (TAEs) of P. harmalala seeds [12,15]. Modern pharmacology has also revealed that P. harmala alkaloids can inhibit monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and interact with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and induce apoptosis and DNA damage [11,12,16,17]. ...
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Plant-derived agents are powerful bio-pesticides for the eco-friendly control of mosquito vectors and other blood-sucking arthropods. The larval toxicity of beta-carboline alkaloids against the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae), was investigated under laboratory conditions. The total alkaloid extracts (TAEs) and beta-carboline alkaloids (harmaline, harmine, harmalol, and harman) from Peganum harmala seeds were isolated and tested in this bioassay. All alkaloids were tested either individually or as binary mixtures, using the co-toxicity coefficient (CTC) and Abbott’s formula analysis. The results revealed considerable toxicity of the tested alkaloids against A. albopictus larvae. When all larval instars were exposed to the TAEs at 48 h post-treatment, the mortality of all larval instars varied in a concentration-dependent manner. The second-instar larvae were the most susceptible to different concentrations of TAEs, and the fourth-instar larvae were more tolerant to TAEs than the second-instar larvae. Especially, the third-instar larvae exposed to all alkaloids also showed that all doses resulted in an increased mortality of the third-instar larvae at 48 h post-treatment, and the toxicities of the tested alkaloids in a descending order were TAEs > harmaline > harmine > harmalol, with the LC50 values of 44.54 ± 2.56, 55.51 ± 3.01, 93.67 ± 4.53, and 117.87 ± 5.61 μg/mL at 48 h post-treatment, respectively. In addition, all compounds were also tested individually or in a 1:1 ratio (dose LC25/LC25) as binary mixtures to assess the synergistic toxicity of these binary combinations against the third-instar larvae at 24 and 48 h post-treatment, respectively. The results demonstrated that when tested as a binary mixture, all compounds (especially TAEs, harmaline, and harmine) showed their synergistic effects, exceeding the toxicity of each compound alone. Interestingly, the obtained data further revealed that the TAEs at sublethal doses (LC10 and LC25) could significantly delay the larval development and decrease the pupation and emergence rates of A. albopictus. This phenomenon could be helpful in order to develop more effective control strategies for different notorious vector mosquitoes.
... Peganum harmala is an herbaceous, perennial plant with many reported pharmacological activities: it is carminative, diuretic, antithrombotic and analgesic. It also demonstrated numerous medicinal effects and shows antidiabetic, cardiovascular, neurologic, antimicrobial, gastrointestinal, insecticidal, antineoplasmic and antiproliferative effects [9]. The present study assessed the cytotoxic and antitumor activity of different fractions of P. harmala, followed by isolation and characterization of the bioactive compounds from the most bioactive fraction showing potential anticancer activity. ...
... Separations 2022, 9, 355 ...
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Conventional cancer treatments normally involve chemotherapy or a combination of radio- and chemotherapy. However, the adverse effects of synthetic medicines encouraged the exploration of novel therapeutic medications of a bio-friendly nature. In an effort to explore anticancer compounds from natural resources, crude extract of Peganum harmala (seeds) was fractionated on the basis of polarity, and the fractions were further tested for anticancer activity. Brine shrimp lethality assays and potato disc antitumor assays were used to test each fraction for cytotoxic and antitumor potential. The ethyl acetate fraction was found to be most potent, with LC50 and IC50 values of 34.25 µg/mL and 38.58 µg/mL, respectively. Further activity-guided fractionation led to the isolation of the bioactive compound PH-HM-10 which was identified and characterized by Mass Spectroscopy (MS), Infrared Spectroscopy (IR), Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1HNMR), Carbon Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (13CNMR) and Heteronuclear Single Quantum Correlation (HSQC). Anticancer aspects in the isolated compound were determined against six human cancer cell lines with a maximum anticancer effect (IC50 = 36.99 µg/mL) against the tested human myeloid leukemia (HL-60) cell line, followed by the human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cell line (A549) and the breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) with an IC50 of 63.5 µg/mL and 85.9 µg/mL, respectively). The findings of the current study suggest that the isolated compound (Pegaharmine E) is significantly active against the tested cancer cell lines and can be further investigated to develop future novel anticancer chemotherapeutic agents.
... It produces whitish-yellow flowers and fruits in globular capsules with three chambers, containing black angular seeds [140]. It is commonly called wild rue, Syrian rue, or African rue [141]. ...
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There are several Amazonian plant species with potential pharmacological validation for the treatment of acute kidney injury, a condition in which the kidneys are unable to adequately filter the blood, resulting in the accumulation of toxins and waste in the body. Scientific production on plant compounds capable of preventing or attenuating acute kidney injury—caused by several factors, including ischemia, toxins, and inflammation—has shown promising results in animal models of acute kidney injury and some preliminary studies in humans. Despite the popular use of Amazonian plant species for kidney disorders, further pharmacological studies are needed to identify active compounds and subsequently conduct more complex preclinical trials. This article is a brief review of phytocompounds with potential nephroprotective effects against acute kidney injury (AKI). The classes of Amazonian plant compounds with significant biological activity most evident in the consulted literature were alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, steroids, and terpenoids. An expressive phytochemical and pharmacological relevance of the studied species was identified, although with insufficiently explored potential, mainly in the face of AKI, a clinical condition with high morbidity and mortality.
... Peganum harmala induces relaxation via both VSMCs and endothelial cells. The active ingredients in espand are three harmala alkaloids, harmine, harmaline, and harmalol, which have demonstrated vasodilatory activities through boosting NO generation [122]. ...
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Hypertension is a critical health problem and worse other cardiovascular diseases. It is mainly of two types: Primary or essential hypertension and Secondary hypertension. Hypertension is the primary possibility feature for coronary heart disease, stroke and renal vascular disease. Herbal medicines have been used for millions of years for the management and treatment of hypertension with minimum side effects. Over aim to write this review is to collect information on the anti-hypertensive effects of natural herbs in animal studies and human involvement as well as to recapitulate the underlying mechanisms, from the bottom of cell culture and ex-vivo tissue data. According to WHO, natural herbs/shrubs are widely used in increasing order to treat almost all the ailments of the human body. Plants are the regular industrial units for the invention of chemical constituents, they used as immunity booster to enhance the natural capacity of the body to fight against different health problems as well as herbal medicines and food products also. Eighty percent population of the world (around 5.6 billion people) consume medicines from natural plants for major health concerns. This review provides a bird’s eye analysis primarily on the traditional utilization, phytochemical constituents and pharmacological values of medicinal herbs used to normalize hypertension; Hibiscus sabdariffa, Allium sativum, Andrographis paniculata, Apium graveolens, Bidenspilosa, Camellia sinensis, Coptis chinensis, Coriandrum sativum, Crataegus spp., Crocus sativus, Cymbopogon citrates, Nigella sativa, Panax ginseng, Salvia emiltiorrhizae, Zingiber officinale, Tribulus terrestris, Carum copticum, Cola lewrifeira, Cassia occidentailis, Cyranchum wilfordii.
... Peganum harmal plant is one of the pharmaceutically significant herbs that primarily grows in the Asian regions [21]. It has been traditionally utilized as a natural medicine for treating tumors, infections, and inflammations in Greek, Iranian, Indian, and Chinese nations [22]. The significance of this plant is owed to the presence of active alkaloids, as shown in Figure 1a, which are concentrated in the plant's seeds and roots [23]. ...
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The corrosion inhibition effect of the three extracts from Harmal roots (HRE), leaves (HLE), and flowers (HFE) were studied for carbon steel corrosion inhibition in 0.25 M H2SO4 solution. The electrochemical impedance study indicated that the three types of extracts decreased corrosion effectively through a charge transfer mechanism. Harmal roots and leaf extracts showed inhibition values of 94.1% and 94.2%, while it was 88.7% for Harmal flower extract at the inhibitor concentration of 82.6 ppm. Potentiodynamic polarization data revealed that Harmal extracts acted through predominant cathodic type inhibition. Both the corrosion current density and corrosion rate decreased significantly in the presence of Harmal extracts compared to blank solution. The corrosion rate (mpy) value was 63.3, 86.1, and 180.7 for HRE, HLE, and HFE, respectively. The adsorption-free energy change ΔGads (kJ·mol−1) values calculated from the Langmuir adsorption isotherm plots were for HRE (−35.08), HLE (−33.17), and HFE (−33.12). Thus, corrosion inhibition occurred due to the adsorption of Harmal extract on the carbon steel surface via the chemisorption mechanism. Moreover, a computational investigation using B3LYP/6-311G++(d,p) basis set in both gaseous and aqueous phases was performed for the major alkaloids (1–8) present in the Harmal extract.
Objective: Plants have been used to treat ailments since the dawn of humanity. The use of medicinal plants for various purposes such as preventing diseases, treating diseases and supporting medical treatment is increasing day by day. On the other hand, medicinal plants are important sources of raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. It has been demonstrated that Peganum harmala L. and the phytochemicals it contains have a wide variety of pharmacological activities. P. harmala and its active ingredients can be an important resource for the pharmaceutical industry. In this review, the phytochemistry, pharmacological effects, clinical studies, and toxicity of P. harmala are discussed under the current information. Methods: Studies on P. harmala were searched using Pubmed, Scopus, Science Direct databases, and Google Scholar search engine. As a result of the searches, 96 articles were included in the study. Results: The main group of secondary metabolites responsible for the biological activities of P. harmala is alkaloids. The plant and its isolated secondary plant compounds have been shown to have many pharmacological actions, counting antiamnestic, anticancer, antidepressant, antiinflammatory, cardiovascular, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and vasodilator activities. Studies evaluating the plant's clinical effects have been carried out in recent years. However, it has been recorded in the literature that the use of P. harmala causes poisoning with symptoms such as neurosensory symptoms, visual hallucination, bradycardia, hypotension, agitation, tremor, ataxia, and vomiting. Conclusion: Considering the pharmacological effects, the number of studies on the efficacy and safety of P. harmala and its secondary metabolites should be increased.
Entheogenic natural products (e.g., psylocybin and dimethyltryptamine) are emerging as effective therapeutics to treat debilitating mood disorders that are unresponsive to conventional treatment. The detailed evaluation of psychotropic plants will conceivably lead to the discovery of structurally distinct entheogens that may offer improved or complementary medicinal properties to the classic entheogens. The plant Peganum harmala has a rich history in traditional medicine, with consumption inducing a host of central nervous system (CNS) symptoms, including hallucinations. Given alkaloids are uniquely capable of altering the CNS physiology owing to their ability to cross the blood–brain barrier, the natural product(s) responsible for the entheogenic properties are likely hidden in its structurally diverse alkaloid profile. Herein, an overview of the 160 alkaloids isolated from P. harmala is provided. Remarkably, bioactivity data is scarce, limited to inhibition of monoamine oxidases and cholinesterases in a few cases, with the majority having no reported bioactivity at all. As none of the classic entheogens have been detected in P. harmala, this collection of alkaloids provides a useful reference point in the search of structurally unique entheogens.
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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common bacterial infections that represent a severe public health problem. They are often caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumonia), Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis), Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis), and Staphylococcus saprophyticus (S. saprophyticus). Among these, uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) are the most common causative agent in both uncomplicated and complicated UTIs. The adaptive evolution of UPEC has been observed in several ways, including changes in colonization, attachment, invasion, and intracellular replication to invade the urothelium and survive intracellularly. While antibiotic therapy has historically been very successful in controlling UTIs, high recurrence rates and increasing antimicrobial resistance among uropathogens threaten to greatly reduce the efficacy of these treatments. Furthermore, the gradual global emergence of multidrug-resistant UPEC has highlighted the need to further explore its pathogenesis and seek alternative therapeutic and preventative strategies. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the clinical status and pathogenesis of UTIs and the advantages and disadvantages of antibiotics as a conventional treatment option could spark a surge in the search for alternative treatment options, especially vaccines and medicinal plants. Such options targeting multiple pathogenic mechanisms of UPEC are expected to be a focus of UTI management in the future to help combat antibiotic resistance.
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The spike protein of coronavirus is crucial in binding and arrival of the virus to the human cell via binding to the human ACE2 receptor. In this study, at first 25 antiviral phytochemicals were docked into the RBD domain of spike protein, and then all complexes and free RBD domains were separately subjected to molecular dynamics simulation for 100 ns and MM/PBSA binding free energy calculation. In this phase, four ligands were chosen as hit compounds and a natural compound database (NPASS) was screened based on high similarity with these ligands, and 367 ligands were found. Then the same previous procedure was repeated for these ligands and ADME properties were investigated. Finally, virtual screening and 4400 ns MD simulation and MM/PBSA calculation revealed that new ligands including NPC67959, NPC157855, NPC248793, and NPC216361 can inhibit the RBD domain of spike protein and we propose them as potential drugs for experimental studies. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma
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Echinococcosis is a common and endemic disease that affects both humans and animals. In this study, the in vitro activities of methanolic extracts of Ruta graveolens , Peganum harmala aerial parts, and Citrullus colocynthis seeds against protoscolosis and isolated bacterial strains from hydatid cysts were assessed using disc diffusion methos and Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). The chemical composition of aerial sections of R. graveolens and P. harmala , as well as methanolic extracts of C. colocynthis seeds, was studied using LC-MS. These plants produced a total of 26, 31, and 23 chemicals, respectively. The bacteria listed below were isolated from hydatid cyst fluid collected from a variety of sick locations, including the lung and liver. Micrococcus spp., E. coli , Klebsiella oxytoca , Enterobacter aerogenes , Enterobacter amnigenus , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Staphylococcus xylosus , and Achromobacter xylosoxidans are among the bacteria that have been identified. The most effective extract was R. graveolens , followed by P. harmala and C. colocynthis , according to the results of antibacterial activity using the disc diffusion method. R. graveolens extract had the lowest MIC values (less than 2 mg/mL) against all microorganisms tested. This shows that the R. graveolens extract has additional properties, such as the ability to be both scolocidal and bactericidal. Because these bacteria are among the most prevalent pathogenic bacteria that increase the risk of secondary infection during hydatid cysts, the results of inhibitory zones and MICs of the R. graveolens methanol extract are considered highly promising.
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Parasites of the genus Leishmania are transmitted by sandflies that ingest the parasite in the amastigote stage resident within macrophages, then inoculate the promastigote stage into other hosts. Peganum harmala, or Syrian Rue, has pharmacologically active compounds including several alkaloids with antiprotozoal properties, which are found especially in the seeds and the roots. In this research, Leishmania major were cultured in vitro, then by using a MTT assay, the biological activity of P. harmala extract in comparison to potassium antimonyl tartrate [Sb(III)] on L. major promastigotes was assessed. P. harmala extract and Sb(III) solutions for biological testing were prepared in PBS at 5000-20000 μg/mL and 62.5-500 μg/mL, respectively. All experiments were repeated at least three times in duplicate. For P. harmala extract and Sb(III), the concentration-response curve was plotted, from which IC50 values were determined. Both P. harmala extract and Sb(III) inhibited the growth of promastigote forms of L. major in vitro after 72 h. of incubation and had an IC50 of 1832.65 ± 89.72 μg/ mL and 17.87 ± 2.05 μg/mL, respectively. Statistical analysis of the results (optical density and inhibitory percentage) of the different concentrations of P. harmala extract and Sb(III) showed that there was no significant difference between P. harmala extract and Sb(III) (P>0.05) but with a concentration increase of P. harmala extract or Sb(III), optical density decreased significantly, while inhibitory percentage increased. The different concentrations resulted in different optical densities or inhibitory percentages (P<0.05) so that P. harmala extract is effective against L. major in vitro.
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This study aims to investigate the quality of life (QOL) of Tehran University of Medical Sciences' (TUMS) medical students at different educational levels and specify the most important factors related to this quality. A sample of 242 medical students was selected randomly, given their number in three educational levels (basic sciences, physiopathology-stager and intern). The QOL was measured by WHOQOL-BREF. The students obtained average high score in two psychological and environmental health domains, and low score in physical health and social relationship domains. As the educational level of students increased their quality of life decreased at all four domains. At social relationship domain, the female students had overall better situation as compared to males (p=0.009). The female and male students had opposite condition at the level of basic sciences and internship, in a way that the female students earned higher marks at basic sciences level and the males at internship level (P= 0.008). The condition of female students in terms of environmental, physical and psychological health became static while their education rose. However, only environmental health of the male students reduced as their education level increased (P= 0.05). The students were of undesirable conditions in two domains of social relationship and physical health. Internship is a specific level in both groups which has a negative impact on the dimensions of quality of life and naturally needs more care for the students. Married status improved the students' QOL and could moderate the undesired effects of internship.
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Aqueous extracts of 66 desert plants of the Negev and Beer Sheva Bedouin market plant products were tested for antitumor, antimalarial (protozoa) and growth inhibition of wheat-rootlet activities. Pteranthus dichotomus, Gypsophila arabica, Achillea fragrantissima, Urginea maritima, and Solanum elaeagnifolium exhibited strong cytotoxicity (above 97%) against cultured melanoma cell lines. Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum, Gypsophila arabica, Hammada scoparia, Trigonella foenum-graecum and Peganum harmala had more than 80% inhibition both in rootlet and melanoma assays. Hammada scoparia, Pulicaria crispa, Centaurea eryngioides, Echinops polyceras, Ephedra aphylla, Teucrium polium, Phlomis brachyodon, Urginea maritima, Ochradenus baccatus, Verbascum fruiticulosum, Corchorus olitorius, and Peganum harmala demonstrated strong growth inhibition (above 96%) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The plants that were positive for antimelanoma and antimalarial activities have been under further investigation for the isolation and characterization of the anticancer and antimalarial compounds.
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To summarize comprehensive information concerning ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of parsley. Databases including PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Web of Science were searched for studies focusing on the ethnomedicinal use, phytochemical compounds and biological and pharmacological activities of parsley. Data were collected from 1966 to 2013. The search terms were: "Parsley" or "Petroselinum crispum" or "Petroselinum hortence". Parsley has been used as carminative, gastro tonic, diuretic, antiseptic of urinary tract, anti-urolithiasis, anti-dote and anti-inflammatory and for the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, gastrointestinal disorder, hypertension, cardiac disease, urinary disease, otitis, sniffle, diabetes and also various dermal disease in traditional and folklore medicines. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids particularly apigenin, apiin and 6"-Acetylapiin; essential oil mainly myristicin and apiol; and also coumarins are the active compounds identified in Petroselinum crispum. Wide range of pharmacological activity including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, brain protective, anti-diabetic, analgesic, spasmolytic, immunosuppressant, anti-platelet, gastroprotective, cytoprotective, laxative, estrogenic, diuretic, hypotensive, antibacterial and antifungal activities have been exhibited for this plant in modern medicine. It is expectant that this study resulted in improvement the tendencies toward Petroselinum crispum as a useful and important medicinal plant with wide range of proven medicinal activity.
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Tragopogon graminifolius DC., family Compositae, is widely consumed as a green vegetable in the west of Iran and for the treatment of gastrointestinal and hepatic ailments. In this study, the chemical composition of the essential oil from T. graminifolius aerial parts was evaluated by gas chromatography and gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Moreover, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil and various extracts of T. graminifolius were determined. Fifty-eight compounds representing 87.2% of the essential oil were identified. The main components were n-hexadecanoic acid (22.0%), beta-caryophyllene (7.5%), heneicosane (6.6%), and nonanal (5.2%). The essential oil demonstrated the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity (56.6 +/- 8.8 ug/mL) and the 80% ethanolic extract the highest ferric reducing antioxidant activity (908.2 +/- 79.5 mmol Fe2+ ion/g extract). The total phenolic content of the 80% ethanolic extract from the aerial parts was the highest (560.7 +/- 18.8 mg/g gallic acid equivalent). In the antimicrobial test, Shigella dysenteriae was the most vulnerable microorganism, followed by Proteus vulgaris, and the essential oil exhibited the highest antibacterial activity among the samples. The results indicated that the essential oil and extracts of T. graminifolius could be consumed as a natural herbal preservative or complementary supplement in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
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Tragopogon graminifolius DC. (TG), Compositae family, is traditionally used for the treatment of various diseases like gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders. The aim of the present study is to standardize extracts from TG used for preparation of different dosage forms in traditional Iranian medicine (TIM) based on phenolic compounds. For this purpose, total phenolic content and some phenolic compounds were determined in ethanolic extracts from aerial part and root of TG by HPLC method. Furthermore, antioxidant activity was evaluated using DPPH-HPLC methods. Caffeic acid, gallic acid, ρ-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and catechin were detected in root and aerial part of TG. ρ-Coumaric acid (6.357 ± 0.014 mg·g−1) was dominant phenolic compound in aerial part followed by ferulic acid (1.24 ± 0.018 mg·g−1). Also, ρ-coumaric acid (2.685 ± 0.031 mg·g−1) was highly abundant in root, followed by catechin (2.067 ± 0.021 mg·g−1). Antioxidant activity of root extract (460.45 ± 0.78 µg Vit.E.E·mL−1) was better than that of aerial part. Generally, phenolic compounds are one of the major constituents of TG and could be used as markers for standardization of dosage forms prepared from this plant. Also, TG demonstrated significant antioxidant activity using DPPH-HPLC method. Phenolic compounds of TG may be responsible for its marked antioxidant properties.
PURPOSE. To evaluate the effect of Peganum harmala (Syrian rue) a wild-growing flowering plant belonging to the family Zygophylaceae and found abundantly in Iran on formalin-induced pain response in mice. METHODS. Total alkaloid extract was prepared from dry seeds of Peganum harmala. All doses of extract were dissolved in normal saline and administered intraperitoneally 30 minutes before formalin injection to the mouse paw. Nociception was recorded 0-5 (early phase, A) and 15-40 (late phase, B) minutes after formalin injection. The alkaloid extract was subjected to silica gel column chromatography using a linear gradient with a CHCl(3)-MeOH system and different fractions collected. The effective fraction in formalin test were further purified and isolated by preparative thin layer chromatography (TLC) and identified on the basis of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) analysis. RESULTS. Alkaloid extract in doses (mg/kg) used induced significant reduction in pain response when compared to control as follow: 16 (28.63%), 20 (59.15%), 24 (80.75%), 28 (90.14%) and 30 (100%) in the early phase and 20 (24.67%), 24 (59.93%), 28 (78.52%) and 30 (100%) in late phase. Observed responses in both phases of A and B were dose-dependent with r(2) of 0.93 and 0.99 respectively. ED(50) for phases of A and B were 27.87 and 24.63 mg/kg respectively (p < 0.001 for all groups). CONCLUSION. Harmaline, the last step of extraction is the main effective antinociceptive agent of the Peganum harmala alkaloid extract.
This chapter describes the possible therapeutic applications of harmala seeds. Nearly all parts of the plant are used in the traditional system of medicine, for the treatment of a number of human ailments, including lumbago, asthma, colic, and jaundice and for use as a stimulant emmenagogue. Medicinally, the fruits and seeds have digestive, diuretic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, nauseant, emetic, and uterine stimulant activities. The pharmacologically active compounds of harmala seeds are several alkaloids, including β-carbolines, such as harmine, harmaline, harmalol, harman and quinazoline derivatives, and vasicine (peganine) and vasicinone. The β-carboline alkaloids harmine and harmaline, which show monoamine oxidase inhibition, are used as a psychoactive drug to treat Parkinson's disease. Harmala alkaloids are short-term monoamine oxidase inhibitors. An MAOI acts to inhibit a key enzyme, monoamine oxidase (MAO), in the human body, responsible for processes in the brain and throughout the body. Harmala seeds are used as a galactogogue. They are also effective in painful and difficult menstruation and for regulating menstruation. The fruits and seeds of harmala are digestive, diuretic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, nauseant, and emetic. All parts of the plant are thought to be toxic, but toxicity is not severe. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors act to inhibit a key enzyme in the human body responsible for processes in the brain and throughout the body.