Harmala alkaloids are psychoactive compounds which occur naturally in a number of plants.
The main source of harmala alkaloids is Syrian Rue (Peganum harmala), more precisely the seeds of the plant.
Other plant sources for harmala alkaloids are:
- ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi)
- passion flower (Passiflora spp)
- wild tobacco (Nicotina rustica)
You may have noticed the plural I used in the title. It is no happenstance: there are several harmala alkaloids out there, each of them exerting its psychoactive effects through slightly different mechanisms.
Harmine is one of the common harmala alkaloids. It works by reverse-inhibiting Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A). To achieve significant effects in this regard, doses of over 200 mg are required.
Harmaline works in a rather similar fashion. To achieve the same MAO-A reverse inhibition however, doses of 100 mg of it are sufficient.
Tetrahydroharmine walks the proven path of serotonin reuptake inhibition. Requiring doses of around 200 mg, this compound exerts a range of pleasant psychoactive effects. These include tingling sensations and euphoric dream-like states.
Not all cognitive effects produced by harmala alkaloids are this welcome/enjoyable though.
As far as cognitive effects go, they generate anxiety, confusion, and time distortion. Fortunately, the compounds also act as dream potentiators, which is an effect in which I am very interested.
It is also suited for the induction of hallucinatory states. This means internal hallucination, as well as the presence of “shadow people” as reported by a number of users.
One of the most common ways of getting harmala alkaloids into the system is to simply eat the seeds of Syrian rue. This method of ingestion results in massive and not entirely pleasant trips. Some of the users who reported on such experiences did not even know the amount they had taken.
Swallowing around 3 g of Pegnum harmala (Syrian rue) seeds is not an uncommon method of getting harmala alkaloids into the system. The seeds are usually swallowed in a ground-up form. Reportedly, the experience of actually ingesting the compound is quite disgusting.
Most people who have reported on harmala alkaloids apparently combined the Peganum harmala seeds with other psychoactive substances for an added kick, since harmala alkaloids.
Keeping such a concoction down is quite the challenge, but even if one happens to throw up, if it all stays down long enough (for around 10 minutes), the effects certainly kick in.
Harmala alkaloid trips are apparently quite vehement. Users have reported landing in an entirely different universe, with euphoria and terror concurrently dominating their emotions. Massive hypnagogia and astounding visual effects are all parts of the package.
Interestingly, most people looking for a harmala alkaloid trip seem to use ayahuasca brew (which contains both harmala alkaloids as well as a plant source of DMT) instead of plain Syrian rue seeds. Ingestion of the brew seems to be the preferred and main method of administration.
Around 100 g of ayahuasca vine or 3 grams of Syrian rue seeds seems to be a common dose used for brews. The actual brewing process involves several washes, and it has been reported to last for as long as 8 hours.
Actual dosage is very difficult to determine, given the intricate, lengthy, and diverse preparation methods used by those who reported on their harmala alkaloid experiences.