Syrian Rue is a ethnobotanical that is known for it's harmala alkaloids found in it's seeds, which are beta-carboline based MAOI (mono-amine oxidase inhibitors). These alkaloids make the plant semi-toxic and so of course is not to be consumed. These seeds are easy to germinate, but the plant is very difficult to grow; it thrives on neglect and sandy well draining soil in hot dry environments. I have had the best success by growing many many seedlings together near one another - I am not sure why, but that seems to ensure the seedlings and plants survive. The active alkaloids of Harmal seeds are the MAOI-A (monoamine oxidase inhibitor A) compounds: Harmane, 0.16% Harmine, 0.44–1.84%–4.3% The coatings of the seeds are said to contain large amounts of harmine. Harmaline, 0.25%–0.79%–5.6% Harmalol, 0.6%–3.90% Tetrahydroharmine, 0.1% Total harmala alkaloids were at least 5.9% per dried weight, in one study. Vasicine (peganine),0.25% Vasicinone 0.0007% The stems of the plant contain about 0.36% alkaloids, the leaves about 0.52%, and the roots up to 2.5%. Harmine and harmaline are reversible inhibitors of MAO-A (RIMA).
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