Peganum hermala L.

Peganum harmala L.


Botanical Name:             Peganum harmala L.Untitled-132

Kingdom:                        Plantae

Order:                             Sapindales

Family:                           Zygophyllaceae

Genus:                           Peganum

Species:                         P. harmala

Local Name:                   Harmal

Sindhi Name:                 Harmalo

English Name:               Syrian rue

Parts Used:                    Roots, Seeds, and Leaves,


P. harmala is a bushy herb. Leaves are divided into narrow segments. Flowers are axillary, solitary, and white in color. Fruit is deeply lobed and glabrous capsule. Seeds are triangular, 2mm long, and brownish in color.1


P. harmala is widely distributed throughout India, Tibet, Europe, Russia, westwards to North Africa, and Pakistan.2

 Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:


Hot ground seeds of P. harmala are applied on the infected areas for the treatment of wound in District Tandojam (Sindh).


Hot P. harmala is applied on the infected areas for the treatment of measles in District Mitiari (Sindh).


Harmine is the major constituent of P. harmala. It also contains alkaloids, harmaline, harmalol, peganine, tetrahydroharmine, telepathine, banisterine, β-carboline, serotonine, vasicinone, vasicine, vasicinone, 8-hydroxy glucosylharmine, and desoxy vasicinon.3,4  It also contains flavonoids like kaempferol, quercetin, and acacetin.5

 Chemical Structures:

 Peganum harmala

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacological/Scientific Studies:

Seeds of P. harmala are used for the treatment of asthma, hiccough, colic, neuralgia, hysteria, dysmenorrhoea, and fever.5 Decoction of leaves is used for the treatment of rheumatism. Root is beneficial to be applied topically to kill lice.6   Decoction of seed is used for the treatment of laryngitis. It is reported that the herb possessed emmanangogue, aphrodisiac, galactagogue, stimulant,  and abortifacient properties.7 Plant possessed antidiabetic, diuretic, vasodilation, hypotensive, antianthelmintic, analgesic,  antiaging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimutagenic  properties.1,8


  1. Pullaih, T. (2006). “Encyclopedia of World Medicinal Plants”, 3, p:1481-1483, Regency Publications, New Delhi, India.
  3. Ahmad, M., Ashraf, M., Khan, M. S., Javeed, A., Durrani, A. Z., Khan, M. U. R., and Malik, N. A. (2013). “Toxic Effects of Chloroform and Aqueous Extracts of Peganum harmala on Hematological and Growth Parameters in Rabbits”. Pakistan Journal of Zoology,45(4). p: 989-995.
  5. Khare, C.P. (2007). “Indian Medicinal Plants”, p: 470, Springer Science Publishors, New York U.S.A.
  6. Joshi, S.G. (2000). “Medicinal Plants”, p: 350, Mohan Primlani Oxford and IBH publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.
  7. Baquar, S.R. (1989). “Medicinal and Poisonous Plant of Pakistan”, p: 322, First Edition, Printas Karachi, Pakistan.