Harmala ordinary – harmala zvichayna (harvesting and storage)

Name: Common harmala – harmala zvichayna (harvesting and storage)

Common harmala – Peganum harmala L. The Ukrainian name is harmala zvichayna; folk names – burial ground, wild rue, belobok, rebrik, dog potion, dog house, bibik, accordion.


The harmal family is Peganaceae.

Seeds and roots are used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs only in the south of the Steppe and in the steppe part of the Crimea. Grows on saline soils, steppe rocky slopes, roadsides, weedy places. Near the villages, it rarely forms rare thickets on tens and even hundreds of hectares. Preparations are possible in the Crimean, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolaev and Odessa regions.

Stocks of raw materials are quite large. Several centners of seeds and tons of grass can be harvested annually.

Common harmala is a perennial herbaceous plant. The rhizome is hard, many-headed, turning into long roots (up to 2 m), with several erect, strongly branched bare stems 30-80 cm high. The leaves are alternate, sessile, deeply 3-5-parted with whole or 3-5-parted lobes. Flowers yellow, solitary, on pedicels. The fruits are flattened three-celled multi-seeded capsules. Blooms in June – July. The fruits ripen in August – September. The plant is poisonous .

Seeds are harvested during ripening, when the boxes begin to open. They are cut with sickles, knives or the grass is mowed with scythes and tied into sheaves.

The boxes and grass are dried under sheds with good ventilation or in the sun, spreading on fabrics, then they are threshed and the seeds are separated on sieves. The raw material consists of dark brown uneven trihedral, curved seeds 3-3.5 mm long.

There is no regulatory standard.

Grass is harvested during flowering, cutting it with knives, sickles or mowing with scythes without coarse ground parts.

Dry in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a layer of 7-10 cm on paper or cloth.

The seeds and roots contain the alkaloids harmine and harmanine. The roots contain only harmine.

Harmine hydrochloride is used in the treatment of parkinsonism. Harmine alkaloid is stored according to the “A” list.

Fatty oils and red dye are extracted from the seeds, which is used in the East to dye woolen fabrics red.

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