Ancient medicinal and ritual plant
of the Middle East, in continual use for thousands of years
in the rites of many cultures. Extremely drought-tolerant.
It has remained popular in both folk medicine and spiritual practices for so long that some historians believe harmel may be the elusive “soma”, an ancient, sacred herb who identity is lost. Has been used to treat pain and skin inflammations, including skin cancers. Extracts are showing promise for other cancers as well.
Other uses include anti-depressant, emmenagogue, antiparasitic, antioxidant and antimutagenic. It is an MAO inhibitor.
Can be invasive in desert environments. Dye plant.
BOTANICAL NAME: Peganum harmala
GROWING INSTRUCTIONS:Use a cactus mix or a mixture of compost and sand. Start seed in flats, scattering seed thinly over the surface. Tamp in well and keep moist til germination, which is sporadic. Carefully move to individual pots and grow in bright shade or slightly shaded sun with minimal watering until soil is warm outside and plant is at least 6" high. Transplant outside into light or even rocky soil and water sparingly. In zones 3-7 (or if your soil is clay) keep in pots and bring in for winter.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE CULTURAL INFORMATION: Perennial/Zones 7-9/Height 2'/Spacing 9-12"