The Harmala Plant ''Harmaline''

The most researched shamanic brew in modern times is the Ayahuasca brew of South America, which induces, in the person who consumes it, an experience of other spiritual realms and of the higher vibrations of the spirit world. This is caused by the effect of the chemical combination of the two substances on the Pineal Glands.

The Ayahuasca admixture contains the powerful hallucinogenic alkaloids: harmine, harmaline, ditetrahydroharmine, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Dimethyltryptamine closely resembles serotonin and has been discovered to be a component of normal mammalian metabolism, an endogenous hallucinogen. These compounds have chemical structures and effects similar, but not identical, to LSD, mescaline of the peyote cactus, and psilocybin of the psycho-tropic Mexican mushroom.

From Terence Mckenna work:
"With Ayahuasca an interior sound is commonly heard, which quite often triggers a spontaneous burst of imitative vocalizings markedly unlike any conventional human speech or facial contortions. The tryptamines can apparently trigger a kind of rippling of facial muscles, which results in the production of a vocally modulated pressure wave. What is more startling is that the sound, which gains in energy the longer it is sustained, can actually become visible - as if the vibrational wave patterns were shifting into the visible spectrum or inducing a vibrational excitation of the air in such a way as to affect light diffraction. These observations suggest that although the wave is produced with sound, it may possess an electromagnetic component. This peculiar wave phenomenon will continue to be generated out of the mouth and nostrils and will be visible in the surrounding air as long as the vocalizations are continued."

The Harmala alkaloids: harmine, harmaline, tetrahydroharmine. . . are found in a variety of plants, the most notorious of which is Banisteriopsis caapi, a vine native to the Amazon region which is an active ingredient of the " Ayahuasca " ,or " Yage " brews, of the Native South Americans. Reports from Gracie and Zarkov's Notes From The Underground, and Jonathan Ott's Pharmacotheon, indicate that the bark of Banisteriopsis caapi contains between .2 and 1.3% mixed Harmala alkaloids.

The most concentrated source of Harmala alkaloids is the seed of Peganum Harmala, commonly known as Syrian Rue. This plant grows in many areas of the world: Africa, the Middle East, India, South America, Mexico, and Southern U.S. The seeds contain from 2 to 7% mixed Harmala alkaloids. The majority of the experiments with Harmala have been done with Syrian Rue, this being the most potent and readily available source of Harmala.

Natural Harmala in Humans:
At least one Harmala alkaloid is present in the pineal gland of both humans and several animals. This compound is more abundant in the pineal glands of highly advanced Yogis (Amazonian tribe) according to some reports, which has led to speculation that its presence may impact power to the "third eye" in the mid forehead, where the pineal gland lies.

At a 1997 conference in San Francisco, Bo Holmstedt, a pioneer in research on Harmala alkaloids from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, suggested that similar substrates and enzymes are in the pineal gland for endogenous production of DMT, 5-methoxy-DMT and the N-methylanalogues of harmine and harmaline. Brimblecombe and Pinedr, in their Hallucinogenic Agents (p.1116), discuss possible metabolism routes by which adrenoglomerulotropine and malatonin, normally present in the pineal body, may be turned into 6-methoxy-harmalan. So far, however, no evidence has conclusively shown that this conversion actually takes place in the human brain.

As with DMT, theories have again been advanced that schizophrenia is associated with increased production of Harmala alkaloids. As Shulgin has remarked, consensus among researchers now is that this approach is " a red-herring."

Telepathic Element:
Extrasensory perception is fairly prominent in the use of most psychedelics. Banisteriopsis vines, throughout their history, have had an unusually high incidence of such effects, as reflected in the name given the first alkaloid isolated ("telepathine"). The reports persist, despite the scepticism of many investigators. Schultes and Hofmann dismiss these claims as "unfounded" in their Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens (1973). In the Journal of Psychoactive previously Psychedelic Drugs, William Burroughs expressed reservations about Yage having any exceptional telepathic properties. Medicine men use it to potentate their powers, to locate lost objects and that kind of thing. But I'm not impressed much by their performance. Everybody has telepathic experience all the time. These things are not rare. It's just an integral part of life. The faculty is probably increased to some extent by any consciousness-expanding drug. Flying and long-distance perceptions seem to be characteristic of the telepathic element.

Villavicencio, in the first published report about the use of Yage, wrote, "As for myself, I can say for a fact that when I've taken ayahuasca I've experienced dizziness. Then an aerial journey in which I recall perceiving the most gorgeous views, great cities, lofty towers, beautiful parks, and other extremely attractive objects". Many natives claim not only to see but to travel great distances under the influence of Yage', like users of peyote and San Pedro. "Though he had been no farther from his home than Mayoyoque", writes Weil, "Luis says that under Yage he has left his body and visited distant towns and cities, including Florencia and Bogota."

    * Taken From Psychedelics Encyclopedia by Peter Stafford