Spirit and Shamanic Plants

"High alkaloidal plants"


Since the dawn of human society, trees have been viewed as having souls or spirits, the soul being the ''vital principal'' or the ''breath of life'' that is found in every living being. 

Among the ancient tribes, deities were associated with a variety of trees, including the pines and cedar, Butum, the tamarisks, and the Acacia. The tribes worshiped these sacred trees, which were often natural growing near sacred wells and other holy sites or tribes crossings.

Among today Bedouins, sacred trees are still considered as places where spirits reside. Not only these trees protected from cuting, but they are honored with green cloths, hairs, Henna, and even stones.

This is very similar to the Red Indians dream catcher. This Djin catcher is made by Bedouin women with dried Syrian Rue seeds for prtection. "Evil eye" protection. What is interesting is the geometric shapes that the dried beads makes with the other criss croos beads. In south Jordan, dried capsules are placed onto red hot charcoal, where they explode with little popping noises, releasing a fragrant smoke that they inhale. It is used when visiting tombs of the dead, some times when a person not good or not well. In Yemen it is used to treat depression.
The November Harmal plant yellowish stacks with dried seed pods. Smoke from the seeds kills algae, bacteria, intestinal parasites and molds. According to the Bedoul tribe. Harmla vapor sauna is also used by the bedouin just like the Red Indians sweat lodge or medicine lodge. Smoke from the seeds has a lifesaving effect on cattle infected with various disease. There has been much speculation concerning what is most likely to have been the identity of the original Soma plant. There is no solid consensus on the question, some experts say that it is a species of Ephedra, and some other say that it is Harmala “Syrian rue”. The Soma plant is described as growing in the mountains, with long stalks, and of yellowish colour. The drink is prepared by Priests pounding the plants with stones. The juice that is gathered is heated, filtered through lamb's wool, and mixed with other ingredients along with milk before it is drunk.However it has been argued very persuasively by David Flattery and Martin Schwartz in their intriguing book “Haoma and Harmaline,” that the original identification of Vedic Soma with Syrian rue by Sir William Jones in 1794 was correct. Harmaline is the beta-carboline present in Peganum harmala (Bedouin: Harmal, Harjal) and it is is distinct in its pharmacological activity from the South American harmine found in the Banisteriopsis caapi (used in the South American ayahuasca brew). It is known that Arabian desert harmaline is more psychoactive and less toxic than harmine. The strong evidence of the shepherds of Arabia using Peganum Harmala for cen- tures, as well as this plant relation and association with the female moon deity Esfand “Esphand” the guardian of herdsmen can be a stronge indication that soma is in fact could possibly be the Harmal plant as has been suggested by David Flattery and Martin Schwartz and Sir William Jones.
Flowering Tamarisk tree (Bedouin: Torfa, Tur Fah) also Called Manna tree.  There are two species the red and the white flower bearing bushes. They usually grow on saline soils. This tree was mentioned repeatedly in the Bible. Abraham has been recorded to have planted Tamarisk trees (Genesis 21:33). In Samuel 31:13 it is mentioned that bones were buried under the Tamarisk tree. Osiris, the Egyptian God was involved with the sacred Tamarisk tree. The myth speak of Osiris’s coffin rested at the base of a Tamarisk tree. then the tree encircled the coffin by its trunk after growing. Certain Tamarisks are inhabited by mites, that emit a nice smelling juicy liquid that crystal- lizes on the bark to form a white substance known as “MANNA”. 
Peganum harmala is a plant of the family Nitrariaceae, native from the eastern Mediterranean region. It is also known as Wild Rue or Syrian Rue. It is a perennial plant which normally it is about 0.3 m tall. The roots of the plant can reach a depth of up to few meters. The round seed capsules, have three chambers and carry more than 50 seeds. A red dye, "Turkey Red," from the seeds is often used in Asia to dye car- pets. It is also used to dye wool. When the seeds are extracted with water, a yellow fluorescent dye is obtained. If they are extracted with alcohol, a red dye is obtained.
The Harmla plant was worshipped by communities that lived along the caravan routes, who associated it with the moon diety ''Asfand''. This plant was known from Asia Minor, across to India and Northeast Tibet, as a medication and a love potion. According to one theory, harmala was the base of the ''Drink of the Immortals/Soma'' in ancient times. It seems like the ancient nomadic desert tribes in Arabia used The Syrian Rue ''Harmla'' and the Acacia tree to make some kind of a brew drink. (Read: The Nabataean Libation Drink) This kind of brews has been used in by ancients for millennia in order to heal, divine, and to worship. The Syrian rue and some parts of The Acacia Tree are similar to the wellknown active ingredient of the Ayahuasca brews of the Amazon in South America. 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.
White Broom Shrub (Bedouin: Ratam) flowers in early spring. All parts of this shrub contains poisonous alkoloid like terpene and- cytisine. 
The nomadic bedouins of southern Jordan has been taught that plants growing in between the rock veins has more medicinal properties than others. In Sinai the Bedouins use some specific sandstone layer for drinking as a prescription for some illnesses
Camel milk is a staple food of the bedouins. It is said to have many healthful prop erties. Bedouins believe that the curative and aphrodisiac powers of the heavy and sweet camel milk are enhanced if the camel's diet consists of certain plants. It is normally drunk fresh with the warm frothy liquid. Bedouins can survive for months on its milk when water was unavailable.
Pistachio Terebinth of Petra is a member of the same genus as Pistachio Mastic. Pistacia Terebinth is native to Petra rock formation. The resin and fruit oils were historically used for a variety of medicinal purposes. The resin (Ancient Egyptian: kemy gum) was very important commodity to the ancient inhabitancy of the Nabateans. The raw fruits of the wild pistachio taste like turpentine with 45% oil.
Artemisia Sheh living on the mineral rich vains. Artemisia Herba- alba Wormwood (Bedouin: Sh’eh) is another variety of the Daisy family which prefers to grow on the red vains. Most Artemisia if taken in large doses may cause some hallucinogenic properties. In witchcraft, Artemisia believed to have multiple effect on the psychic abilities of the practitioner. Common names used for several species include Wormwood and Absinth.
The Red flower of the Nabatean Aloe Vera in June. This variety is not found in the wild anywhere in Jordan excepts in Petra. It is used by Bedouins for skin problems for humans and animals. The Aloe Vera has the highest amount of Iridium and Rhodium from all plants. Iridium is a very rare element on Earth, but geologist have discovered its existance in quantities up to thirty times than the normal in crust layers where meteorites containing the substance have landed in the distant past. Recent tests have shown that, by dry-matter weight, over 5% of brain tissue is composed of Iridium and Rhodium in high-spin state. Given the extraterrestrial nature of Iridium in particular, it is intriguing to discover that we have this very element within our own body.
The Fig tree (Bedouin: Teen) is indigenous to the rock and gorges of Wadi Rum, Petra, and Sinai. The fruits of this tree were a common food for the ancient nomad and the shepherd boys. The fruits of the wild fig tree is not recommended to be eaten on an empty stomach early in the morning, as it might cause some delusion, a property that gave the tree another name of “Crazy fig” by some bedouins. Until now the white milky sap taken from broken brunches of tree is also used by bedouins for curdling to make cheese. Its leaves is burnt on charcoal along with harmala seeds inside a tent for inhalation is used for goat herd treatment. A treat- ment used by the Judeilat of the Bedoul tribe in case if the goat herd started to give runny and not thick consistent milk.
In the tropics the Ficus tree is important, as objects of worship in most indigenous cultures. The writing of the 1st century BC Greek histo- rian Diodorus Siculus seems to mentions this fruit: "Being eaten, it has the power to effect fantasy. their priests will sometimes used the fruit to bring on such fantasy, which they say is the voice of their God."
The semi-desert of wadi Rum is an extensive beautiful wide sandy valleys with giant sandstone mesa's reaching more than 1800m above sea level. The name Rum most likely comes from an Aramaic root meaning 'high' or 'elevated'. sea level, and its surrounding high mesa's could harvest rain and keep the springs flowing in the early times. For the early shepherds such heights with their water abundance kept wadi Rum as more hospitable place than the flat dry desert regions. Wadi Rum alone has 15 poisonous species and 31 Medicinal species. 
Photo of as Sharah in the far backgroup behind the granite mountains. The climate conditions in As Sharah mountains - Petra region, dominated by the Mediterranean climate conditions. Whereas Wadi Arabah and Wadi Rum, dominated by the Red Sea climate conditions. This radical differences in climate conditions in two small regions with its radical differences in the flora, lead a huge diversity of differente resources. and there are many plants that live inbetween these two climets that have never been investigated. This fact made the perfect place for finding all medicinal plants of hot or tropical like climate such as the acacias and at te same time you have the access to the mountains medeteranian plants all within a few hours camel ride.  
The mysterious Ephedra foeminea (Bedouin: Ausaj) can also be seen as a semi parasitic plant in the way it climb on top of a Juniper tree in Beidha. Also it has its owen root system unlike the vine Loranthus-acaciae. Among some gulf state tribes the Ephedra (Bedouin: Ausaj) is considered to be under the special pro-tection of Spirits.
The “Ephedra foeminea” (Bedouin: Aousaj) is the most mysterious with its tiny flower and red and black seeds. It comes from Ephedraceae family. Harry Falk asserted three varieties of Ephedra (a Sarcostemma; and a leafless climber of the genus Periploca) that yield ephedrine. Falk established that the effect of the alkaloid ephedrine was, in many respects, similar to adrenaline, but "its actions are less intense but more prolonged than those of adrenaline, and, most important, it prevents sleeping." Chemical structure of Ephedrine is similar to Amphetamine, but pharmacologically they are unrelated. Ephedra was one of the candidates that have been suggested by the ethnobotanical community along with honey and harmla. Several studies attempted to establish botanical identity of the soma plant used by the shepherds tribes of the Persian plains. The Persian plains Shepherds had what they called the Soma drink which was a ritual psychoactive drink prepared by extracting juice from the stalks of a plant that was also called Soma. The highly conservative Zoroastrians of Yazd (Iran) were found to use Ephedra, in the late 19th century.

Below is a short list of some high alkoloidal plants of the desert:

Ba'eithran// Artemisia judaica L. : wormwood/Daisy Family. This herb is used to repel fleas and snakes. In the desert many artemisia species are used as tea and to flavor the goat milk. They grow ariund Petra at Ash Sarh slopes. They have high amounts of terpenoids and sesquiterpene lactones, and they are very very bitter with very strong smel. This is a major fodder for grazing goats at Ash sharah.

Ja'adah // Teucrium polium L. : Je’dah, this small woody shrub also grow on the steppes of Ash Sharah. A widely used by Shepherds in their medicine for enteritis and various intestinal disturbances. The Je’dah is also used in an infusion with Zatar “desert thyme” for liver cleansing. It is also mixed with Ba’etharan and Sh’eh.

Carob//“Ceratonia”: Believed to ba an archaic remnant of a part of the family that now generally considered extinct. It pods eaten by the Shepherds all the time. Carob dried pods when roasted have slighly sweet. In the Christian tradition the tree is known as Yohana Al Mamadany Tree “St. John the babtist tree”, the tree that feed him bread made of it roasted Carob pods chip. This tree is also believed to be the tree that spoke to king Solomon in the Hebrew tradition. The bedouin call the tree the Djin Carob for some unkown reason.
Rimth // Haloxylon articulatum (Cav.) Bge.

Sidr// Ziziphus spina - christi (L.): Wadi Arabah Sidr tree “christ thorn” from the Buckthorn family, grow tell up to 300m elevation. Its Rip fruits like aplpe taste often eaten by the hugry Shepheds.

Zeknan //Shaggy Sparrow wort: Used by shepherds to make robs and as pain killer for toot pain. But the shepherds of petra region believe that their women should never deliver their babies underneth this tree under any circumstances, as the baby will be born mentally ill. The Zeknan fire wood smell is disliked by the shepherds.

Athl or Ithl // Tamarix articulata Vahl.
Arak // Salvadora persica L.
Handal // Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.
Ghada // Haloxylon persicum Boiss
Qaysum // Pyrethrum Velen.
Mitnan // Astragalus camelorum Barb.
Miramiah// Salvia Divinorum/Diviner's Sage
Shih // Artemisia inculta Del.

Among some tribes the Ausaj Bush is considered to be under the special protection of Spirits. And for the Karak tribes of Jordan the Dome is considered to be protected by holy spirits at the village of Bethdan. It is never cut nor are branches even broken from it. It is believed that anyone injure it will be followed and tormented.

The Bani Hameda is said to be seen under a Dom Acacia tree in Wadi Al Mougeb while the elder was putting on its trunk oil and geeh.

Among some Bedouins of Palestine, the tamarisk "Turfa", a hardy flowering tree native to the desert and dead sea area, is a holy tree. Bedouins believe that when you pass a tamarisk at night when the wind is blowing, you can hear the branches whispering, "Alah, Allah."

Torfa bint Sabbah Al-Shousheh Al Ammarin, she is daughter of Salha and grand- daughter of Abdullah. She was born in Heisheh oak forest on the Ash Sharah highland. Torfa’s tent is the most beautiful from all the other tribes tents. Her healthy shining goats never needed vaccination and they dont get sick because they are well taken for. Torfa says “a good shepherd with a healthy herd is the one who lets his animals choose were they want to graze and not the other way around, some times the goats are seeking special medicinal herb that is good for them high in the rough terrain where other shepherds might not want to take their flock that hard terrain to fulfill his goats desire....this is the factor that makes your pampared goats produce a softer and shinnear hair and makes your goat deliver twins. To me there is nothing more loving than seeing the babies of goats around.” Torfa names every goat according to their own personality.

Among the early Semites, the Acacia was sacred to the Jews, who forbade its use for any secular purpose, such as building private homes or making furniture.

The Bible also tells us that the early Semites venerated Asherath ''Al Uzza'', the female who represented the fruitful or nourishing earth. She was worshiped under a tree so as the Arabs in Mecca.

The White Broom Shrub, Ratam flowers come out out in the very early spring before all the desert shrubs. And during the first few two weeks in March, Camels and Goats most ly graze on these flowers, which give the milk special qualities causing lucid and vivid dreams tho the Shepherds. A perfect example how easily humans could be affected by what they eat or what their animals are eating. Because the Broom "Ratam" plants contains high alkoloid like terpene and cytisine.

Some Shepherds has been taught that plants growing in between the rock veins has more medicinal properties than others. In Sinai the Bedouins use some specific sandstone layer for drinking as a prescription for some illnesses.

For the Shepherds Camel milk is said to have many healthful properties. Bedouins believe that the curative and aphrodisiac powers of the heavy and sweet camel milk are enhanced if the camel's diet consists of certain plants. The camel eats only certain herbal plants, tips of woody shrubs and trees and most of these plants and trees are high alkoloid plants. And when Bedouins Shepherds survive for months on its milk when water was unavailable, then you can imagine his "Consusnesss...."

The Artemisia Wormwood (Bedouin: Sh’eh) is another variety of the Daisy family which have very big influence on the Shepherds Psyche and Consciousness, Most Artemisia if taken in large doses may cause some hallucinogenic properties. And because Goats preferring this woody shrub than grasses. The Goats milk containing the wormood would have specific flavor and Artimesia taste.

It should be noted that our investigation in this work is limited to southJordan and the Cambriane Age Geological formation that we believe have special status in the minerals found in the Rocks which are not found in other Geological rock formation.

Thave Soil-plant-animal interrelationships studies suggest that this could be attributed to the status of the minerals in the soils. Animals in tis region then graze on plants that contains some rare minerals that the human body immune system is lacking and dont often include in his diet.

So it when we live a full nomadic life style. or as  Shepherds life the rare minerals would easily finds its way to the human body and his Consciousness. They get it through the milk and the meat of goats and camel that feed on alkloidal plants. Desert plants and shrubs contain higher amounts of our mystery substance than most of the plants in other regions.

It has been suggested that it is easier to benefit from the manna in food if the body is in a more alkaline than acidic state. Most people on conventional city diets tend to be on the acidic end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, the wild foods of the early inhabitants who lived full nomadic life style made the body more alkaline. Because when you are more alkaline your body obsorb the rare minerals more.

This rare minerals or the "Manna" exists in the fruits of wild trees, in resins and the desert herbs, and in the milk of camels and goats that feed on desert herbs. It is in the bone marrow and brain of the goats. It is un every thing that the early nomads fed on.

This rare minerals "the hidden Manna" is the source of happiness, and the source of the Sakina (Similar to the Hebrew Shekinah, the Arabic Sakina derives from Sukoon, meaning peace, serenity, tranquility). Manna is the source of physical health and immunity; the source of well being for the tribes that live in nature and with nature, in perfect harmony on sacred land. Not only does the hidden manna provide food for the physical body, it nourishes the so-called light-body, or dream-body.

Torfa the shepherdess of the Ammarin at the Artemisia steppes of Beidah, with the evergreen oak forests at Ash Sharah on the background.

Some South Bedouins (Bedouls and Ammarin) has been taught that the Harmla shrub was a women who turned into a shrub for her bad doings. 

The Story of Harmala Plant (Syrian Rue) as told by Torfa

According to legend, Hamda was a virtuous girl who lived with her brother and his wife long ago when all creatures had the power of speech. Hamda herded the family's small flock of sheep, and such was her virtue that she gave away most of her food to orphans. Then she assuaged her pangs of hunger by tying rolls of woven wool to her stomach, which caused her figure to bulge.
The wicked sister in law pointed out to her husband Hamda's protruding belly, telling him that his sister had become pregnant by some shepherd boy, thus bringing shame upon the family, which could be washed away by shedding Hamda's blood. The brother refused to believe this story, but his wife insisted, adding that Hamda had been acting strangely, moving restlessly from the sun to the shade and back, which, the wife claimed, was a sure sign of pregnancy. Finally, the brother agreed to put the matter to the test.

That afternoon, he lay in the sun and asked Hamda to pick the fleas from his hair. But the wicked sister in law had secretly put a poison in Hamda's food, which made her restless. After some moments Hamda asked her brother to move to the shade; then, a few moments later she asked to move back into the sun. The brother then believed his wife's lie. That night they plotted together to kill the unfortunate Hamda.

The following morning he took Hamda on his camel to a dried well. There he secretly spread a blanket on the mouth of the well to hide it, and he invited his unsuspecting sister to sit on the blanket and continue to de-flea him. She did, and fell into the well, whereupon the brother threw dried brush and wood on top of her and set it on fire so Hamda would burn to death. He then rode home to break the news to his wife.

But Hamda was saved from the fire by her virtue. From the poison in her belly erupted snakes that pushed the flames away. The flames themselves were magically transformed into a paradise. But poor Hamda missed her brother, so she made a necklace of beads for him and she asked a crow that flew overhead to take the gift to her sibling.

When the brother saw the necklace, he knew that Hamda was alive, and that he had treated her unjustly. Without telling his wife of his purpose, he asked her to pack some dates and dried food, so that she would not poison it, and he went back to the well. But the wife was suspicious and poisoned the dates by rolling them in camel dung and then in ashes to conceal the revealing smell.
When the brother reached the well Hamda told him her tale, but she refused to come out of her pit for fear that he might try to finish the task which he had started; he assured her of his good will and she let herself be rescued. The brother then offered her the dates to eat, but when they saw the ashes they realised that the food had been poisoned, and the brother realised his wife's wickedness.

When the wife saw her husband riding back with Hamda behind him, she realised that her evil deeds had failed. She cried out a spell to save herself, but her magic failed again, and instead, the earth opened and swallowed her up to her neck. Her husband grabbed her by the hair and cut off her head with his sword, crying out for her to become a bush so repulsive that even donkeys could not eat more than one mouthful of it. So the wicked wife was transformed into the bush of the ''Harmala plant'' with its dark bitter seeds.

The colour-bands of white, yellow, gold, orange, red and mauve at Petra. The rock formation exposed to the surface at Petra belong to the Cambrian Age (540 to 488 million years ago). The colours were formed by the rhythmic deposition of various elements and compounds from mineral-rich water that once flowed within the rocks. Few important plant species grow exclusively on this rock type, on the veins of the rocks.