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Toxicity of Peganum harmala: Review and a Case Report

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Author(s): Massoud Mahmoudian | Hossein Jalipour | Pirooz Salehian Dardashti

Journal: Iranian Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
ISSN 1735-2657

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Abortion | Human toxicity | Animal toxicity | Hallucination

ABSTRACT
Peganum harmala L. is a plant, which grows in semi-arid rangeland. The plant is used traditionally as an emmenagogue and an abortifacient agent in the Middle East and North Africa. All parts of plant are thought to be toxic and sever intoxication occurs in domestic animals. Digestive and nervous syndromes have been observed in animals that consume sub-lethal amount of the plant. The toxicated animal appears in a narcotic state interrupted by occasional short period of excitement. Abortion is frequent in animals that digest this plant in a dry year. While this plant has traditionally been used in Middle East, it shows toxic effects in human. A case of human overdose with P. harmala seeds is reported in this paper. Symptoms experienced by our patient found to be similar to what has been reported for domestic animals.

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