Broad spectrum roles of Harmine in Ayahuasca.
“The findings discussed may yet in future, also help offer hope in certain areas where conventional medicine may be challenged.”
This presentation seeks to provide an overview from both past and current findings on harmine, demonstrating its antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anticancer, antidepressant, antiparasitic, DNA binding, osteogenic, neuroprotective as well as other lesser known effects. I will speculate that as harmine is by far the most abundant constituent of the medicine ayahuasca, its presence in pharmacologically active amounts may therefore provide some rationale for its contribution in ayahuasca’s wide application in traditional medicine and its general reputation for treating a broad range of disease and ailments.
Some of the psychoactive and physiological roles of harmine have been known since Lewis published his paper on banisterine in 1928. Harmine has now received the attention of the international scientific community, looking at a broad range of activities that have alluded to the possible application of harmine in several different areas of medicine. In more recent years studies have begun looking at both the endogenous and physiological roles of dimethyltryptamine. Similarly, beta-carbolines are found in various body tissues and fluids, thus a modulation type effect may be responsible for some of the claimed therapeutic properties.
A major role of harmine in the synergistic effect of ayahuasca chemistry, is to function as a mono amino oxidase inhibitor for dimethyltryptamine, though as a single molecule on its own, harmine shows some potent and broad spectrum activities. The findings discussed may yet in future, also help offer hope in certain areas where conventional medicine may be challenged. It is hoped that this overview may help researchers explore some of the hidden potentials of harmine as well as raise general awareness as to its possible therapeutic role in the medicine ayahuasca.