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Massoud M, Jalilpour H, Salehian P.
“Toxicity of Peganum harmala: Review and a Case Report”.
Iranian Journal Of Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2002 Jun;1:1-4.
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.
Key Words: abortion, human toxicity, animal toxicity, hallucination
Def: Emmenagogue: Agents that promote menstrual flow.
A 35 year old male patient, who was under treatment for his addiction to opium, admitted to the clinic due to gastrointestinal distress. He explained that he had consumed 1 kg of sheep testicles in the belief that it would improve his well being, but resulted in emesis and vomiting. Then to his grandmother's recommendation and accord to the family tradition, he took around 150 g of seeds P. harmala. Due to her old age, the grandmother was not sure about the traditional dose. After that he experienced gastrointestinal distress and vomited blood. On physical examination, he showed slight elevation in body temperature (37.5C), a pulse rate of 100 beats per minute, and a low blood pressure (80/40mmHg), convulsion, tremor (limbs and facial muscles), and visual hallucinations as well as abdominal pain.
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