|Molecular mass||214.263 g/mol|
|Melting point||*232–234 °C|
|262 °C (·HCl·2H2O)|
|Disclaimer and references|
Occurrence in Nature
Harmaline is a central nervous system stimulant and a "reversible inhibitor of MAO-A (RIMA)." It being selectively an MAO-A inhibitor means that it only binds to MAO-A and it leaves MAO-B free to metabolize tyrosine-containing foods that can be dangerous with MAO-B inhibitors. The reversibility means that, instead of binding permanently to MAO-A for weeks until the body replaces the MAO-A enzyme molecules, harmaline binds to the MAO-A enzyme for only up to 24 hours until it "reverses" its inhibition by separating from MAO-A. This means that the risk of a hypertensive crisis, a dangerous high blood pressure crisis from eating tyrosine-rich foods such as cheese, is potentially lower with harmaline than with non-reversible MAOI's, especially after 24 hours following ingestion.
Depending upon the dosage, harmaline induces temporary oneirophrenia and ataxia. Harmaline, on the higher end of its safe dosage range, has hallucinogenic properties, but it differentiates itself significantly from the "classical" hallucinogens in its pharmacology. Since harmaline is a reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitor, it could increase the effect of some drugs problematically. Harmaline causes no known physical or psychological dependence.
- Antileishmanial activity of harmaline and other tryptamine derivatives A. Tudor Evans, Simon L. Croft, Department of Medical Protozoology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WCIE 7HT, UK
- Data from the Sigma Aldrich Catalog (German)
- The Merck Index (1996). 12th Edition
- Edward J. Massaro, Handbook of Neurotoxicology
- Method of treating chemical dependency using .beta.-carboline alkaloids, derivatives and salts thereof
- Berrougui,-H; Martin-Cordero,-C; Khalil,-A; Hmamouchi,-M; Ettaib,-A; Marhuenda,-E; Herrera,-M-D. Vasorelaxant effects of harmine and harmaline extracted from Peganum harmala L. seeds in isolated rat aorta. Pharmacol-Res. 2006 Aug; 54(2): 150-7