The ancestors of the Turkmens had a deep knowledge of the useful properties of various plants and widely used them in their daily life, passing this knowledge from generation to generation. One of them is uzerlik — Garman.
The medicinal properties of harmala have been known since ancient times. Archaeological research shows that in the second Millennium BC, the ancient inhabitants of present-day Turkmenistan in temples made the cult drink soma-haoma – “elixir of the Immortals”, which included harmala.
The Holy book of Zoroastrianism “Avesta” in the VII–V centuries BC describes harmala as a calming and purifying agent. Here it is appropriate to recall that the homeland of Zoroastrianism is the territory of Turkmenistan. Two thousand years ago, the famous Greek physician Dioscorides wrote about harmal. And the Arab naturalist and historian Abu Hanifa al-Dinawari in the ninth century describes it in the “Book of plants”. The great scientist Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna) in the “Canon of medical science” recommended the use of harmala oil for the treatment of joint pain and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
In the first volume of the publication “Medicinal plants of Turkmenistan”, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, describes in detail the medicinal properties, chemical composition, distribution and use of harmala vulgaris.
Currently, the tradition of fumigating the sacred harmala, which is widely used by the population, can complement the applied medicinal measures to strengthen and protect health.
What does modern science say? Research on this plant has shown that the smell of harmala destroys bacteria, insects and even repels snakes. This is due to the fact that the plant’s alkaloids are poisonous. This property of harmala is also used in biological control of crop pests, protection of livestock from skin diseases and harmful insects. The plant’s alkaloid harmine in the form of hydrochloric salt is used to treat the effects of epidemic encephalitis, tremor paralysis and Parkinson’s disease, excites the respiratory and motor centers of the nervous system, and expands the coronary vessels of the heart.