Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) is of Asian Origin and grows in the Middle East and in part of South Asia mainly in India and Pakistan. It was first planted in the United States in 1928 in New Mexico by a farmer wanting to manufacture the dye “Persian Red” from its seeds.
Syrian rue was used to dye Persian rugs which some scholars believe is the origin of flying carpet myths.
The plant’s seeds are especially noteworthy because they have seen continuous use for thousands of years in the rites of many cultures. The plant has remained a popular tool in both folk medicine and spiritual practices for so long that some historians (incorrectly) believe the plant may be the ancient “soma” (a medicinal aid that is mentioned in a variety of ancient Indo-Iranian texts but whose exact identity has been lost to history).