Peganum Harmala

The following story is collected from my friend. He is from U.S.A. This interview is done face-to-face. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A:” Do you know any Iranian tradition?”

B: “Yes, Peganum Harmala. So it is essentially this plant, that is used in persian culture to bless someone in your family or someone for an important event. You get this plant, and burn it. It is very smelly and scent covers the whole place. You get the burned plant and put it on the person’s head. You wait until their body absorbs the smell. According to the myth, this keeps you safe and protected from people, who don’t like you. Smell is believed to protect you from the bad energy, other people sent to you.”


A:” Do you practice it?”


B: “Everytime I go back to visit my family, they do this to me. Especially if I achieved something important, we will do this since other people can be jealous of me and sent bad energy to me.”