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Ammi visnaga - (L.)Lam.

Common Name Visnaga. Khella. Bishop's Weed, Toothpickweed
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people[218]. Avoid during pregnancy and lactation. Avoid if on warfarin or other blood thinning medication. Prolonged use may lead to: constipation, appetite loss, headaches, vertigo, nausea and vomiting [301].
Habitats Fields and sandy places[100].
Range C. Europe to W. Asia and N. Africa.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Ammi visnaga Visnaga. Khella. Bishop

Ammi visnaga Visnaga. Khella. Bishop


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ammi visnaga is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It is in flower from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Ammi dilatatum. Apium visnaga. Carum visnaga. Daucus visnaga.

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw[177]. Chewed for their pleasant aromatic flavour[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Antiarrhythmic  Antiasthmatic  Antispasmodic  Diuretic  Lithontripic  Urinary  Vasodilator

Visnaga is an effective muscle relaxant and has been used for centuries to alleviate the excruciating pain of kidney stones[254]. Modern research has confirmed the validity of this traditional use[254]. Visnagin contains khellin, from which particularly safe pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of asthma have been made[254]. The seeds are diuretic and lithontripic[46]. They contain a fatty oil that includes the substance 'khellin'. This has been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of asthma[238]. Taken internally, the seeds have a strongly antispasmodic action on the smaller bronchial muscles[254], they also dilate the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure[238]. The affect last for about 6 hours and the plant has practically no side effects[254]. The seeds are used in the treatment of asthma, angina, coronary arteriosclerosis and kidney stones[238]. By relaxing the muscles of the urethra, visnaga reduces the pain caused by trapped kidney stones and helps ease the stone down into the bladder[254]. The seeds are harvested in late summer before they have fully ripened and are dried for later use[254].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


The fruiting pedicel is used as a toothpick[46, 61, 114] whilst the seeds have been used as a tooth cleaner[254].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position[238], succeeding in ordinary garden soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.8 to 8.3. This species is not fully winter-hardy in the colder areas of Britain, though it should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual[238]. This plant is sold as toothpicks in Egyptian markets[46].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Aconitum gammiei Perennial0.6 -  LMHSNM01 
Ammi majusBishop's Weed, Large bullwort, Queen Anne's Lace, Bishop's FlowerAnnual0.8 0-0 MLMHSNM131
Lepidogrammitis drymoglossoides Fern0.0 -  LMHSM01 
Persea gammieana Tree15.0 -  LMHSNM002
Trachyspermum ammiAjowan carawayAnnual0.6 -  LMHNM232

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Wafa M.Osman   Tue Mar 15 10:22:50 2005

Can I get the name & date of publication of this topic

Crystal   Fri Nov 24 2006

My Khella experience: I use a liquid Khella (amni visnaga) for my asthma and it is absolutely amazing. No other herb has worked as well as Khella. It took a few days to work just like the naturopath said, but than I didn't have to use my albuterol any more ((it works better than pharmaceuticals do)). I am so pleased with this herbal that I am sure others will also benefit from it. I use Herb Pharm brand tincture. It is in an alcohol base so it tastes kinda like your taking a shot. But the results are great. Apparently you have to be careful when going in the sun after using Khella because it increases photo sensitivity.

Dr.R.N.Dutta   Wed Feb 20 2008

can Ammi visinaga tincture is usefull for Vitiligo/leucoderma ? if yes usefull externally or internal?

Irv   Tue Aug 12 2008

I have been using a homeopathic tincture for many years containing amni visnaga 1x, which is a 1 to 10 dilution, it has always worked well when I need it most. Its a product called "asthma relief" from Bioforce. Unfortunately they have discontinued it. Maybe if enough people ask for it, they will bring it back.

donna   Sat Jan 17 2009

I used khella seed to get me through a really bad patch with my asthma. It worked immediately and incredibly well. I have never taken such a powerful drug for my asthma, including prescription medication. However, I did end up with a sun burn (in the dead of winter!), a rash that has lasted a week so far and is only getting worse, nausea, & vomiting. I know that sounds really bad, but the trade-off was that it got me out of an asthma crisis when nothing else worked. I'm sure those are pretty rare reaction but I know that they do happen. I would think that it's probably best to use khella seed under the supervision of a competent doctor or herbalist.

Dr. Ahmed Gohar   Mon Feb 2 2009

Ammi visnaga fruits could be used as a beneficial drug for asthma, urinary stones and angina pain. It has dilator and relaxant effect on smooth muscles. The main active constituents of visnaga is khillin and visnagin. Both compounds belong to the chromones. Such compounds could have effect on blood coagulation so, care should be taken with patients using blood thinning medications as warfarins. INR should be monitored.

swapneil ranade   Fri Mar 13 2009

Ammi Visnaga has good results both internal and external in case of vitiligo.

   Sat May 2 2009

should vitiligo patients expose to sun after ammi visnaga external application

Amit Khanna   Mon Nov 16 2009

Who Ammi Visnaga(Mother Tincture) is benefitial in vitiligo ? Dr Willmar Schwabe India Pvt. Ltd is marketing this product in vitiligo & leucoderma. Kindly provide me details about Ammi Visnaga such as its Homoeopathic use and its botnical details. Thanks.

laurie   Wed Dec 9 2009

My 6 yr old daughter was just prescribed ammi visnaga. I picked it up at Bastyr. She was been diagnosed with moderate sever asthma. She has had a dry cough that won't quit that eventually always turned to wheezing and having to use albuterol. The first time my daughter took this it worked immediately. The cough was gone for 12 hours. She has been on it for 5 days now and it is working wonders.

Alaa El Ahwal   Thu Dec 10 2009

Dears, i need ammi visnaga seeds at egypt to use in medical purpose i am Alaa owner of ElAalian trading co. [email protected]

omnia   Mon Dec 28 2009

is fuoranochromone aderivative of anthraquinone?

   Sep 11 2011 12:00AM

How do you actually use this plant? Make tea? Crush it? Use the flower, leaves, or root? When do you use it. When it is green and flowering? Or after it has dried on the stalk while still in the ground? I know that it is called Wild Carrot, so do you eat the root? Thanks for any information.

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