Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name: Ammi visnaga
Family: Umbelliferae/Apiaceae – Carrot family
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: MagnoliophytaFlowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order : Apiales
Genus : Ammi L. – ammi
Species : Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam. – toothpickweed

Habitat: Fields and sandy places, Native in C.Europeto W. Asia and N.Africa

Annual/Biennial growing to 0.75m by 0.4m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.The seeds are harvested in late summer before they have fully ripened and are dried for later use.

Cultivation details
Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position, 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. This plant is sold as toothpicks in Egyptian markets.

Seed – sow spring in situ

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Leaves – raw. Chewed for their pleasant aromatic flavour.

Medicinal Uses

Antiasthmatic; Diuretic; Lithontripic; Vasodilator.

Visnaga is an effective muscle relaxant and has been used for centuries to alleviate the excruciating pain of kidney stones. Modern research has confirmed the validity of this traditional use. Visnagin contains khellin, from which particularly safe pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of asthma have been made. The seeds are diuretic and lithontripic.

They contain a fatty oil that includes the substance ‘khellin’. This has been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of asthma. Taken internally, the seeds have a strongly antispasmodic action on the smaller bronchial muscles, they also dilate the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure. The affect last for about 6 hours and the plant has practically no side effects. The seeds are used in the treatment of asthma, angina, coronary arteriosclerosis and kidney stones. 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.

Visnaga is a relative of Queen Anne’s Lace and is commonly known to Arabs as “toothpick” plant. Centuries ago, Arabs found the small grayish fruits of this plant effective in treating numerous complaints such as the stabbing pain of angina pectoris. The main component of Visnaga is khellin, which acts as a selective coronary vasodilator. Khellin expands only the arteries that feed the heart, offering fast relief when angina is brought on by constricted or partly blocked coronary arteries. This substance is also a bronchodilator and was used by Arabs for treating the bronchial spasms that accompany asthma or severe allergies. The asthma drug Intal, is derived from khellin. Visnaga fruit also has diuretic properties.

Visnaga Uses & Scientific Evidence For
Today, Visnaga is used to help improve circulation to the heart, which eases angina. It does not; however, lower blood pressure. This plant is also used safely for treating asthma in children and adults, and even though it does not always relieve acute attacks, it does help prevent a recurrence. It is also used in treating bronchitis, emphysema, and whooping cough. Visnaga increases urine production and helps relax the muscles of the ureter, therefore, it works well in treating kidney stones. In Spain, this plant is used to clean the teeth.

Visnaga Dosage Information
Visnaga comes in many forms and can be found in various products. It is best to consult with your physician before using this herb if you want to use it to treat any of the above listed conditions.

Other Uses
The fruiting pedicel is used as a toothpick whilst the seeds have been used as a tooth cleaner.

Scented Plants
Plant: Crushed
The plant has an aromatic bitter scent and flavour.

Visnaga Safety & Interaction Information
Even though Visnaga is relatively safe for treating many conditions, it is not without its side effects. Prolonged use causes a build up of khellin in the body which can bring on nausea and vomiting. Again, it is best to consult with your physician for the treatment of your condition.

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Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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