Herbs & Plants

Dorema ammoniacum

Botanical Name: Dorema ammoniacum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus : Dorema
Class : Rosopsida
Phylum : Magnoliophyta

Common Name: Ammoniacum
English name: Gum Ammoniacum, Dorema, Amoniac
Persian name: vosha, voshagh, coma candle, ashagh, ooshagh
Arabic name: shajarat-al-ashagh, voshaj, lazagh-al-zahab

Habitat:Dorema ammoniacum is native to W. Asia – Iran to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It grow on loess loams in desert areas. Dry rocky areas.

Dorema ammoniacum is a clump-forming perennial plant that grows up to 2.5 m in height and one m of base, with pinnate leaves divided into broadly lance-shaped, mid-green leaves and umbels of tiny, bright yellow to yellow-green flowers in early summer.(Erect flower stem) Foliage is deciduous and aromatic (aniseed).(Foliage is Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn)
It is a hermaphrodite species (it has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by insects.


Easily grown in an ordinary garden soil. Prefers a well-drained to dry soil in a sunny position.
This species is not hardy in all parts of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to at least -5°c.
A monocarpic species, growing for a number of years before it flowers but then dying after flowering. It is said to produce viable seed in this country.

Through Seeds – sow in an outdoor seedbed in mid spring. It might be better to sow the seed in the autumn in a cold frame or greenhouse. The seed germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 15°c. If seed is in short supply we would recommend sowing it in a pot in a cold frame and pricking out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year.

Edible Uses: Not known to us.

Medicinal Uses:
Ammoniacum has been used in Western herbal medicine for thousands of years and is still seen as an effective remedy for various complaints of the chest.
A gum resin is found in cavities in the tissues of stems, roots and petioles. It often exudes naturally from holes in the stems caused by beetles though this is not so pure as that obtained from the plant tissues. The resin is antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, expectorant, poultice, stimulant and vasodilator. It is often used internally in the treatment of chronic bronchitis (especially in the elderly), asthma and catarrh. Externally, it is used as a plaster for swellings of the joints and indolent tumours.
The resin exudes as a milky gum from holes made in the stems. This gum is pressed into blocks and then ground into a powder.

Other Uses:
A medicinal gum or resin called ‘Ammoniacum’ is exuded from insect damaged stems. It is also used in perfumery and in porcelain cement as well as for plasters.

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


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