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Ammi visnaga

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Ammi visnaga

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ammi
Species: A. visnaga
Binomial name
Ammi visnaga
(L.) Lam.
Synonyms

Visnaga daucoides

Ammi visnaga is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family known by many common names, including bisnaga, toothpickweed, and khella. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but it can be found throughout the world as an introduced species. This is an annual or biennial herb growing from a taproot erect to a maximum height near 80 centimeters. Leaves are up to 20 centimeters long and generally oval to triangular in shape but dissected into many small linear to lance-shaped segments. The inflorescence is a compound umbel of white flowers similar to those of other Apiaceae species. The fruit is a compressed oval-shaped body less than 3 millimeters long. This and other Ammi species are sources of khellin, a diuretic extract.

Traditional medicine

In Egypt, a tea made from the fruit of this species has been used as an herbal remedy for kidney stones. Laborarory rat studies show that the extract slows the buildup of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys and acts as a diuretic.[1]

Chemical constituents

Khellin, a chemical obtained from Ammi visnaga, was used at one time as a smooth muscle relaxant, but its use is limited due to adverse side effects.[2]

The chemical visnagin, which is found in A. visnaga, has biological activity in animal models as a vasodilator and reduces blood pressure by inhibiting calcium influx into the cell.[3]

References

Further reading

  • Khan, Z. A., et al. (2001). (AI-Khillah). International Urology and Nephrology 33:4 605-8.

External links

  • Jepson Manual Treatment
  • USDA Plants Profile
  • GRIN Species Profile
  • Photo gallery
  • Botanical drawing
  • Fructus Ammi Visnagae WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants - Volume 3
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