Bishop’s Weed (Ammi majus)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bishop's Weed
Ammi majus
Umbelliferae

The root is chewed to give protection from strong sunlight. It contains 8-methoxypsoralen which stimulates production of pigment in skin exposed to U.V. light. Caution is advised, however, since it can cause side-effects[160]. Other reports suggest that it is the seeds that are used[238, 254].

  • Medicinal Use

    The seed is contraceptive, diuretic and tonic[238]. An infusion is used to calm the digestive system, whilst it is also used in the treatment of asthma and angina[254]. A decoction of the ground-up seed, eaten after intercourse, appears able to prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum in the uterus[238]. This decoction is also used as a gargle in the treatment of toothache[238].

    The seed contains furanocoumarins (including bergapten), which stimulate pigment production in skin that is exposed to bright sunlight[238, 254]. The plant is widely cultivated in India for these furanocoumarins which are used in the treatment of vitiligo (piebald skin) and psoriasis[238, 254].

  • Edible Use

    Seed – used as a condiment[177, 183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The root contains 8-methoxypsoralen, this stimulates the production of pigmentation in skin exposed to ultra-violet light, but it can cause side-effects. Use with caution[160]. Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people[218].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ[238].
Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position[238], succeeding in ordinary garden soil. This species is often cultivated for its attractive flowering stems which are often sold in markets[238]. It is cultivated in India as a medicinal herb[238].
C. Europe to W. Asia and N. Africa. A casual in Britain[17].

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.