Visnaga (Ammi visnaga)

Annual/Biennial
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Visnaga
Ammi visnaga
Umbelliferae

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

  • Medicinal Use

    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].

  • Edible Use

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

  • Cautionary Notes

    Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people[218].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in situ.
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].
C. Europe to W. Asia and N. Africa.

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.