Thank you so much! We appreciate all your donations, big and small, which poured in during 2014. You gave our charity over £10,000 in response to our appeal, over ten times more than in 2013! This meant we did not need to dip into our dwindling reserves to keep the database and website going and free of charge for another year. In 2015 we will continue to depend on your donations, so please do keep them coming. More information on our financial position >>>
Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

Ammi visnaga - (L.)Lam.                
Common Name Visnaga. Khella. Bishop's Weed, Toothpickweed
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
Synonyms Ammi dilatatum. Apium visnaga. Carum visnaga. Daucus visnaga.
Known Hazards Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people[218]. Avoid during pregnancy and lactation. Avoid if on warfarin or other blood thinning medication. Prolonged use may lead to: constipation, appetite loss, headaches, vertigo, nausea and vomiting [301].
Habitats Fields and sandy places[100].
Range C. Europe to W. Asia and N. Africa.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Ammi visnaga is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Ammi visnaga Visnaga. Khella. Bishop

Ammi visnaga Visnaga. Khella. Bishop
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw[177]. Chewed for their pleasant aromatic flavour[183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiarrhythmic;  Antiasthmatic;  Antispasmodic;  Diuretic;  Lithontripic;  Vasodilator.

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].
Other Uses

The fruiting pedicel is used as a toothpick[46, 61, 114] whilst the seeds have been used as a tooth cleaner[254].
Cultivation details                                         
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].
Seed - sow spring in situ.
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[100]Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
[114]Chakravarty. H. L. The Plant Wealth of Iraq.
It is surprising how many of these plants can be grown in Britain. A very readable book on the useful plants of Iraq.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[301]Karalliedde. L. and Gawarammana. I. Traditional Herbal Medicines
A guide to the safer use of herbal medicines.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Wafa M.Osman Tue Mar 15 10:22:50 2005
Can I get the name & date of publication of this topic
Elizabeth H.
Crystal Fri Nov 24 2006
My Khella experience: I use a liquid Khella (amni visnaga) for my asthma and it is absolutely amazing. No other herb has worked as well as Khella. It took a few days to work just like the naturopath said, but than I didn't have to use my albuterol any more ((it works better than pharmaceuticals do)). I am so pleased with this herbal that I am sure others will also benefit from it. I use Herb Pharm brand tincture. It is in an alcohol base so it tastes kinda like your taking a shot. But the results are great. Apparently you have to be careful when going in the sun after using Khella because it increases photo sensitivity.
Elizabeth H.
Dr.R.N.Dutta Wed Feb 20 2008
can Ammi visinaga tincture is usefull for Vitiligo/leucoderma ? if yes usefull externally or internal?
Elizabeth H.
Irv Tue Aug 12 2008
I have been using a homeopathic tincture for many years containing amni visnaga 1x, which is a 1 to 10 dilution, it has always worked well when I need it most. Its a product called "asthma relief" from Bioforce. Unfortunately they have discontinued it. Maybe if enough people ask for it, they will bring it back.
Elizabeth H.
donna Sat Jan 17 2009
I used khella seed to get me through a really bad patch with my asthma. It worked immediately and incredibly well. I have never taken such a powerful drug for my asthma, including prescription medication. However, I did end up with a sun burn (in the dead of winter!), a rash that has lasted a week so far and is only getting worse, nausea, & vomiting. I know that sounds really bad, but the trade-off was that it got me out of an asthma crisis when nothing else worked. I'm sure those are pretty rare reaction but I know that they do happen. I would think that it's probably best to use khella seed under the supervision of a competent doctor or herbalist.
Elizabeth H.
Dr. Ahmed Gohar Mon Feb 2 2009
Ammi visnaga fruits could be used as a beneficial drug for asthma, urinary stones and angina pain. It has dilator and relaxant effect on smooth muscles. The main active constituents of visnaga is khillin and visnagin. Both compounds belong to the chromones. Such compounds could have effect on blood coagulation so, care should be taken with patients using blood thinning medications as warfarins. INR should be monitored.
Elizabeth H.
swapneil ranade Fri Mar 13 2009
Ammi Visnaga has good results both internal and external in case of vitiligo.
Elizabeth H.
Sat May 2 2009
should vitiligo patients expose to sun after ammi visnaga external application
Elizabeth H.
Amit Khanna Mon Nov 16 2009
Who Ammi Visnaga(Mother Tincture) is benefitial in vitiligo ? Dr Willmar Schwabe India Pvt. Ltd is marketing this product in vitiligo & leucoderma. Kindly provide me details about Ammi Visnaga such as its Homoeopathic use and its botnical details. Thanks.
Elizabeth H.
laurie Wed Dec 9 2009
My 6 yr old daughter was just prescribed ammi visnaga. I picked it up at Bastyr. She was been diagnosed with moderate sever asthma. She has had a dry cough that won't quit that eventually always turned to wheezing and having to use albuterol. The first time my daughter took this it worked immediately. The cough was gone for 12 hours. She has been on it for 5 days now and it is working wonders.
Elizabeth H.
Alaa El Ahwal Thu Dec 10 2009
Dears, i need ammi visnaga seeds at egypt to use in medical purpose i am Alaa owner of ElAalian trading co.
Elizabeth H.
omnia Mon Dec 28 2009
is fuoranochromone aderivative of anthraquinone?
Kathleen H.
Sep 11 2011 12:00AM
How do you actually use this plant? Make tea? Crush it? Use the flower, leaves, or root? When do you use it. When it is green and flowering? Or after it has dried on the stalk while still in the ground? I know that it is called Wild Carrot, so do you eat the root? Thanks for any information.
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Rate This Plant                                         
Please rate this plants for how successful you have found it to be. You will need to be logged in to do this. Our intention is not to create a list of 'popular' plants but rather to highlight plants that may be rare and unusual and that have been found to be useful by website users. This hopefully will encourage more people to use plants that they possibly would not have considered before.
Add a comment/link                                         

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

Subject : Ammi visnaga  

Links To add a link to another website with useful info add the details here
Name of Site
URL of Site