Khella (Ammi visnaga) was originally cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who used it to treat many ailments, including urinary tract diseases. It was also used in the Middle Ages as a diuretic.
The whole fruit has traditionally been used to treat respiratory system diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and whooping cough, as well as cardiovascular disorders, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), liver and gall bladder disorders and to stimulate diuresis (increase in urine production). Its purported effect is related to its antispasmodic action on smaller bronchial muscles, coronary arteries and urinary tract tubules. Ammi visnaga may vasodilate the coronary arteries, which increases the blood supply to the myocaridium, and as a result, can be used to treat mild forms of angina (chest pain). It is also used to treat problems associated with spasms and constriction of the gallbladder and bile duct and facilitates the discharge of kidney stones and gallstones.
The clinical and therapeutic effectiveness of khellin, a constituent of khella, with respect to coronary, respiratory and urologic indications, has been demonstrated in experiments. Current khella indications include mild angina (chest pain) complaints, postoperative treatment of urinary calculus (kidney stones) and supportive treatment of mild forms of obstructive pulmonary diseases.
Few clinical trials have investigated khella (the whole herb vs. its constituent khellin). However, based on traditional use, more studies of khella for the treatment of psoriasis (chronic skin disease) or lipid panel may be warranted.
Ammi, Ammi daucoides, Ammi visnaga, Bischofskrautfruchte, bishop's weed, bishop's weed fruit, daucus visagna, false Queen Anne's lace, fruits de khella, germakellin, honeyplant, khellin, picktooth, Spanish toothpick, toothpick plant, visnaga, visnagae, Visnagafruchte, visnagin.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Preliminary evidence suggests that khellin, taken by mouth, may be an effective therapy for psoriasis. However, additional study is needed to confirm these results.
Vitiligo (loss of skin pigment)
Several studies have investigated the use of khellin for the treatment of vitiligo. However, the evidence of the efficacy of khellin is conflicting. Further research is warranted in order to draw a firm conclusion.