The Benefits of Ammi Visnaga

Health Benefits, Uses, and More

Ammi visnaga is a natural substance long used in herbal medicine. Often referred to as "khella," ammi visnaga is extracted from a plant in the carrot family. Ammi visnaga contains khellin, a compound said to promote widening of the blood vessels.

Uses for Ammi Visnaga

In alternative medicine, ammi visnaga is touted as a treatment for the following health problems:

In addition, ammi visnaga is said to reduce inflammation.

When applied directly to the skin, ammi visnaga is thought to aid in the treatment of conditions like psoriasis and alopecia areata, as well as promote wound healing.

Health Benefits of Ammi Visnaga

A number of studies published in the 1950s determined that khellin may aid in the treatment of conditions like angina and asthma. Although more recent research on the health effects of ammi visnaga is fairly limited, there's some evidence that it may offer certain benefits. Here's a look at some key findings from recently published studies on ammi visnaga:

1) Kidney Stones

Several preliminary studies suggest that ammi visnaga may help protect against kidney stones. In a 2011 study published in Urological Research, for instance, tests on rats revealed that treatment with ammi visnaga helped prevent the buildup of minerals known to form kidney stones.

2) Diabetes

Ammi visnaga shows promise in the treatment of diabetes, according to an animal-based study published in the Journal of Pharmacotherapy in 2002. In tests on diabetic rats, the study's authors found that ammi visnaga helped reduce blood sugar levels.

See my article on Natural Remedies for Diabetes.

3) Vitiligo

Ammi visnaga may aid in the treatment of vitiligo, suggests a study published in the European Journal of Dermatology in 2001. A condition marked by white patches on the skin, vitiligo occurs when the cells that give your skin its color are destroyed.

For the study, researchers assigned 28 people with vitiligo to a treatment regimen that included oral intake of khellin and a therapy involving exposure to ultraviolet A light. Researchers found that - of the 17 patients who continued the treatment regimen for longer than three months – seven had a "good response" (i.e., more than 70 percent repigmentation of the vitiligo-affected skin).


There's some concern that ammi visnaga may trigger certain adverse effects when consumed in high doses or used in the long term. These adverse effects range from constipation and nausea to liver problems and difficulty sleeping. Given these safety concerns, it's important to consult your physician prior to taking ammi visnaga.

In addition, ammi visnaga may aggravate liver disease.

Therefore, anyone with liver disease should avoid the use of ammi visnaga.

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements here.

Alternatives to Ammi Visnaga

A number of other natural remedies may help improve blood vessel health and protect against cardiovascular problems. For example, studies suggest that substances such as omega-3 fatty acids, garlic, cocoa, and black tea may help enhance cardiovascular health.

In addition, resveratrol, anthocyanins, and other antioxidants found naturally in certain foods (such as berries) may help keep your blood vessels healthy.

Where to Find It

Widely available for purchase online, ammi visnaga is sold in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.

Using Ammi Visnaga for Health

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend ammi visnaga as a treatment for any condition. It's also important to note that self-treating a chronic condition (such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol) with ammi visnaga and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.


Dewar H, Grimson T. "Khellin in the treatment of angina of effort." Br Heart J. 1950 Jan;12(1):54-60.

Jouad H, Maghrani M, Eddouks M. "Hypoglycemic effect of aqueous extract of Ammi visnaga in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats." J Herb Pharmacother. 2002;2(4):19-29.

Lee JK, Jung JS, Park SH, Park SH, Sim YB, Kim SM, Ha TS, Suh HW. "Anti-inflammatory effect of visnagin in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated BV-2 microglial cells." Arch Pharm Res. 2010 Nov;33(11):1843-50.

Vanachayangkul P, Byer K, Khan S, Butterweck V. "An aqueous extract of Ammi visnaga fruits and its constituents khellin and visnagin prevent cell damage caused by oxalate in renal epithelial cells." Phytomedicine. 2010 Jul;17(8-9):653-8.

Vanachayangkul P, Chow N, Khan SR, Butterweck V. "Prevention of renal crystal deposition by an extract of Ammi visnaga L. and its constituents khellin and visnagin in hyperoxaluric rats." Urol Res. 2011 Jun;39(3):189-95.

Zehe O. "Khellin therapy of asthma." Dtsch Med J. 1955 Feb 15;6(3-4):109-11.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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