Aethusa ammi Spreng.
Ammi boeberi Hell. ex Hoffm.
Ammi broussonetii DC.
Ammi cicutifolium Willd. ex Schult.
Ammi elatum Salisb.
Ammi glaucifolium L.
Ammi intermedium DC.
Ammi pauciradiatum Hochst. ex A.Rich.
Ammi procerum Lowe
Ammi pumilum (Brot.) DC.
Anethum pinnatum Ruiz & Pav. ex Urban
Apium ammi Crantz
Apium ammi-maius Crantz
Apium candollei M.Hiroe
Apium petraeum Crantz
Apium pumilum (Brot.) Calest.
Carum majus (L.) Koso-Pol.
Cuminum aethiopicum Royle
Cuminum regium Royle
Daucus glaber Parsa
Daucus parsae M.Hiroe
Helosciadium lateriflorum Koch
Pimpinella capillacea Poit. ex Urb.
Pimpinella lateriflora Link
Selinum ammoides E.H.L.Krause
Sison fasciculatum Pohl ex DC.
Sison haenkei C.Presl ex DC.
Sison lateriflorum Bertol.
Sison majus Eaton & Wright
Sison pumilum Brot.
Visnaga vulgaris Bubani
Common Name: Bishop's Weed
Ammi majus is an erect, annual plant with a much-branched stem; it can grow 30 - 150cm tall[
The plant has a long history of herbal use going back to at least 2,000BC in Egypt and it is still in common use in modern herbalism. It is often cultivated for its attractive flowering stems which are sold in local markets, and is cultivated in India and elsewhere as a medicinal herb[
The plant is often found as a weed in cultivated crops, where its presence is said to depress yields[
The seed contains various furanocoumarins inclusing xanthotoxin (8-methoxypsoralen) and bergapten (5-methoxypsoralen). Furanocoumarins stimulate the production of pigmentation in skin exposed to ultra-violet light, but it can cause side-effects. Use with caution[
Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people[
Europe - France to Spain, east to Ukraine and Greece; N. Africa - Morocco to Ethiopia; W. Asia - Turkey, south to Israel, east to Pakistan.
Waste places in Britain[
]. A weed in fields of winter crop cereals like wheat and barley in the Mediterranean[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position[
], succeeding in ordinary garden soil.
Ammi majus is a very effective medicinal plant with a long history of herbal use going back to at least 2,000BC in Egypt, where it was used as a treatment for vitiligo - a use that is still employed in modern herbalism[
The seed is contraceptive, diuretic, emmenagogue and tonic[
]. An infusion is used to calm the digestive system, whilst it is also used in the treatment of asthma and angina[
]. The seed is also used to regulate menstruation, and in the treatment of leprosy, kidney stones and urinary tract infections[
]. A decoction of the ground-up seed, eaten after intercourse, appears able to prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum in the uterus[
A decoction of the seed is used as a gargle in the treatment of toothache[
The seed contains furanocoumarins (including bergapten and xanthotoxin), which stimulate pigment production in skin that is exposed to bright sunlight[
]. The plant is widely cultivated in India for these furanocoumarins which are used in the treatment of vitiligo (piebald skin) and psoriasis[
In one clinical trial, the powdered fruits (dose not specified) were administered orally to leukodermic patients, who then exposed the affected patches to direct sunlight for 1 hour. The patients subsequently developed symptoms of itching, redness, oedema, vesiculation and oozing in the leukodermic patches. A few days later the affected skin gradually started to display deep brown pigmentation. Repigmentation usually developed within 1 week, in a punctate or perifollicular fashion, spreading inwards from the margin or diffuse[
The extracted furanocoumarin xanthotoxin has been assessed in over 100 clinical studies. When it is used in conjunction with UV-A radiation it is very effective in producing repigmentation of the skin - applied externally in a bath was more effective and had fewer side effects than oral application[
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[
]. Other reports suggest that it is the seeds that are used[
Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ[