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Since May 10th 2008

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Allium cepa
Aloe vera
Allium sativum
Astragalus membranaceus
Angelica sinensis
Aesculus hippocastanum
Althaea officinalis
Andrographis paniculata
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Ammi majus
Ammi visnaga
Anethum graveolens
Arnica montana
Azadirachta indica



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Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam. (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae)

Daucus visnaga L., Selinum visnaga E.H.L. Krause, Sium visnaga Stokes, Visnaga daucoides Gaertn.

Local names
Ammi, besnika, bisagna, bishop’s weed, herbe aux cure-dents, herbe aux gencives, kella, kella balady, khelâl dandâne, khella, nunha, owoc keli, Spanish carrot, viznaga, Zahnstocherkraut

An annual or biennial herb, up to 1.0 m high. Leaves dentate, in strips. Stems erect, highly branched. Infl orescence umbellate; rays, highly swollen at the base, become woody and are used as toothpicks.

Plant material used
dried ripe fruits

Chemical assays
Contains not less than 1% γ-pyrones (furanochromone derivatives) calculated as khellin, determined by spectrophotometry. A number of high-performance liquid chromatography methods are also available for quantitative analysis

Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are γ-pyrones (furanochromone derivatives; up to 4%), the principal compounds being khellin (0.3–1.2%) and visnagin (0.05–0.30%). Other γ-pyrones of signifi cance are khellinol, ammiol, khellol and its glucoside khellinin (0.3–1.0%). A second group of major constituents are the coumarins (0.2–0.5%), the main one being the pyranocoumarin visnadin (0.3%). Essential oil contains camphor, a-terpineol and linalool, among others, and also fixed oil (up to 18%)

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
As an antispasmodic, muscle relaxant and vasodilator.

Uses described in traditional medicine
Treatment of mild anginal symptoms. Supportive treatment of mild obstruction of the respiratory tract in asthma, bronchial asthma or spastic bronchitis, and postoperative treatment of conditions associated with the presence of urinary calculi. Treatment of gastrointestinal cramps and painful menstruation. Internally as an emmenagogue to regulate menstruation, as a diuretic, and for treatment of vertigo, diabetes and kidney stones

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Antimicrobial, Antispasmodic, Increase coronary blood flow

Human studies
Increase HDL

In mice, the oral and subcutaneous median lethal doses (LD50) of the fruits were 2.24 g/kg bw and > 370.0 mg/kg bw, respectively. In rats, the oral LD50 was > 4.0 g/kg bw, and in rabbits, the intravenous LD50 was 50.0 mg/kg bw. In dogs, the oral and intravenous LD50 values were
20.0 mg/kg bw and 200.0 mg/kg bw, respectively.

Adverse reactions
Pseudoallergic reactions and reversible cholestatic jaundice have been reported. High oral doses of khellin (100.0 mg/day) reversibly elevated the activities of liver transaminases and gamma-glutamyltransferase. Prolonged use or overdose may cause nausea, vertigo, constipation, lack of appetite, headache and sleeplessness Contraindications Fructus Ammi Visnagae is used in traditional systems of medicine as an emmenagogue, and its safety during pregnancy has not been established. Therefore, in accordance with standard medical practice, the fruits should not be used during pregnancy.

No information available.

Exposure to sun or other sources of ultraviolet light should be avoided during treatment because khellin causes photosensitivity.

Drug interactions
No drug interactions have been reported. However, khellin is reported to inhibit microsomal cytochrome P450 subenzymes, and may therefore decrease the serum concentrations of drugs metabolized via this pathway, such as ciclosporin, warfarin, estrogens and protease inhibitors.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
A 95% ethanol extract of Fructus Ammi Visnagae, 10.0 mg/plate, was not mutagenic in the Salmonella/microsome assay using S. typhimurium strains TA98 and TA102. Furthermore, an infusion of the fruits had antimutagenic effects against ethyl methanesulfonate- or 2-amino-anthraceneinduced mutagenicity in S. typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100. Khellin also inhibited the mutagenicity of promutagens such as benzopyrene, 2-aminofl uorene and 2-aminoanthracene in S. typhimurium TA98. However, there was no effect on direct-acting mutagens, such as 2-nitrofl uorene, 4-nitro-o-phenylenediamine, in S. typhimurium TA100.

Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
Intragastric administration of up to 600.0 mg/kg bw of visnadin to rats on days 8–12 of pregnancy produced no toxic effects.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
See Contraindications.

Nursing mothers
Owing to the lack of safety data, Fructus Ammi Visnagae should be taken internally only under the supervision of a health-care provider.

Paediatric use
Owing to the lack of safety data, Fructus Ammi Visnagae should be taken internally only under the supervision of a health-care provider.

Other precautions
No information available on precautions concerning drug and laboratory test interactions.

Dosage forms
Dried fruits, infusions, extracts and other galenical preparations. Store fully dried fruits in well closed containers in a cool and dry place protected from light.

(Unless otherwise indicated)
Average daily dose: Fructus Ammi Visnaga 0.05–0.15 g


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