Ammi visnaga

Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany

Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam.

Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

  • Tooth-pick plant
  • bedher khilleh بذر خلة
  • khilleh baladi خلة بلدي
  • saq al-'arus ساق العروس
  • amita qeitzit
  • אַמִּיתָה קֵיצִית


  • Disturbed habitats
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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam.

System/State Traditional
Activity / Interpretation
Preparation/ Administration
Parts Used
Endocrine/ Metabolic



Decoct fruits & drink x3 cups/day.

Fruit Z



1. Decoct fruit in water + "duqet 'adas" (Micromeria serpyllifolia) + radish seeds & drink.
2. Decoct fruits & drink x3 cups/day.

Fruit Z

Reduce fever in internal inflammation


Decoct fruits & drink x3 cups/day.

Fruit Z
Helminth infections

Exterminate tapeworm (Taenia sp.)

Anthelmintic, Vermifuge

Use fruit (Preparation/ Admin. not specified.)

Fruit Z
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Kidney stones


1.Decoct flowers & drink x1 cup/day mornings. (B)
2. Decoct fruit in water & drink x3 cups/day. (Z)

Flower, Fruit B, Z
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Urinary obstruction


Cook fruit in water & drink.

Fruit Z
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Urinary tract infection


Decoct flowers & drink x1 cup/day mornings.

Flower B
Men`s Health

Prostate problems

Prostate health

Decoct flowers & drink 1 cup/day mornings.

Flower B
Musculoskeletal/ Joints

Back pain

Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory

Decoct fruits & drink x3 cups/day.

Fruit Z
Musculoskeletal/ Joints


Analgesic, Anti-arthritic, Anti-inflammatory

Grind fruit, cook in olive oil & massage with oil.

Fruit Z

The authors of FLORAPALE, (Flora Palaestina Ethnobotanical) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes. See DISCLAIMER.


1. Z notes that this species is also used to clean teeth using the umbel or inflorescence as a tooth pick (i.e. the short flower stalks spreading out from a common point like umbrella ribs that become woody after fruit is ripe)
2. Z quotes various Jewish & Arabic sources for the toothpick use: "A man takes a toothpick before him to clean his teeth' (Bitzah, 4,6); The answer to the Arabic name for this species ""Khilleh" ( i.e. "what is removed from the teeth with a toothpick) is "visnaga” (“misuak”) a toothbrush, a toothpick".
3. Z also mentions the long historical use of this species amongst Arabs for treating asthma & angina.
4. In the recipe for treating gallstones there is addition of "duqet 'adas" which Z adds in parenthesis is Micromeria serpyllifolia (a synonym of Micromeria fruticose). However Hebrew & Arabic names for the Micromeria genus are "zuta " or "zufa" therefore identity of this ingredient is unclear.


Ammi visnaga contains furocoumarins associated with photosensitizing dermatitis. Unsafe in high doses or over long periods. Other side effects include; liver problems, nausea, dizziness, constipation, lack of appetite, headache, itching, trouble sleeping, & ocular toxicity.