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Khella – (Ammi visnaga)


Khella was used in ancient Egypt and by the Assyrians. It is mentioned in the Ebers papyrus, dated 1500 BC. It was used to treat kidney stones in Egypt, relying on the herb loosening the muscles of the ureter to allow the stones to pass. In the Middle Ages, it was used as a diuretic. Also known as false Queen Anne's lace, honeyplant and Bishop's weed, this relative of the carrot grows upright with finely divided leaves, white flowers and a wide elliptically-shaped fruit. This annual is native to the Mediterranean region and is easy to grow, although it needs a long growing season to produce the medicinal seeds. It grows to four feet tall.

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Khella improves the circulation around the heart muscles and relieves spasms of the smooth muscles in the bronchial air passages and other tubes and ducts. It may also help with abdominal cramps, painful menstruation, angina, gallbladder pain and high cholesterol. It has also been used for emphysema and whooping cough. As a preventative, it has been useful for allergic reactions and bronchial asthma. It is also used to treat vitiligo.

Externally – Khella has been used for psoriasis, wounds, inflammation and to treat poisonous bites. In Spain, it is used to clean the teeth with very good results.

Other Uses – Khella flower stems, once the seeds have ripened, turn hard. These stems are used as toothpicks in the Middle East.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

Khella may be combined with hawthorn for angina.

Parts Used

Seeds – The seeds are used medicinally.


Some people may have allergic reactions to khella. Side effects may include sensitivity to sunlight and sleeplessness. It may elevate liver enzymes or promote skin cancer if you are predisposed to this disease. With excessive doses or prolonged use, you may experience poor appetite, constipation, headache, vertigo, vomiting or nausea. Do not combine with blood thinning medications like warfarin, heart drugs known as calcium channel blockers or other medications for lowering blood pressure. Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It may cause bleeding in pregnant women. Do not use this herb if you have liver disease without the guidance of your care provider.

Preparation and Dosage

Khella is available commercially as capsules, essential oil, extract, tablets, injectables and tea. For vitiligo, 100 mg is taken orally daily. For cholesterol, use 200 mg per day. For tincture, 20 to 60 drops can be taken 1 to 4 times per day as needed.

Khella Herbal Remedies Top