Ammi Visnaga, also known in Egypt as Khella, has been used for many centuries for its beneficial effects on the treatment of certain affections, among others high blood pressure, kidney stones and some others. The reason of the effectiveness of this herb seems to be, following the latest news on the subject, the active constituents found on this herb, namely khellin and visnagin, which seem to be very effective on the treatment of those health disorders.
Visnagin, an active constituent found in Ammi visnaga, has been used as a treatment for low blood-pressure and blocked blood vessel contraction by inhibition of calcium influx into blood cells.
These results suggest that visnagin has a neuroprotective effect in terms of suppressing kainic acid (KA)-induced pathogenesis in the brain, and that these neuroprotective effects are associated with its anti-inflammatory effects(1).
Visnagin found in Ammi visnaga, has biological activity as a vasodilator and reduces blood pressure by inhibiting calcium influx into the cell (2).
In Egypt, teas prepared from the fruits of Ammi visnaga (syn. "Khella") are traditionally used by patients with urolithiasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether oral administration of an aqueous extract prepared from the fruits of Ammi visnaga as well as two major constituents khellin and visnagin could prevent crystal deposition in stone-forming rats.
The Khella extract (KE; 125, 250 or 500 mg/kg) was orally administered for 14 days. The histopathological examination of the kidneys revealed that KE significantly reduced the incidence of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystal deposition.
In addition, KE significantly increased urinary excretion of citrate along with a decrease of oxalate excretion. Comparable to the extract, khellin and visnagin significantly reduced the incidence of CaOx deposition in the kidneys.
However, both compounds did not affect urinary citrate or oxalate excretion indicating a mechanism of action that differs from that of the extract. For KE, a reasonably good correlation was observed between the incidence of crystal deposition, the increase in citrate excretion and urine pH suggesting a mechanisms that may interfere with citrate re-absorption.
In conclusion, the data obtained in this study suggest that KE and its compounds, khellin and visnagin, may be beneficial in the management of kidney stone disease caused by hyperoxaluria but that it is likely that different mechanism of action are involved in mediating these effects. (3).
(1) Pubmed. Neuroprotective Effect of Visnagin on Kainic Acid-induced Neuronal Cell Death in the Mice Hippocampus.
Kwon MS, Lee JK, Park SH, Sim YB, Jung JS, Won MH, Kim SM, Suh HW.
Department of Aerospace Medical Research, Aerospace Medical Center, ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force), Cheongwon 363-842, Korea.
(2) Pubmed. Anti-inflammatory effect of visnagin in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated BV-2 microglial cells. Lee JK, Jung JS, Park SH, Park SH, Sim YB, Kim SM, Ha TS, Suh HW.
Institute of Natural Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
(3) Pubmed. Prevention of renal crystal deposition by an extract of Ammi visnaga L. and its constituents khellin and visnagin in hyperoxaluric rats.
Vanachayangkul P, Chow N, Khan SR, Butterweck V.
Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, PO Box 100494, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
 Chemical composition and biological activity of Salvia verbenaca essential oil. Canzoneri M, Bruno M, Rosselli S, Russo A, Cardile V, Formisano C, Rigano D, Senatore F. Ente Sviluppo Agricolo - Dipartimento Regionale Azienda Foreste Demaniali, Regione Siciliana, Via Libertà 97, Palermo, Italia.