Health benefits of Khella (Ammi visnaga)
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 for 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 in the treatment of those health disorders.
Visnagin, an active constituent found in Ammi visnaga, has been used as an herbal treatment for low blood pressure and blocked blood vessel contraction by inhibition of calcium influx into blood cells. Image: Ammi visnaga by Dwight Sipler under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
Common name: Bisnaga, Toothpickweed, Khella.
CURIOSITY: Khella was first used by Egyptians as much as 4,000 years ago to treat kidney stones .
VISNAGIN FROM AMMI VISNAGA
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 has also a certain biological activity as a vasodilator and reduces blood pressure by inhibiting calcium influx into the cell (2). Image right: Ammi visnaga by Dwight Sipler under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
In Egypt, teas prepared from the fruits of Ammi visnaga (syn. "Khella") are traditionally used by patients with urolithiasis. The oral administration of an aqueous extract prepared from the fruits of Ammi visnaga as well as two major constituents khellin and visnagin showed at least in one of the studies analysed that it 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 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 is involved in mediating these effects .
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