- What other names is Khella known by?
- What is Khella?
- How does Khella work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Khella.
Ammi, Ammi daucoides, Ammi visnaga, Ammi Visnage, Bischofskrautfruchte, Bishop's Weed, Bishop's Weed Fruit, Biznaga, Daucus visnaga, Fenouil Annuel, Fruits de Khella, Herbe aux Cure-Dents, Herbe aux Gencives, Khellin, Khelline, Noukha, Toothpick Ammi, Toothpick Plant, Visnaga, Visnagae, Visnagafruchte, Visnaga Fruit, Visnagin.
Khella is a plant. The dried, ripe fruit is used to make medicine. People commonly prepare an “extract” by removing khellin, one of the active chemicals in khella, and dissolving it in a liquid that is then used as medicine. Khella is less commonly prepared as a tea.
It is also used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disorders) including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain (angina), “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and high cholesterol.
It is also put on the skin to treat wounds, skin redness and swelling (inflammation), and poisonous bites.
Be careful not to confuse khella with its less commonly used relative, bishop's weed. The two species contain some of the same chemicals and work similarly in the body, but khella is more commonly used for heart and lung conditions, and bishop's weed is more commonly used for skin conditions.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Psoriasis: Early research suggests that taking khellin, a chemical in khella, by mouth in combination with sunlight exposure helps clear skin sores in people with psoriasis.
- A skin discoloration disorder called vitiligo. Research on the effects of khella for treating vitiligo shows conflicting results. Some research shows that taking khellin, a chemical in khella, by mouth or applying it to the skin improves skin discoloration when used along with ultraviolet light therapy. However, other research shows that applying khellin to the skin along with sunlight exposure doesn't improve skin discoloration. Also, some research shows that khellin therapy requires longer treatment durations and higher light doses to improve skin discoloration similarly to the effects of psoralen plus ultraviolet light therapy (PUVA).
- Stomach cramps.
- Kidney stones.
- Menstrual cramps.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Whooping cough.
- High blood pressure.
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).
- Congestive heart failure (CHF).
- Chest pain (angina).
- “Hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
- High cholesterol.
- Other conditions.
Khella contains substances that seem to relax and widen blood vessels; decrease heart contraction; open up the lungs; increase “good cholesterol” (HDL, high-density lipoprotein); and fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Khella is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken in high doses or used for a long time. It can cause side effects including liver problems, nausea, dizziness, constipation, lack of appetite, headache, itching, trouble sleeping, and skin sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitization).
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: it's LIKELY UNSAFE to take khella if you are pregnant. It contains khellin, a chemical that can cause the uterus to contract. This might cause a miscarriage.
Liver disease: Khella might make liver disease worse. Don't use it if you have liver problems.
Digoxin (Lanoxin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Khella seems to slow the heartbeat. Taking khella along with digoxin might decrease the effectiveness of digoxin. Do not take khella if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin).
Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Khella might harm the liver. Taking khella along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take khella if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver.
Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.
Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Khella might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking khella along with medication that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.
Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).
The appropriate dose of khella depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for khella. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, et al. Herbal Medicine, Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998.
de Leeuw J, van der BN, Maierhofer G, et al. A case study to evaluate the treatment of vitiligo with khellin encapsulated in L-phenylalanin stabilized phosphatidylcholine liposomes in combination with ultraviolet light therapy. Eur J Dermatol 2003;13(5):474-477. View abstract.
Erbrig H, Uebel H, Vogel G. Arzneimittelforschung 1967;17:284.
Fetrow C, Avila J. Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation, 1999.
Galal E, Kandil A, Abdel-Latif M. Egypt. Drug.Res. 1975;7:1-7.
Hänsel R, Haas H. Therapie mit Phytopharmaka. 1983;
Hudson J, Towers GHN. Phytomedicines as antivirals. Drugs Fut 1999;24(3):295-320.
Huttrer CP, Dale E. Chem.Rev. 1951;48:543-579.
Kommission E. Bundesanzeiger no. 50. 1986;
Morliere P, Honigsmann H, Averbeck D, et al. Phototherapeutic, photobiologic, and photosensitizing properties of khellin. J Invest Dermatol 1988;90(5):720-724. View abstract.
Orecchia G, Perfetti L. Photochemotherapy with topical khellin and sunlight in vitiligo. Dermatology 1992;184(2):120-123. View abstract.
Steinegger E, Hänsel R. Lehrbuch der Pharmakognosie und Phytopharmazie. 4th ed. ed. Berlin, Heidelberg and New York: Springer Verlag, 1988.
Stevens TJ, Jones BW, Vidmar TJ, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of khellin and khelloside in female cynomolgus monkeys. Arzneimittelforschung 1985;35(8):1257-1260. View abstract.
Trease GE, Evans WC. Pharmacognosy. 11th ed. ed. London: Baillière Tindall, 1978.
UHLENBROOCK K, MULLI K. [Khellin, a contribution to pharmacology of the constituents of Ammi visnaga. 3.]. Arzneimittelforschung 1953;3(5):219-223. View abstract.
Valkova, S., Trashlieva, M., and Christova, P. Treatment of vitiligo with local khellin and UVA: comparison with systemic PUVA. Clin.Exp.Dermatol. 2004;29(2):180-184. View abstract.
Abdel-Fattah A, Aboul-Enein MN, Wassel G, El-Menshawi B. Preliminary report on the therapeutic effect of khellin in psoriasis. Dermatologica 1983;167:109-10. View abstract.
Abdel-Fattah A, Aboul-Enein MN, Wassel GM, El-Menshawi BS. An approach to the treatment of vitiligo by khellin. Dermatologica 1982;165:136-40. View abstract.
Chevallier A. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: DK Publ, Inc., 2000.
Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Available at: http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/.
Duarte J, Perez-Vizcaino F, Torres AI, et al. Vasodilator effects of visnagin in isolated rat vascular smooth muscle. Eur J Pharmacol 1995;286:115-22. View abstract.
Duarte J, Torres AI, Zarzuelo A. Cardiovascular effects of visnagin on rats. Planta Med 2000;66:35-9.
Durate J, Vallejo I, Perez-Vizcaino F, et al. Effects of visnadine on rat isolated vascular smooth muscles. Planta Med 1997;63:233-6. View abstract.
Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
Harvengt C, Desager JP. HDL-cholesterol increase in normolipaemic subjects on khellin: a pilot study. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1983;3:363-6. View abstract.
Hudsin J, Towers GHN. Phytomedicines as antivirals. Drugs Fut 1999;24:295-320.
Kuo SM, Leavitt PS, Lin CP. Dietary flavonoids interact with trace metals and affect metallothionein level in human intestinal cells. Biol Trace Elem Res 1998;62:135-53. View abstract.
Osher HL, Katz KH, Wagner DJ. Khellin in the treatment of angina pectoris. N Engl J Med 1951;244:315-21. View abstract.
Ossenkoppele PM, van der Sluis WG, van Vloten WA. [Phototoxic dermatitis following the use of Ammi majus fruit for vitiligo]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 1991;135:478-80. View abstract.
Rauwald HW, Brehm O, Odenthal KP. The involvement of a Ca2+ channel blocking mode of action in the pharmacology of Ammi visnaga fruits. Planta Med 1994;60:101-5. View abstract.
Tritrungtasna O, Jerasutus S, Suvanprakorn P. Treatment of alopecia areata with khellin and UVA. Int J Dermatol 1993;32:690. View abstract.