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a genus of biennial plants belonging to the parsley family, with naked, circular, finely furrowed stems. The leaves of the Ammi are complex-pinnatifid with linear clefts. Inflorescences are complex umbels. The flowers are bisexual and have five white petals. Six species of the genus are known, inhabiting mainly the Mediterranean area. In the USSR the Ammi visnaga and the A. majus are widespread.
The cultivated species is an annual plant which is used in medicinal preparations. The Ammi visnaga is a multi-branched plant growing up to 100 cm in height. In the USSR the wild form is occasionally found in the Caucasus. The fruits of the plant contain khellin (0.5–0.6 percent), a derivative of furano-chromone used in the treatment of coronary insufficiency, bronchial asthma, and whooping cough.
The Ammi visnaga is cultivated in Mongolia, the northern Caucasus, and the southern Ukraine; it prefers fertile soils. Both manure and complete mineral fertilizer are used in its cultivation. Planting is done in early spring or in winter, with rows set 45 cm apart. The sprouts are thinned as soon as they appear. The care of the Ammi visnaga is the same as for any row crop. Harvesting is done by the individual method at the time of the mass ripening of the fruit. Yields are from 10 to 12 centners per hectare.
The Ammi majus is 50 to 70 cm in height, and the cultivated variety reaches 100 to 120 cm. The fruit contains isopimpinellin (0.3–0.5 percent), bergaptene (0.15–0.2 percent), and other substances belonging to the furoccumarin group, which promote rapid pigmentation of the skin. In medical practice, a preparation of ammifurin is used in treating vitiligo and alopecia areata. The Ammi majus is cultivated in Krasnodar Krai. The agricultural techniques and the yield are similar to those for the Ammi visnaga.
REFERENCEPimenov, M. “Kul’tura egipetskikh lekarstvennykh rastenii Ammi majus i Ammi visnaga.” Rastenievodstvo, 1964, no. 14.
P. N. KIBAL’CHICH