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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Glycosides

These are the fruits of Ammi majus Linn., belonging to family Umbelliferae.






Bishop’s weed, Laceflower, Large Bullwort, Toothpick Arami.


Biological Source


These are the fruits of Ammi majus Linn., belonging to family Umbelliferae.


Geographical Source


It is mainly found in Europe, Egypt, West Africa and India.


Cultivation and Collection


The plant prefers sandy, loamy and clay soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semishade or no shade. It requires moist soil. It is propagated using seeds. Before sowing, the seeds are mixed with soil and sown in the month of October. The seeds germinate within a month. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The fruits are collected when they are immature in April–May and dried.




Fruits are 22.5 mm long and 0.5–1.7 mm broad. Ammi majus fruits can be distinguished by the presence of four prominent secondary ridges and by the absence of lacuane outside the vascular bundles, seen in the transverse section of Ammi visnaga. Odour, slightly aromatic, terbenthinate; taste, strongly pungent and slightly bitter.



                                            Ammi majus


Chemical Constituents


The drug contains furanocoumarins, xanthotoxin (0.4–1.9%), imperatorin, bergapten and isopimpilin.



Identification Tests

1. Boil about 1 g of the drug with 10 ml of water for 1 min and strain, add one or two drops of this decoction to 2 ml of a solution of sodium hydroxide, no rose colour is produced (distinction from Ammi visinaga).


2. Alcoholic extract of the fruit gives blue fluorescence when examined under UV light.




The drug contains furanocoumarins which stimulate pigment production in skin that is exposed to bright sun-light and are used in the treatment of vitiligo (piebald skin) and psoriasis.


Marketed Products


It is one of the ingredients of the preparation known as Lukoskin ointment (Aimil Pharmaceuticals).


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