What is Khella?
Dating back over 4,000 years, khella is one of the oldest herbs used for treating body ailments. A member of the same family as carrots and parsley, ancient Egyptians used the tiny fruits produced by the plant in herbal remedies. Native to parts of Africa, the plant can reach three feet in height and generate clusters of flowers with the fruit appearing in late summer.
Known by several other common names including ammi visnaga, bishop’s weed fruit, and honeyfruit, this prized plant contains compounds that are proven to aid in body functions. Visnagin is a component in khella that is known to prevent blood pressure from rising. Khellin and visnadin reduces epinephrine from pouring into the bloodstream when the body is under stress. Both of these compounds can be found in khella.
Benefits of Khella
This surprising African plant has amazing effects on many body organs including the heart and kidneys. From helping lower cholesterol levels by reducing plaque buildup in the arteries to opening bronchial passages, khella is being seriously explored as a treatment option for heart disease and asthma. An alcohol tincture made with khella has been prescribed to prevent asthma attacks without causing the side effects that modern medicine is known to create.
Dating back to ancient Egypt, khella was the most commonly prescribed herbal remedy for kidney stones. The plant prevents inflammation and pain in the urinary ducts thus helping the passages mend after an individual has passed a kidney stone.
One of the most unknown uses for khella is in the treatment of vitiligo. This disorder of the skin causes patches of de-pigmentation on various portions of the body. A combination of oral khellin and sun exposure has demonstrated the improvement in the pigmentation of the skin in more than 75% of those who tried this treatment. The cells that form pigmentation of the skin (melanocytes) are stimulated by khellin, an active compound found in khella.
Where to Find Khella
Khella has been prescribed by herbalist in tablet form, tinctures, herbal teas, and as an ingredient in external creams. Individuals who use khella especially on the skin should avoid ultraviolet lights including tanning beds as the skin can become highly-sensitive. Side effects have been reported with long-term use of khella including loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, and sleep disorders. It can be found online or at most health food stores.
Words of Caution
Khella should not be used by people who are taking heart medications or blood thinners. Always seek the advice of a qualified herbalist before starting any herbal remedies. Any individual considering khella remedies should speak to their health care provider as herbal remedies can interact with certain prescription medications.