Khella: Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Dosing

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Khella: A Natural Supplement with Therapeutic Potential


Khella, scientifically known as Ammi visnaga, is a Middle Eastern herb that has been traditionally used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. The plant is characterized by its distinctive umbels of small white flowers and produces fruits that contain a therapeutic compound called khellin. Khella supplements, derived from the plant’s fruits, have gained popularity in modern medicine due to their potential therapeutic effects.

Active Constituent: Khellin

The primary active constituent in khella supplements is khellin, a naturally occurring phthalide. Khellin exhibits a wide range of pharmacological activities, including bronchodilation, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Therapeutic Uses

Khella supplements are commonly used for the following therapeutic applications:

Bronchial Asthma: Khellin’s bronchodilatory effect makes it beneficial for managing asthma. It relaxes the airway muscles, easing breathing and reducing symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

Spasmodic Cough: Khella’s antispasmodic properties help relieve spasmodic coughs caused by conditions like bronchitis and asthma. It relaxes the respiratory muscles, suppressing coughing spasms and promoting lung function.

Urogenital Disorders: Khella has traditionally been used to treat urinary tract disorders, such as dysuria (painful urination) and urinary incontinence. Its antispasmodic effects help relax the urinary tract muscles, reducing pain and improving bladder control.

Raynaud’s Disease: Khellin’s vasodilatory effects can improve blood circulation to the extremities, helping to prevent episodes of Raynaud’s disease, a condition characterized by poor blood flow to the fingers and toes.

Antioxidant Protection: Khella extracts have antioxidant properties that protect cells from oxidative stress. This may provide some protection against chronic diseases associated with free radical damage, such as cancer and heart disease.

Side Effects

While khella supplements are generally well-tolerated, they can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

More serious side effects, such as liver toxicity, are rare but have been reported with high doses or prolonged use.


Before using khella supplements, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional. Some precautions should be taken into consideration:

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Khella is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to limited safety data.
  • Liver Disease: Individuals with liver dysfunction should avoid khella as it may worsen liver function.
  • Drug Interactions: Khella can interact with certain medications, such as anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs. It is crucial to inform your healthcare provider of all medications you are taking.
  • Sensitivity: Some individuals may be allergic to khella and should avoid its use.


The recommended dosage of khella supplements varies depending on the intended use and the individual’s response. It is generally recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed. Common dosages include:

  • Bronchial Asthma: 100-200 mg of khella extract three times per day
  • Spasmodic Cough: 50-100 mg of khella extract every four to six hours as needed
  • Urogenital Disorders: 50-100 mg of khella extract three times per day
  • Raynaud’s Disease: 50-100 mg of khella extract two to three times per day


Khella, with its active constituent khellin, is a natural supplement with potential therapeutic applications for various conditions, including bronchial asthma, spasmodic cough, urogenital disorders, and Raynaud’s disease. While generally well-tolerated, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using khella supplements to ensure appropriate use and minimize potential side effects. Further research is warranted to fully explore the therapeutic potential and safety profile of khella.

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