Herb: Ammoniacum

Latin name: Dorema ammoniacum

Family: Umbelliferae

Medicinal use of Ammoniacum:

Ammoniacum has been used in Western herbal medicine for thousands of years and is still seen as an effective remedy for various complaints of the chest. A gum resin is found in cavities in the tissues of stems, roots and petioles. It often exudes naturally from holes in the stems caused by beetles though this is not so pure as that obtained from the plant tissues. The resin is antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, expectorant, poultice, stimulant and vasodilator. It is often used internally in the treatment of chronic bronchitis (especially in the elderly), asthma and catarrh. Externally, it is used as a plaster for swellings of the joints and indolent tumours. The resin exudes as a milky gum from holes made in the stems. This gum is pressed into blocks and then ground into a powder.

Description of the plant:


2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Loess loams in desert areas. Dry rocky areas.

Other uses of Ammoniacum:

A medicinal gum or resin called "Ammoniacum" is exuded from insect damaged stems. It is also used in perfumery and in porcelain cement as well as for plasters.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow in an outdoor seedbed in April. It might be better to sow the seed in the autumn in a cold frame or greenhouse. The seed germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 15C. If seed is in short supply we would recommend sowing it in a pot in a cold frame and pricking out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year.

Cultivation of Ammoniacum:

Loess loams in desert areas. Dry rocky areas.

Known hazards of Dorema ammoniacum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.