Herb latin name: Trachyspermum ammi

Synonyms: Ammi copticum, Carum copticum, Sison ammi, Trachyspermum copticum

Family: Umbelliferae

Medicinal use of Trachyspermum ammi:

The seed, and especially the essential oil in the seed, is strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of colds, coughs, influenza, asthma, diarrhoea, cholera, colic, indigestion, wind, oedema, arthritis and rheumatism. The seed is harvested when fully ripe and either distilled for the essential oil or dried for later use. The seed contains about 4 - 6% essential oil, of which 45 - 55% is the strongly antiseptic essential oil "thymol". The essential oil is also added to cough medicines. The root is carminative and diuretic.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Damp ground.

Edible parts of Trachyspermum ammi:

The pungently aromatic fruits are about 2cm long. They are used as a flavouring in savoury dishes, including curries, pulses, breads and pastry snacks.

Other uses of the herb:

The seeds are rich in essential oil, 30 - 35% of which is thymol, which is more commonly found in Thymus species. The essential oil is added to epoxy derivatives.

Propagation of Trachyspermum ammi:

Seed - we have no information for this species, but suggest that you try sowing the seed in situ in April. If this is not successful, then an earlier sowing in the greenhouse in March, planting out after the last expected frosts might be better. It is quite possible that this species will not like to be transplanted, so either sow 4 - 5 seeds per pot, or sow in a tray and transplant to individual pots as soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle.

Cultivation of the herb:

Damp ground.

Known hazards of Trachyspermum ammi:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.