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Ammodaucus leucotrichus Coss. & Dur.

Umbelliferae (Apiaceae)

Ammodaucus leucotrichus Coss. & Dur.


Torilis leucotrichus Coss. & Dur. Ammodaucus: from the Greek ammos, sand, and daucus, ancient Greek for carrot; leucotrichus: white haired
Arabic: kammn es-sofi, el massoufa Targui: akman French: cumin velu, cumin du Sahara

the seeds and sow them in nurseries. So far there is no data on its propagation and conservation.
Compiled by Dr. Salima Benhouhou I

Part used

Morphological description

A small annual plant, 10-12 cm. high, glabrous with erect, finely striated stems. The leaves are finely dissected and slightly fleshy. The flowers are grouped in umbels of 2 to 4 branches. The flowers are small, with 5 free petals. The fruit is a diachene, 6-10 mm. long, and is covered with dense silky white hairs. The plant has a strong smell of anise. It usually flowers in early spring (February to April).
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The leaves and seeds. The fruits are collected by the nomads for their own use, usually in spring when the fruits are ripe. It is also sold to herbalists in local markets, particularly in the southern Algerian Sahara: Bchar, Djanet, El Golea. In Morocco and Algeria, the fruits are used either as a powder, an infusion or a decoction.
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Constituents

Geographical distribution

Local: Common in the Algerian Sahara. Regional: North Africa. Global: Commonly distributed throughout the Sahara, where it is considered endemic. Its presence is also mentioned for the Canary Islands.
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Except for a guaianolid, the amolactone, no information is available on the constituents. They are probably close to those found in the common cumin (Cuminum cyminum) such as cuminic, hydrocuminique aldehyde and cuminic alcohol.
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Pharmacological action and toxicity

Ecology

It is an annual that grows in wadis, on sandy-gravelly soils in arid conditions where the annual rainfall does not exceed 100 mm.
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The antibiotic activity of the hairy cumin has been tested on gastric-intestinal pathogen germs to check the traditional use. Results were not good enough to justify its renown. It is likely that the plants activity is spasmolytic, like the common cumin and other fruits of the Apiaceae.
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Status

Pharmacopeias Pharmaceutical products Traditional medicine and local knowledge

According to the IUCN criteria this endemic species falls into the "EN" category. The threat to this little annual from human collection is mainly felt around settlements. In the wild, the best means of conservation is the remoteness of the sites, or a seed bank that contains the plant during drought. The best way to conserve this annual is to collect

Not relevant for this species.


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Not relevant for this species.


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The seeds are used to treat diseases related to the

A Guide to Medicinal Plants in North Africa

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digestive apparatus and to ease stomach and liver pain. The leaves are also used for chest complaints. In the Tassili, particularly the Djanet region, it is mainly used as a powder or an infusion to treat the symptoms mentioned above. It is also used in the area to recover the appetite or avoid indigestion, by crushing the seeds and mixing them with milk or millet. The leaves are used to aromatise tea. Powdered, it is a much appreciated spice for food in the Djanet area. In Morocco, the fruits are used either as a powder or in a decoction to treat gastric-intestinal pain, gastralgias and indigestion. It is also frequently used, as an infusion, for diverse infantile diseases of the digestive apparatus: dysentery, nausea, regurgitation, vomiting. It also has tonic properties for babies and is taken as an infusion or in the bath.
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References

Relevant to the plant and its use Beltran Tejera, E., 1983. Un nuevo taxon del genero Ammodaucus Cosson et Durieu (Apiaceae) en el Archipielago Canario. Candollea, 38 (1). pp. 131-154. General references Bellakhdar, J., 1997. La pharmacope marocaine traditionnelle. Mdecine arabe ancienne et savoirs populaires. IBIS Press. 764 p. Benchelah, A.C., Bouziane, H., Maka, M. & Ouahes, C., 2000. Fleurs du Sahara. Voyage ethnobotanique avec les touaregs du Tassili. Ed. Ibis Press, Paris. 255 p. Benhouhou, S.S. & Saadoun, N., 1986. Contribution l'tude de la flore de la rgion de BniAbbs. Undergraduate thesis. University of Algiers. 241 p.

Boulos, L. 1983. Medicinal Plants of North Africa. Reference Publication Algonac, Michigan. 286 p. Diallo, M., 1991. Pouvoir antimicrobien des extraits aqueux, hydro-alcooliques et chloroformiques des huiles essentielles de quelques plantes mdicinales du Maroc. Thse de 3me Cycle de Sciences, Universit de Rabat. Diallo, M., El Aziz, M., Bellakhadar, J., Saghi, M. & Zouhdi, M., 1991. Pouvoir antimicrobien des extraits aqueux et hydro-alcooliques de 12 plantes mdicinales marocaines. Al Biruniya, Rev. Mar. Pharm. Rabat, tome 7, n1. pp. 3748. El Aziz, M., 1987. Dtermination de l'activit antibacterienne de quelques plantes utilises en mdicinales traditionnelle au Maroc. Mmoire de C.E.A., Fac des Sciences, Universit de Rabat. Ozenda, P., 1991. Flore et vgtation du Sahara. Ed. CNRS, Paris. 662 p. Quzel, P. & Santa, S., 1962-1963. Nouvelle Flore de l'Algrie et des rgions dsertiques mridionales. CNRS, Paris, 2 vol. 1170 p. Sitouh, M., 1989. Les plantes utiles du Sahara. Ann. Inst. Nat. Agro. El Harrach, Alger, vol. 13, n2. pp. 583-658. Trabut, L., 1935. Rpertoires des noms indignes des plantes spontanes, cultives et utilises dans le Nord de l'Afrique. Collection du Centenaire de l'Algrie, Alger. 355 p. Internet sources: HYPERLINK "http://www.botanik.cs.msu.su/TEXT/G0023.HTM" HYPERLINK "http://www.programanthos.org/listaroja.asp"

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A Guide to Medicinal Plants in North Africa