Bishop’s Weed: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information

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A flowering plant belonging to the Apiaceae family, the bishop’s weed (Ammi majus L.), also known as false bishop’s weed, huge bullwort, or greater ammi, is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely grown in Europe, North America, and some regions of Asia. Bishop’s weed has a long history of usage in traditional medicine, including the treatment of respiratory conditions, digestive problems, and skin conditions. This in-depth investigation attempts to present a thorough evaluation of Bishop’s Weed’s chemistry, health advantages, recommended dosage, negative effects, probable drug interactions, and responsible use as a nutritional supplement.

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Bishop’s Weed: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information is an original (NootropicsPlanet) article.

Nature of Bishop’s Weed

Annual herbaceous Bishop’s Weed normally reaches heights of 30 to 150 cm. It has a thick, upright, branching stem that is glabrous on top and appears striated. The leaves are triangular in shape, pinnately complex, and have serrated margins. From May through September, the plant blooms with tiny, white flowers clustered in compound umbels. The fruits are tiny, oval, and somewhat compressed, and the seeds are filled with bioactive compounds and essential oils.

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Health Benefits of Bishop’s Weed

The health benefits of bishop’s weed are as follows:

1. Skin Conditions

Treatment of skin conditions, particularly vitiligo is one of Bishop’s Weed’s most well-known uses. Bishop’s weed’s primary furanocoumarin, xanthotoxin, has been shown to effectively treat vitiligo when combined with ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation therapy, or psoralen with ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy. The method of action is xanthotoxin intercalation into DNA, which results in photoactivation and melanocyte stimulation and causes the skin to pigment.

2. Internal Health

Traditional medicine has long utilized bishop’s weed to treat a variety of digestive problems, including indigestion, gas, and stomach cramps. The plant’s seeds are a rich source of essential oils, which have antispasmodic, digestive, and carminative effects. These essential oils may contribute to improved digestion by promoting the secretion of digestive enzymes, reducing inflammation, and relaxing the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.

3. Respiratory Fitness

Asthma and bronchitis may be treated with the use of the essential oil of bishop’s weed, which has been shown to have bronchodilatory and expectorant properties. While the expectorant qualities of the plant’s constituents may help in the removal of mucus and other secretions, the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant’s constituents may help reduce inflammation and constriction in the airways.

4. Microbiological Activity

Bishop’s weed has been shown to have antibacterial effects in numerous investigations, especially when it comes to Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as fungi. It is thought that the plant’s essential oils, flavonoids, and coumarins contribute to its antibacterial activity, making it a possible target for the creation of new antimicrobial drugs.

Healthy skin.

Chemistry of Bishop’s Weed

Coumarins, furanocoumarins, and flavonoids are the main bioactive components of bishop’s weed and are what give it its varied pharmacological properties. The primary linear furanocoumarin included in Bishop’s Weed is xanthotoxin, also known as 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), which has been thoroughly investigated for its potential therapeutic benefits. Bergapten, imperatorin, and isopimpinellin are further significant substances.

Physiological Mechanisms of Action of Bishop’s Weed

The health benefits are said to be closely linked to the physiological mechanism of action of bishop’s weed when used as a supplement:

1. Mechanism of Phototherapy for Vitiligo Treatment

Xanthotoxin interacts with DNA and ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation to produce therapeutic benefits in the treatment of vitiligo. Xanthotoxin creates covalent connections with the pyrimidine bases of DNA, particularly thymine when exposed to UVA light. These covalent bonds result in the development of monoadducts and interstrand crosslinks. The melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, are activated as a result of this process, which causes the damaged skin patches to pigment.

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2. Effects on the Digestive System of Antispasmodic and Carminative Substances

Bishop’s weed contains essential oils, notably those from its seeds, which have antispasmodic and carminative qualities. These oils are believed to work on the gastrointestinal tract’s smooth muscles, reducing spasms and encouraging relaxation. This technique might aid with indigestion, gas, and cramping in the stomach symptoms. The secretion of digestive enzymes may also be stimulated by the essential oils, which would further aid digestion.

3. The Respiratory System’s Anti-Inflammatory and Bronchodilatory Effects

Bishop’s weed has anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory properties that can be helpful in the treatment of respiratory diseases like bronchitis and asthma. Flavonoids and coumarins, two of the plant’s bioactive constituents, may inhibit the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lessen airway inflammation. Additionally, Bishop’s Weed’s essential oils may ease bronchial smooth muscle tension, resulting in bronchodilation and enhanced airflow.

4. Microbiological Activity

Bishop’s weed’s essential oils, flavonoids, and coumarins are chiefly responsible for its antibacterial properties. These substances may damage the bacterial and fungal cell membrane integrity, prevent the synthesis of bacterial proteins and nucleic acids, and obstruct microbial metabolic pathways. Bishop’s weed’s antibacterial qualities could one day serve as a source for the creation of brand-new antimicrobial substances.

Essential oil.

Optimal Dosage of Bishop’s Weed

Depending on the intended use, the method of administration, and personal characteristics like age, weight, and medical history, the ideal dosage of bishop’s weed varies. Depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s response to treatment, xanthotoxin is commonly applied topically or taken orally in doses ranging from 0.6 to 1.2 mg per kg of body weight for the treatment of skin disorders. The Bishop’s Weed seeds can be brewed into tea and taken up to three times daily as a digestive aid or for respiratory health. The recommended serving size is 1 to 3 grams of crushed seeds per cup of boiling water.

Side Effects of Bishop’s Weed

Although Bishop’s Weed has shown some therapeutic promise, it is important to be aware of any possible negative effects before using it. Bishop’s weed frequently causes negative effects, especially when used in PUVA therapy, such as skin redness, itching, and burning sensations. Xanthotoxin can occasionally result in skin discoloration and blistering, especially when exposed to natural or synthetic UV rays.

Additionally, Bishop’s Weed consumption may cause gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Due to the presence of furocoumarins, consuming large amounts of the plant occasionally causes hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.

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Potential Substance Interactions with Bishop’s Weed

The furanocoumarins in Bishop’s Weed, especially xanthotoxin, have been shown to interact with a number of drugs, perhaps increasing toxicity or decreasing efficacy. Bishop’s weed is known to interact with multiple drugs, including:

  1. Anticoagulants: By strengthening the anticoagulant effects of drugs like warfarin, xanthotoxin raises the risk of bleeding.
  2. Bishop’s weed use may raise the risk of skin phototoxicity when used with other photosensitizing drugs, such as tetracycline antibiotics, thiazide diuretics, and sulfonamides.
  3. Substrates for cytochrome P450: A large range of drugs are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which is inhibited by furanocoumarins like xanthotoxin. Increased blood levels of certain drugs could result, which could have negative side effects or limit treatment efficacy.
Antibiotics.

Best Responsible Uses of Bishop’s Weed as a Nutritional Supplement

Bishop’s weed should only be used as a nutritional supplement under the guidance of a qualified health professional.

  1. Before beginning any new supplement, speak with a doctor, especially if you have a medical condition, are pregnant, nursing, or using prescription medication.
  2. Comply with your healthcare provider’s exact recommendations and the suggested dosage restrictions.
  3. Refrain from utilizing excessive UV radiation or exposure to the sun, especially if you are using Bishop’s Weed to treat skin conditions or if you are on photosensitizing drugs.
  4. Keep an eye out for any negative effects or allergic reactions, and stop using the product if any symptoms appear.

Bishop’s Weed:

Conclusion

Bishop’s weed is a flowering plant widely found and grown in Europe, North America, and some parts of Asia. The seeds of these plants are packed with bioactive compounds and essential oils. The essential oils are helpful for patients who suffer from asthma and bronchitis. Besides, it is said that bishop’s weed can be used to treat skin conditions such as vitiligo. The melanocytes in the cell are activated by a metabolic process brought on by bishop’s weed.

However, it is important for you to be informed about the side effects of this supplement, some people may suffer from gastrointestinal issues, skin discoloration, and blistering as a result of using this supplement. You should make responsible decisions guided by scientific evidence and experts when exploring the health benefits of bishop’s weed.  

Asthma issue.

References:

  1. Alloimperatorin From Ammi Majus Fruits Mitigates Piroxicam-Provoked Gastric Ulcer and Hepatorenal Toxicity in Rats Via Suppressing Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis. Retrieved from:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35837760/
  2. [Anatomical And Histochemical Study of Bishop’s-Weed (Ammi Majus L.)]. Retrieved from:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1218616/
  3. Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Mass Metabolic Profiling of Ammi Majus Roots as Waste Product with Isolation and Assessment of Oral Mucosal Toxicity of Its Psoralen Component Xanthotoxin. Retrieved from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10608439/

Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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