Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~100
Germination tested 11/2022: 88%
Life cycle: Annual
White dill, also called laceflower, bullwort, and false Queen Anne's lace, is a beautiful carrot-family herb commonly grown as a cut or dried flower. Its Queen-Anne's-Lace-like blossoms are bigger and finer than common wild carrot, sometimes reaching five inches across. Pollinators love them.
This plant has a long history of medicinal and cosmetic use, most prominently for its purported skin-darkening abilities as a treatment for the skin condition vitiligo. It is still used around the world for a variety of skin conditions, but its use requires caution, because overuse and exposure to the sun following its use can cause serious skin inflammation.
"In Egypt around 2000 BC, the juice of Ammi majus was rubbed on patches of vitiligo after which patients were encouraged to lie in the sun. In the 13th century, vitiligo was treated with a tincture of honey and the powdered seeds of a plant called "aatrillal," which was abundant in the Nile River Valley. The plant has since been identified as A. majus, but the trade name Aatrillal is still used today to refer to the yellowish-brown powder made from its seeds.
Ammi majus contains significant amounts of furanocoumarins bergapten and xanthotoxin (also known as methoxsalen), two psoralen derivatives well known for their photosensitizing effects. Indeed, A. majus may well be the world's major source of methoxsalen.
The practice of using Ammi majus to treat vitiligo implicitly acknowledges the hyperpigmentation effects caused by exposure to a photosensitizing agent (such as methoxsalen) followed by ultraviolet radiation. An excess of either the photosensitizing agent or subsequent UV exposure can lead to phytophotodermatitis, a serious skin inflammation. Despite this danger, A. majus is cultivated for its furanocoumarins, which are still used for the treatment of skin disease, particularly the furanocoumarin xanthotoxin also known as 'ammoidin' and by the brand name 'Oxsoralen'."
Our seed comes from the talented flower farmers of Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, Oregon.