Erect annual herb growing to 32 in (80 cm), with tangled leaflets and umbels of small white flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Bishop’s weed is native to the Mediterranean region and as far east as Iran. It is cultivated for its seeds, which are harvested in late summer.
The seeds contain furanocoumarins (including bergapten), flavonoids, and tannins.
History & Folklore
Bishop’s weed has been grown as a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages, but has been less often used than visnaga (A. visnaga).
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Bishop’s weed produces strongly aromatic seeds. In an infusion or as a tincture, they calm the digestive system. They are also diuretic, and, like visnaga, have been used to treat asthma and angina. Bishop’s weed reputedly helps treat patchy skin pigmentation in vitiligo. It has also been used for psoriasis.
Bishop’s weed increases sensitivity to sunlight and can provoke sunburn and sunlight related allergic reactions. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, and headaches. It is subject to legal restrictions in some countries.