This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Ammi. Bishopsweed: an umbelliferous plant; producing small oblong seeds flat on one side, convex and furrowed on the other. The upper leaves are finely divided; the lower narrow, indented, set in pairs along a middle rib, with an odd one at the end.
1. Ammi verum. Ammi alterum semine apii C. B. Ammi odore origani J. B. Sison Ammi Linn. True bishopsweed; with reddish brown seeds: a native of Egypt, from whence the seeds are sometimes, though rarely, brought to us.
The seeds of the true ammi, when in perfection, are an elegant aromatic carminative; of a warm pungent taste, and a pleasant smell approaching to that of origanum. Distilled with water, they yield a considerable quantity of a yellowish essential oil, containing their whole smell and flavour: the remaining decoction, thus diverted of the aromatic part of the seed, is unpleasantly bitterish. Spirit of wine appears also to carry off, in its exhalation, the odorous principle of the ammi; an extract made by this menstruum, though very warm and pungent, and seeming to contain the whole taste of the seeds, having little or nothing of their specific smell.
2. Ammi majus C. B. & Linn. Ammi vulgare majus latioribus foliis semine minus odorato J. B. Common bishopsweed; with larger and paler seeds: a native of the southern parts of Europe, and propagating itself plentifully in our gardens by the seeds which fall in autumn.
The seeds of this species are weaker both in smell and taste than those of the preceding; nor does their flavour at all referable that of origanum. The several preparations of them are proportionably different: the essential oil, and the spirituous extract, are both less grateful and less pungent.