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Khellin (Molecule of the Month for March 2013)

Amicardine; Corafurone; Methafrone; Kelourin; Rykellin; Visammin

Khellin is a furanochromone, an organic compound which is derivative of chromone (1,4-benzopyrone) and furan. It has lipophilic properties and causes vasodilation (widening of blood vessels).

It is found in the plant Ammi visnaga which has been used in Egyptian folk medicine. In Egypt, the plant "Khella" was used for renal colic. The incidence of renal colic was due mostly to schistosomiasis infections and stone formation. The plant mixture had diuretic properties that were seen to relieve renal colic in Egyptian folk medicine. After the chemical compound khellin was identified, people began to study its properties. It was found to relax the ureter and coronary arteries.

It is not used as a systemic medication because it is difficult to absorb and causes a range of undesirable side effects such as dizziness, headache, gastrointestinal disorders and nausea.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Khellin

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Khellin structure
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Picture of Khellin


Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for March 2013 )