Ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus) is an aromatic medicinal shrub native to India. It is in the Malvaceae family and is related to A. esculentus, which is common okra.
Ambrette seeds have traditionally been used to treat a wide variety of ailments and are also used in cosmetics and food. The roots and leaves are sometimes cultivated for medicinal or industrial purposes. The oil from the seeds is used worldwide in perfumes and to flavor food. The scented oil was often described as woody and floral, similar to musk, an animal product extracted from the sex glands of the musk deer. Reportedly, this musk substitute was often used as an aphrodisiac to release sexual inhibitions.
In folk medicine, ambrette has reportedly been used as an insecticide and for wound healing, ingestion, heart disease, intestinal disorders, itching, skin conditions, stomatitis, thirst, urinary discharge, and vomiting. Ambrette seeds, roots, and leaves have reportedly been used to cure gonorrhea.
Ambrette seeds are commonly used medicinally in India and throughout the Caribbean as a tea or tincture. Traditional medicine in India has multiple uses for ambrette, while in the Caribbean it is primarily used to treat problems related to the female reproductive system and for childbirth. Early evidence suggests that a substance in ambrette may help regulate sugar levels; however, additional study is needed in this area.
1-(3-hydroxy-5-methylpyridin-2-yl)ethanone, 1-(3-hydroxy-5,6-dimethylpyridin-2-yl)ethanone, 1-(3-hydroxy-6-methylpyridin-2-yl)ethanone, 1-(6-ethyl-3-hydroxypyridin-2-yl)ethanone, Abelmoschus moschatus, abelmosk, ambretta, ambrette seeds, annual hibiscus, bamia moschata, Egyptian alcee, farnesol, galu gasturi, gukhia korai (Assamese), Hibiscus abelmoschus, kasturi bhenda (Telugu), kasturi bhendi (Hindi), kattukasturi (Malayalam), lalkasturika (Sanskrit), linoleic acid, Malvaceae (family), mushkdana (Hindi), musk ambrette, musk mallow, musk seeds, muskdana, myricetin, myristic acid, ornamental okra, palmitic acid, pyrazine derivatives, pyridines, rose mallow seeds, target-leaved hibiscus, varttilai kasturi (Tamil), yorka okra.
Note: Ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus) or oil from the seeds of the plant is used for medicinal purposes as well as in food and cosmetics. Musk ambrette is a man-made compound commonly used in food and cosmetics. This monograph is limited to information on ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.