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  • Abelmoschus moschatus is a tropical weedy shrub native to India valued for its scented seed. Ambrette is a close relative to Okra, a popular horticultural crop. The genus Abelmoschus has six species distributed in the South and South East Asia and in North Australia.
  • In Hindi, it is popularly known as mushkdana, kasturi bhendi (kasturi = musk; bhendi = lady’s finger). In other Indian languages it is known as gukhia korai (Assamese), kasturi bhenda (Telgu), kattukasturi (Malylam), varttilai kasturi (Tamil), lalkasturika (Sanskrit).


  • Muskdana plant is cultivated for its seeds, which have a characteristic musk-like odor. The seeds are the source of ambrette, an aromatic oil used in perfumery.
  • The plant grows to about 3 feet with showy yellow flowers with crimson centers. The plant is indigenous to India and is cultivated throughout the tropics
  • Ambrette is cultivated as pre-kharif crop in India.The musk mallow is widely cultivated in tropical climates for its many uses.The oil for perfumery is extracted by steam distillation of crushed seeds.


  • Indian drug manufacturers are introducing new herbal drugs containing ambrette for medicinal use.Ambrette seed oil has been used in Chinese medicine for treatment of headaches.
  • Seeds have been used in Egypt for breath fresheners.
  •  The oil is used in high-grade perfumery.
  • . The seeds are valued medicinally for their diuretic, demulcent and stomachic properties.


  • The flowers are used for making zarda, an indigenous flavoured tobacco. The yellow portion of the petals found in plants growing in Muvattupuzha (Kerala) have flavonoids, myricetin and cannabiscitrin. The seeds are used as sachet powders as an insect-repellent.
  • In India, roots, leaves and seeds of ambrette are considered valuable traditional medicines.
  • The bitter, sweet, acrid, aromatic seeds are used as a tonic and are considered cooling, aphrodisiac, opthalmic, cardiotonic, digestive, stomachic, constipating, carminative, pectoral, diuretic, stimulant, antispasmodic, deodorant.

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