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Ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus)

Last Updated on May 19, 2021 by MyFormulary

Alternate Title

  • Abelmoschus moschatus

Related Terms

  • 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).

Background

  • 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.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    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.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • There is no proven effective dose for ambrette in adults.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for ambrette in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid in patients with known allergy/hypersensitivity to Abelmoschus moschatus, its constituents, or to members of the Malvaceae family.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • An allergic skin reaction (called contact dermatitis) and sensitivity to light has been reported after ambrette use.
    • Ambrette may also cause increased skin coloration (called hyperpigmentation) or make individuals more sensitive to laser treatment.
    • Use cautiously in patients with low blood sugar levels.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Ambrette is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Ambrette may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar levels. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by qualified healthcare professionals, including pharmacists. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Ambrette may cause increased skin coloration (called hyperpigmentation) and increase sensitivity to sun. Using ambrette with photosensitizers may increase this sensitivity.
    • Although not well understood in humans, ambrette may affect the body’s opioid system.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Ambrette may reduce blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar levels. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by qualified healthcare professionals, including pharmacists. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Ambrette may cause increased skin coloration (called hyperpigmentation) and increase sensitivity to sun. Using ambrette with photosensitizers may increase this sensitivity.
    • Although not well understood in humans, ambrette may affect the body’s opioid system.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Giovinazzo, V. J., Harber, L. C., Armstrong, R. B., et al. Photoallergic contact dermatitis to musk ambrette. Clinical report of two patients with persistent light reactor patterns. J.Am.Acad.Dermatol. 1980;3(4):384-393.
    View Abstract
  • Lans, C. Ethnomedicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for reproductive problems. J.Ethnobiol.Ethnomed. 2007;3:13.
    View Abstract
  • Liu, I. M., Liou, S. S., Lan, T. W., et al. Myricetin as the active principle of Abelmoschus moschatus to lower plasma glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Planta Med. 2005;71(7):617-621.
    View Abstract
  • Liu, I. M., Tzeng, T. F., Liou, S. S., et al. Improvement of insulin sensitivity in obese Zucker rats by myricetin extracted from Abelmoschus moschatus. Planta Med. 2007;73(10):1054-1060.
    View Abstract
  • Wojnarowska, F. and Calnan, C. D. Contact and photocontact allergy to musk ambrette. Br.J.Dermatol. 1986;114(6):667-675.
    View Abstract
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