Musk mallow


The scientific name of Musk mallow: Abelmoschus moschatus 

Synonyms:  Hibiscus abelmoshus Linn

Family:  Malvaceae

Name of Musk mallow in different languages:

Sanskrit: लताकस्तूरिका- Latakasturika

Hindi: मुश्कदाना Mushkdana, Guj

Malayalam: Kasthoori venda-കസ്തൂരിവെണ്ട

English:  Muskmallow,  Ambrette plant

Sanskrit:  Latakasturika

Kannada:  Kasturi bende

Tamil:  Varttilaikasturi

Telungu:  Kasturi benda

Useful plant parts of Musk mallow:

Seeds, leaf, root

Plant description:

It is an annual shrub of 60-180 cm height. The leaves are simple polymorphous, usually palmately 3-7 lobed; lobes narrow, acute or oblong-ovate, crenate, serrate or irregularly toothed, hairy on both surfaces. Flowers are large and bright yellow with purple center. Fruits are fulvous, hairy and capsular. Seeds are many, sub reniform, black or grayish – brown and musk scented,

Medicinal uses:

Every part of this medicinal plant is used in one or the other way. Seeds are effective aphrodisiac and antispasmodic, and used in tonics. They check vomiting and are useful in treating intestinal disorders, urinary discharge, nervous disorders, hysteria, skin diseases etc. Flower infusion is contraceptive. Ambrette oil of commerce is extracted from the seeds and is used in perfumery, flavouring, cosmetic and agarbathi industries. The aromatic concrete and absolute, extracted from seeds are used as base material for preparing high grade perfumes, scents and cosmetics, and other uses are to treat joint pain, bad breath, mouth ulcer, sexual erection, purify the blood.

Chemical contents:

The fatty oil of seeds contains the phospholipids: 2 – cephalin, phosphatidylserine and its plasmalogen and phosphatidyl choline plasmalogen. Absolute contains farnesol and ambrettolic acid lactone. beta – sitosterol and its beta- d – glucosides are isolated from leaves. Petals contain beta -sitosterol, flavonoid myrcetin and its glucoside. Anthocyanins are present in the flowers.

Palmitica, Linolic acis, Oliyic, Albumin

Medicinal Properties:

Seeds are aphrodisiac, aromatic, antidiabetic, antispasmodic, diuretic, demulcent, antiseptic, stomachic, uterine tonic, carminative, antihysteric, antidiarrhoeal, ophthalmic, cardiac and antivenum.


It is propagated through seeds. The optimum time of sowing is June-July with pre-monsoon showers. The land is prepared well by ploughing, harrowing and levelling. Ridges and furrows are formed giving a spacing of 60 – 100 cm. Seed rate is 2-3 kg/ha. Seeds are soaked in water before sowing for 24 hours. Two to three seeds are sown per hole at 60 cm spacing on one side of the ridge at a depth of 1 cm and covered with a pinch of sand or loose soil. It takes 5-7 days for proper germination. After germination, extra seedlings are thinned out leaving one healthy growing plant per hole within 20 days.

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