Abelmoschus Moschatus (Ambrette) – Latakasturi

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Botanically, Abelmoschus Moschatus (also known as Ambrette and Latakasturi) shares same MALVACEAE family with Okra (Bhindi). It is also called Musk Okra and generally found in India. The Hindi Name of Abelmoschus Moschatus is KASTURI BHINDI and MUSKDANA.

Ambrette is also used in medicinal purposes and it helps in improving muscular strength and cures general debility. Ambrette seeds are most commonly used in diabetes. However, the excess use can also have side effects including indigestion and loss of appetite.

Botanical Description

Basic Information

Scientific NameABELMOSCHUS MOSCHATUS (HIBISCUS ABELMOSCHUS)
Plant FamilyMALVACEAE (MALLOWS)
Hindi NameKASTURI BHINDI, MUSHKDANA, JANGLI BHINDI, LATHA KASTHURI, Latakasturi
Sanskrit NameKASTURI BHINDI
English NameAMBRETTE, MUSK OKRA, MUSK MALLOW, YORKA OKRA
Other NamesABELMOSK, BAMIA, MOSCHATA, GALU GASTURI, ORNAMENTAL OKRA, TROPICAL JEWEL HIBISCUS
Type of PlantPerennial flowering plants
Native Range (Geographic Distribution)India
Habitat (type of environment)Warm temperate and tropical regions

Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)

KingdomPLANTAE
Sub-KingdomVIRIDIPLANTAE
Infra KingdomSTREPTOPHYTA  (land plants)
Super DivisionEMBRYOPHYTA
DivisionTRACHEOPHYTA (TRACHEOPHYTES or Vascular Plants)
Sub DivisionSPERMATOPHYTINA (SPERMATOPHYTES or Seed Plants)
ClassMAGNOLIOPSIDA
Super OrderROSANAE
OrderMALVALES
FamilyMALVACEAE (MALLOWS)
GenusABELMOSCHUS
SpeciesABELMOSCHUS MOSCHATUS (AMBRETTE)

Medicinal Parts

  • Ripe Seeds (Ambrette seeds)
  • Immature capsules or seedpods or unripe pods (musk okra)
  • Leaves
  • New shoots

All parts of this plant are used in ayurvedic medicines and Traditional Indian Folk Medicines.

Mucilage substance collected from its roots is used in paper industries and flowers are used as flavoring agent.

Medicinal Properties

Abelmoschus Moschatus (Ambrette) has following healing properties.

  1. Anti-halitosis
  2. Antispasmodic
  3. Appetizer and Digestive stimulant (seeds are appetizers in less dosage, the excess dosage cause loss of appetite and indigestion)
  4. Aphrodisiac
  5. Demulcent (mucilage)
  6. Stomachic (tonic for stomach)
  7. Diuretic

Therapeutic Indications

Abelmoschus Moschatus (Ambrette) is helpful in following health conditions.

Digestive Health

  • Constipation (seedpods and root mucilage)
  • Loss of appetite (larger dosage can itself lead to loss of appetite)

Skin & Hairs

  • Used as soothing and softening poultice

Kidney & Bladder

  • Cystitis and Gonorrheal cystitis
  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Urethritis

Other

  • Diabetes

Ambrette Benefits & Medicinal Uses

Abelmoschus Moschatus (Ambrette) is nutritious and healthy wild vegetable. It also lowers cholesterol and prevents atherosclerosis.

Constipation

The fiber content in seedpods and mucilage substance in Abelmoschus Moschatus (Ambrette) helps reducing habit of constipation. It lubricates the gut and eases in passing stools. Ambrette is beneficial in constipation with dry and hard stools.

Dysuria (painful urination), Cystitis, Urethritis & Gonorrheal Cystitis

Ambrette seeds are used for their diuretic action in urinary diseases. Seeds also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties due to which they help in reducing inflammation and infection of urinary tract and urinary bladder.

Diabetes

Indian folks use KASTORI BHINDI (Ambrette) in diabetes. Ambrette seeds are more beneficial for stabilizing sugar level in the blood.

Dosage

Ambrette seeds

The dosage of Ambrette seeds varies from 250 mg to 1 grams twice a day. The maximum dosage of Ambrette seeds should not exceed from 5 grams a day.

Musk Okra (Seedpods or fruits)

Indian folks also use Musk Okra as cooked vegetable in amount of 100 to 250 grams, so this amount is also safe.

Caution & Side Effects

You can eat Ambrette seedpods (fruits) as vegetable in food amounts. Ambrette as a vegetable is LIKELY SAFE.

It has more diuretic action as compared to Ladies’ Finger (Okra), so it may also make you urinate frequently.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Ambrette seedpods as vegetable is POSSIBLY SAFE in pregnancy and breastfeeding. The information about safety profile of Ambrette seeds in pregnancy and breastfeeding is unknown. Therefore, you should not consume Ambrette seeds in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

However, Ambrette seeds are used in diabetes, but they work alone and can interact with anti-diabetic drugs. Hence, they can cause treatment failure with both including Ambrette seeds and anti-diabetic drugs. For example, Ambrette seeds can hinder the absorption of anti-diabetic drug METFORMIN. It can cause excess blood glucose level due to treatment failure with METFORMIN. You require carefully monitoring the blood sugar level if you are using it for diabetes.

Ayurvedic Consultation

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