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Family Malvaceae
Abelmoschus moschatus Medic.

Huang kui

Scientific names  Common names
Abelmoschus betulifolia Wall. Agukai (Sul.) 
Abelmoschus chinensis Wall. Dalak (Buk.) 
Abelmoschus ciliaris Walp. Dalupang (Tag.) 
Abelmoschus cryptocarpus Walp. Daopang (C. Bis.)
Abelmoschus cubensis Walp. Dukum (Bis .)
Abelmoschus cucurbitaceus Walp. Kalupi (Tag.)
Abelmoschus marianus C.Presl Kastuli (Tag.)
Abelmoschus moschatus Medik. Kastio (Tag.)
Abelmoschus palustris Walp. Kastiokastiogan (Tag.)
Abelmoschus sublobatus C.Presl Kastukastulian (Pamp.)
Hibiscus abelmoschus L. Marapoto (Bis.)
Hibiscus collinsianus Nutt. ex Torr. & A.Gray Marikum (Bis.)
Hibiscus moschatus (Medik.) Salisb. Marukum (Bis.)
  Ambrette (Engl.)
  Annural hibiscus (Engl.)
  Musk mallow (Engl.)
  Musk okra (Engl.)
  Musk seed plant (Engl.)
  Ornamental okra (Engl.)
  Rose mallow (Engl.)
Abelmoschus moschatus Medik. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Anbar bûl, Hhabb el misk.
CHINESE: Shan you ma, Ye you ma, Huang kui.
FRENCH: Ambrette, Gombo musqué, Ketmie musquée, Graine de musc.
GERMAN: Bisamstrauch, Bisam-Eibisch.
ITALIAN: Ambretta, Abelmosco, Fior muschiato, Ibisco muschiato.
JAPANESE: Ryûkyû tororo aoi.
MALAY: Kapas hantu, Kapas hutan, Kasturi (Indonesia), Gandapura.
SANSKRIT: Latakasturika.
SUNDANESE: Kakapasan.
THAI: Som chaba, Chamot ton, Mahakadaeng
TURKISH: Anber çiç.
VIETNAMESE: Cây bông vàng, Búp vàng.

Kastuli is an annual, erect and branched herb, about a meter high or less, covered with very long hairs. Leaves are orbicular-ovate to ovate, 6 to 15 centimeters long, variously angled and 3- to 5-lobed or more, pointed at the tip, broad or heart-shaped at the base, toothed at the margins. Flowers are about 10 centimeters in diameter, with yellow petals, purple at the base inside. Capsules are oblong-ovoid, 5 to 7 centimeters long, covered with long hairs and containing many musky seeds.

- Throughout the Philippines, in open places, grasslands and open clearings, etc., at low and medium altitudes.
- Pantropic.

- Seeds yield a volatile oil in the seed coat.
- Seeds yield an essential oil, 0.2 to 0.6 %, containing farnesol, palmitic acid, furfurol, acetic acid and ambrettol acid.

- Musk recognized by the musk-scented seeds.
- Seeds considered antiseptic, demulcent, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic, antispasmodic, and aphrodisiac.
- Hindus regard the seeds as cooling, tonic and carminative.
- The Arabic and Persian consider them stomachic and tonic.

Parts utilized
Seeds, roots and leaves.

• Decoction of pounded seed used as a diuretic, tonic and carminative.
• Mucilaginous decoction of root and leaves used for gonorrhea.
• Seeds used as antihysteric.
• In Malaya, leaves and roots used as poultice.
• Used for headaches, rheumatism, varicose veins,
cystitis and fever.
• In Java, powder or infusion of roots used to stimulate the kidneys and intestines.
• In Bombay, paste of seeds applied for itches.
• In the West Indies, seeds are used as antispasmodic.
• In the Antilles, seeds are used for snake bites, internally and externally.
• Infusion, decoction or tincture of seeds used for nervous debility, hysteria and other nervous disorders.
• Seed are used for fevers and gonorrhea; as inhalant to relieve dryness of the throat and hoarseness.
• Powdered seeds steeped in alcohol applied to snake bites.
• In the
Caribbean, used for female reproductive problems and for childbirth.
• In Egypt, seeds are chewed to relieve stomach problems, to soothe nerves and "sweeten" the breath; also considered as an aphrodisiac. Seeds made into an emulsion with milk, for skin itches.
• In Ayurveda, plant considered to pacify aggravated pitta, kapha, bronchitis, asthma, dyspepsia, coli, calculi, diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, nervous system disorders.

• Oil used for relieving stress, fatigue, anxiety. Also, used for cramps, muscle aching, depression and nervous complaints.
• In Arabia, use seeds to their coffee and to flavor soups; used for cordial properties.
• Oil from seeds used worldwide in perfumes and food flavoring. Also, used for flavoring coffee.

Myricetin / Anti-Diabetic: Myricetin, purified from the aerial part of Abelmoschus moschatus was studied in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results showed that myricetin has an ability to enhance glucose utilization to lower plasma glucose in diabetic rats lacking insulin. (1)
Myricetin extracted from A. moschatus was tested on obese Zucker rats. Results showed a dose dependent decrease in plasma glucose concentration. A Taiwanese study on STZ induced diabetic rats showed a dose-dependent decrease in glucose level and an increase in plasma beta endorphin-like immunoreactivity. The glucose lowering was mediated by activation of mu-receptors of peripheral tissues i response to increased beta-endorphin secretion.
Antimicrobial: Study on antimicrobial activity showed clear zones of inhibition against S aureus, B megaterium, S flexneri, P mirabilis, P vulgaris and Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The fraction with major antibacterial activity against C diphtheria contained terpenoid oil. (2)
Anti-Diabetes: The study showed a high level of polyphenolic flavonoids. It also exhibited characteristics of rosiglitazone. Study concludes A moschatus is a potential useful adjuvant therapy for patients with insulin resistance and/or subjects wishing to increase insulin sensitivity. (3)
Volatile Organic Nitrogen-Containing Constituents / Perfumery Quality : Study yielded 58 nitrogen-containing compounds – 27 pyrazine derivatives and 12 pyridines. The odor of the basic fraction was attributed to the pyrazines, pyridines and seven thiazoles. (5)
Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Antiproliferative: The study of seeds and leaf extracts showed AM possesses significant antioxidant activity and antibacterial activity against study strains. Hydoalcoholic extracts exhibited antiproliferative activity against two human cancer lines. (7)
Tablet Disintegrant: Seed starch from AM was employed as a disintegrant to paracetamol tablet at various concentrations. Results showed AM seed starch can complete favorably with corn starch as disintegrant in tablet formulations.
Seed Oil / Safety Study / Edibility: After extraction of fragrance from the seed coat, seeds are flaked and extracted with hexane to yield a fatty oil. The FA composition possesses saturated, monosaturated, and polysaturated FA in ratios close to UN WHO recommendations. Acute oral toxicity study and safety evaluation tested on albino rats show it to be comparable to groundnut oil and suitable for edible use. (10)
Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol-Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated seed extracts for hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol and ethanol induced hepatotoxicity. Results showed hepatoprotective activity of all studied extracts against paracetamol induced toxicity, with the ethanol extract showing more significant effects than the aqueous extract. (11)
Anti-Lithiatic: Study investigated the protective effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of A. moschatus against ethylene glycol induced urolithiasis in male Wistar albino rats. Results showed reduction and prevention of growth of urinary stones. The mechanism was unknown, but may be related to increased diuresis and lowering of urinary stone forming constituents. (12)
Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Study investigated the effect of the plant improving sensitivity in rats with insulin resistance induced by a 60% fructose diet for 6 weeks. The extract of A. moschatus displayed the characteristics of rosiglitazone (4mg/kg per day) in reducing the high HOMA-IR index. Treatment also increased post-receptor insulin signaling mediated by enhancements in insulin receptor substrate-1 associated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase step and glucose transporter subtype 4 translocation in insulin-resistant soleus muscles. (14)
Memory Strengthening / Seeds: Study investigated the memory strengthening effect of A. moschatus ethanolic extract of seeds. Treatment significantly improved learning and memory in mice and reversed the amnesia induced by diazepam. AM also decreased whole brain AchE and malondialdehyde content and increased the brain-reduced glutathione. Results suggest a potential candidate for improving memory, anticholinesterase and antioxidant activity, with applications in the management of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. (15)
Diuretic / Seeds: Study investigated the diuretic activity of various extracts of A. moschatus. The alcoholic extract exhibited significant diuretic activity as shown by increased total urine volume and urine concentration of Na, K, and Cl. Fursosemide was used as standard. (16)
Antibacterial / Trypsin Inhibitors / Seeds: Study investigated the antibacterial activity associated with trypsin inhibitors (AMR-I, II, III and IV) isolated and purified from the seeds of AM. AMTI I and II showed strong activity against E. coli, P. vulgaris, B. subtilis, S. pneumoniae, B. cereus and moderate activity against K. pneumonia, P. aeruginosa, P. syringae, and S. pyogenes. Results suggest trypsin inhibitors AMTI-I and II from the may serve as candidates for the development of novel antimicrobial agents. (17)
CNS Effects / Seeds: Study of an ethanolic seed extract of AM showed CNS effects in various behavioral models, viz. forced swim, tail suspension, light-dark box, hole-board, elevated-plus maze, locomotor, ME induced seizure, PTZ and strychnine induced convulsions. Results suggest a potential alternative source for CNS drug development. (18)
Silver Nanoparticles / Antimicrobial: Study reports on the biosynthesis of stable silver nanoparticles using an aqueous extract of A. moschatus. The antimicrobial activity of the nanoparticles was demonstrated against some Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. (20)
Antifungal / Trypsin Inhibitors / Seeds: Study investigated the antifungal potential of trypsin inhibitors isolated from the seeds of AM on isolated pathogenic fungal strains. ATM-I and ATM-II significantly affected the growth of Candida albicans, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Fluconazole and ketoconazole were used as positive controls. Results suggest the plant derived trypsin inhibitors have excellent potential as novel antimicrobial agents. (21)


Oils and seeds in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update January 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Immature seedpod of Abelmoschus moschatus/ Phuong Tran / Taken on August 20, 2010 / Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, VN / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic / Click on graphic to see original image / flickr
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Abelmoschus moschatus Blanco2.245-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Seeds / Public Domain / File:Abelmoschus moschatus seeds photo file 152KB.jpg / USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Public Domain / Tracey Slotta / Hortipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Myricetin as the Active Principle of Abelmoschus moschatus to Lower Plasma Glucose in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats / I-Min Liu et al / Planta Med 2005; 71(7): 617-621 / DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-87126
Antimicrobial activity of Abelmoschus moschatus leaf extracts / Priti Maheshwari and Anil Kumar / Current Trends in Biotechnology and Pharmacy , Volume 3 (3) July - 2009 /
Abelmoschus moschatus (Malvaceae), an aromatic plant, suitable for medical or food uses to improve insulin sensitivity / Liu I M, Tzeng T F and Liou S S / Phytother Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):233-9.
Hibiscus abelmoschus / Research Files
Volatile Organic Nitrogen-Containing Constituents in Ambrette Seed Abelmoschus moschatus Medik (Malvaceae) / Zhizhi Du et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008, 56 (16), pp 7388–7392 /
DOI: 10.1021/jf800958d
Sorting Abelmoschus Names / Maintained by Michel H. Porcher et al / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
Evaluation of Abelmoschus moschatus extracts for antioxidant, free radical scavenging, antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities using in vitro assays / Gul MZ, Bhakshu LM, Ahmad F, Kondapi AK, Qureshi IA, Ghazi IA. / BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Aug 17;11:64.
Evaluation of Abelmoschus starch as tablet disintegrant / G Ramu, G Krishna Mohan, N Suresh et al / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 1, No 3, Sept 2010, Pp 342-347.
ABELMOSCHUS MOSCHATUS Medikus – an effective medicinal herb / Ayurvedic Talk

Safety evaluation of ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus linn) seed oil
/ Y. R. Rao, K. S. Jena, D. Sahoo, P. K. Rout, Shakir Ali / Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 2005, Volume 82, Issue 10, pp 749-752
Evaluation of hepatoprotective activity of abelmoschus moschatus seed in paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity on rat / Abhishek Kumar singh, sanjiv singh, h.s. Chandel / IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, Volume 2 Issue 5, Sep-Oct. 2012, pp 43-50.
Abelmoschus moschatus Medik. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Abelmoschus moschatus (Malvaceae), an aromatic plant, suitable for medical or food uses to improve insulin sensitivity. / Liu IM, Tzeng TF, Liou SS / Phytother Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):233-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2918.
Phytochemical investigation and Diuretic activity of Abelmoschus moschatus Medikus
International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) ISSN (Online): 2319-7064 Impact Factor (2012): 3.358
A Comparative Study on the Antibacterial Activity of Trypsin Inhibitors from the Seeds of Abelmoschus Moschatus L.
/ Muni Kumar .D, Siva Prasad. D / International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), Vol 3, No 10, October 2014
Evaluation of Abelmoschus moschatus seed extract in psychiatric and neurological disorders / Haja Sherief Sheik, Niraimathi Vedhaiyan, Sengottuvelu Singaravel. / Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2014; 3(5): 845-853 / doi: 10.5455/2319-2003.ijbcp20141022
Diabetes and Myricetin / Phytochemicals
Biological synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Abelmoschus moschatus / Ruchita V Rane, K Meenakshi, Mansi Shah, and Indu A Geroge / Indian Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 13, July 2014, pp 342-346
ANTIFUNGAL ACTIVITY OF TRYPSIN INHIBITORS FROM THE SEEDS OF ABELMOSCHUS MOSCHATUS / Dokka, Muni Kumar; Seva, Lavanya; Davuluri, Siva Prasad / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research6.9 (Sep 2015): 3920-3927

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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