Botanical Name: Abelmoschus moschatus
Species: A. moschatus
Synonyms : Hibiscus abelmoschus
Common Names: Abelmosk, Ambrette seeds, Annual hibiscus, Bamia Moschata, Galu Gasturi, Muskdana, Musk mallow, Musk okra, Musk seeds, Ornamental okra, Rose mallow seeds, Tropical jewel hibiscus, Yorka okra
Habitat: S.E. Asia -Native to India. Himalayas to China and Vietnam. Open places in Nepal at elevations of 600 – 1100 metres. Flat areas, valleys, stream sides and scrub slopes in western and southern China.
Perennial growing to 2m by 1m at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October.
The seeds have a sweet, flowery, heavy fragrance similar to that of musk. (hence its specific epithet mosch?tus, scientific Latin for ‘musk’). Despite its tropical origin the plant is frost hardy. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Despite its tropical origin, the plant is frost-hardy.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.
Easily grown in a rich well-drained soil in a sunny position. Tolerates a pH in the range 6 to 7.8. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c and can be grown outdoors in the milder areas of the country. The plant grows as a shrub in frost-free climates but is usually cut back to the ground in British winters. So long as these winters are not too cold, however, it can usually be grown as a herbaceous perennial with new shoots being produced freely from the root-stock. These flower in the summer. It is probably wise to apply a good mulch to the roots in the autumn. It is best to cut back the stems to about 15cm long in the spring even if they have not been killed back by the frost. This will ensure an abundance of new growth and plenty of flowers in the summer. The musk mallow is widely cultivated in tropical climates for its many uses. There is at least one named form, selected for its ornamental value. ‘Mischief’ is somewhat smaller than the species, reaching a height of 50cm.
Seed – sow April in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best at a temperature around 24 – 24°c. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of rich soil and plant them out after the last expected frosts. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April in areas with warm summers. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July in a frame
Uses of the plant:-
Musk mallow oil was once used as a substitute for animal musk; however this use is now mostly discontinued as it can cause photosensitivity.
You may click to see-> different uses of Abelmoschus moschatus Medik
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed; Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Condiment.
Young leaves and shoots – cooked in soups. Used as a vegetable. The leaves are also used to clarify sugar. Unripe seedpods – cooked as a vegetable in much the same way as okra (A. esculentus). Seed – cooked. It is fried or roasted and has a flavour similar to sesame seeds. The seed is also used as a flavouring for liqueurs or to scent coffee. An essential oil is obtained from the plant and is used to flavour baked goods, ice cream, sweets and soft drinks. Root. No more details are given, though the root is likely to have a bland flavour and a fibrous texture.
Antihalitosis; Antispasmodic; Aphrodisiac; Aromatherapy; Digestive; Nervine; Stomachic; Vulnerary.
An emulsion made from the seed is antispasmodic and is especially effective in the digestive system. The seeds are also chewed as a nervine, stomachic and to sweeten the breath. They are also said to be aphrodisiac. The seeds are valued medicinally for their diuretic, demulcent and stomachic properties. They are also said to be stimulant, antiseptic, cooling, tonic, carminative and aphrodisiac. A paste of the bark is applied to cuts, wounds and sprains. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It is also applied externally to treat cramp, poor circulation and aching joints
It is used externally to relieve spasms of the digestive tract, cramp, poor circulation and aching joints. It is also considered an insecticide and an aphrodisiac.
Essential; Fibre; Insecticide; Oil; Size.
An essential oil is obtained from the plant. It is used as a food flavouring and in perfumery as a musk substitute. However, it has been known to cause photosensitivity so this use has been largely discontinued. An oil obtained from the seed contains 18.9% linoleic acid. The oil is f high econmic value. Total yields of oil are not given[K]. The seeds are used as an insecticide. Another report says that extracts of the fruits and upper parts of the plant show insecticidal activity. A fibre is obtained from the stem bark. It is used to make ropes. A mucilage obtained from the roots is used as a size for paper
In industry the root mucilage provides sizing for paper; tobacco is sometimes flavoured with the flowers.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.