Abelmoschus moschatus


Hibiscus abelmoschus, Hibiscus flavescens, Hibiscus moschatus, Hibiscus longifolius, Hibiscus hirtus, Hibiscus chinensis, Hibiscus curcubitaceus, Hibiscus laxiflorus, Hibiscus pseudo-abelmoschus, Abelmoschus pseudo-abelmoschus, Bamia abelmoschus, Hibiscus ricinifoliis, Hibiscus spathaceus, Bamia chinensis, Bamia multiformis, Bamia betulifolius, Bamia rugosa, Abelmoschus rugosus, Hibiscus moschatus, Hibiscus ciliaris, Abelmoschus haenkeanus, Hibiscus collinsianus, Hibiscus fusiformis, Hibiscus roxbughii, Abelmoschus officinalis, Hibiscus sagitiifolius, Hibiscus chinensis, Hibiscus cardiophyllus, Abelmoschus abelmoschus, Hibiscus subnudus, Hibiscus esquirolii, Abelmoschus todayensis, Hibiscus sharpei, Hibiscus todayensis, Abelmoschus yanoverberghii, Abelmoschus biakensis, Abelmoschus brevicapsulatus, Abelmoschus coccineus, Abelmoschus esquirolii [13]

Vernacular Names:


Kapas Hantu, Kapas Hutan, Gandapura


Musk Mallow, Musk Okra, Ambrette, Mushkdana


Gandapura, Kasturi, Kakapasan


Chamot-ton, Som-chaba, Mahakadaeng

Vietnam c[aa]y b[oo]ng v[af]ng, b[us[p v[af]ng

Dalupang, Kastuli, Kastiokastiokan

India Gandapura, Latakasturikam, Zatakasturika (Sanskrit); Mushk-dana, Kasturi-dana (Hindi & Bengali); Mishkdana, Mushk-bhendi (Bombay); Kasturi, Benda-vittulu, Karpuri-benda (Telagu); Kattakasturi (Malayalam); Vittilai-kasturi; Kasturivendaik-kayvirai (Tamil); Kabu-kasturi, Kon, Kasturi-bhendo
Tibet  So ma ra dza [14]

Aampruk (Chepang); Ban Bheri, Ban Kapas, Kasturi (Nepali) [15]

Arabic Hubb-ul-mushk, Abu-el-mosk, Abu-el-misk
French Ambrette, Ketmie musquee

Abelmosco, Ambarino


Abelmoschus-samen, Ambramalve, Ambrette, Bisakorner, Muskateller-Eibisch


Abelmosco, Algalia, Ambarcillo, Ambarina, Café extrajero


Algaria, Café extranjero, Dona Elvira [4] [5] [6]

General Information


Abelmoschus moschatus is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is an erect herb or subshrubs, usually annual or short-lived perennial reaching up to 4m high. The stems are mostly hispid-pubescent with appressed whitish hairs to measurement about 3-4mm long, solid or hollow. The leaves are variable, hastate, grows up to 30cm long and broad, shallowly to deeply 3 to 7 lobed, the divisions deltoid to oblong lanceolate, coarsely serrate, dentate to crenate, and apices acute to acuminate, rarely obtuse, leaf-bases cordate or sagittate. The petiole measures 20cm long, stipules linear to filiform, measures to 1 cm long. The flowers are solitary, bisexual, in upper axils, on apically expanded pedicels, at first, measuring 2-4cm long, in flower; extending to 12-19cm in fruit. The involucral bracts are 6-10 in number, linear to subulate or lanceolate, measuring 9-15mm long and 1-2.5mm broad, appressed, persistent in fruit. The calyx caduceus measures 1.8-3.5cm long and 5-toothed at apex. The corolla yellow in colour with a deep purple or crimson spot at base; petals asymmetrical, obovate, measuring 7-9cm long, cilliate at base. The staminal column measures about 2.5-3cm long. The capsule dry, 5-valved, thin-walled, ovoid to fusiform, apiculate, measuring 5-8cm long and 2-3cm broad, terete to slightly 5-angles, usually hispid, dark brown to blackish in colour. The seeds ovoid, reniform,  measures 3-4mm long, concentrically striate-pubescent, especially around the hilum, grayish-brown to black in colour, with an oily musky taste and a musky odour when rubbed. [1]

Plant Part Used

Seeds, roots and leaves [1] [2] [3] [5]

Chemical Constituents

5-dodecenyl-acetate;  5-tetradecen-14-olide; 5-tetradecenyl-acetate;  acetic-acid;  alpha-cephalin;  ambrettol;  ambrettolic-acid;  ambrettolide(=7-hexadecen-16-olide);  decyl-acetate; decyl-alcohol; farnesol; fat; furfural; kaempferol; kaempferol-3-0-glucoside; methionine-sulfoxide; mucilage; myricicetin; myricicetin-3'-glucoside; myristic-acid; palmitic-acid; phosphatidyl-serine; phosphatidylcholine-plasmalogen; phosphatidylserine-plasmalogen; pineol; protein; quercetin; quercetin-3'-glucoside. [3]

Traditional Used:

The seeds of A. moschatus is considered antihysteric, antineurotic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, litholytic, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

In the Philippines, A. moschatus is used in the treatment of stomach cancer.  In India, it is used effectively to treat intestinal complaints, stomatitis, dyspepsia, allay thirst and checks vomiting. [1] [2]

Respitatory Diseases

It has been reported that in Trinidad, they used the seeds steeped in rum or water for asthma, chest congestion and cold. The powdered seeds is inhaled for dryness and hoarseness of the throat. [1] [5]

Infective conditions

The roots and leaves are made into poultices to treat boils, cystitis and fever. For the treatment of urinary discharge and gonorrhoea some use the seeds while others used a decoction of the leaves and roots. The seeds are included in compound medicine for the treatment of other venereal diseases.[1] [2] [3] [5]

 Other Uses

A paste of pulverized seeds with milk is used to treat leucoderma, prickly heat and itch. Poultices of roots and leaves are useful for headache, rheumatism, swellings and varicose veins. The seed is considered an aphrodisiac and it is used also in cases of spermatorrhoea. In infusion, decoction or tincture the seeds are used in a number of nervous disorders including nervous debility and hysteria. Powdered seeds in alcohol is applied on venomous bites. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Preclinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

Liu et.al isolated a compound called myricetin from the aerial part of A. moschatus. Their preliminary study on this compound proved that it has antidiabetic activity which is attributed to its ability to enhance utlization of glucose. Further investigations showed that myrecitn not only lowered plasma glucose levels within 30 minutes of bolus administration but it also increases plasma beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity. These effects were eliminated after bilateral adrenalectomy and after treatment with opioid mu-receptor antagonist and in opioid mu-receptor knockout diabetic mice. Chronic use of the drug for three days resulted in increased expression of the glucose transported subtype 4 in soleus muscles and reduced expression of phoshoenolpyruvate carboxykinase in liver. They concluded that the hypoglycaemic activity of myricetin is mediated by activation of opioid mu-receptors of the peripheral tissue in response to increased beta-endorphin secretion. They found that myricetin also improve insulin sensitivity through increase post-receptor insulin signaling mediated by enhancements in IRS-1- associated PI3-kinase and GLUT 4 activity in muscles. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Skin protective activity

Rival et.al studied the activity of seed extracts of A. moschatus on the integrity of skin. It was found that the extract was able to prevent natural degradation of FGF-2, thus, maintaining the bioavailability of heparan sulphate proteoglycans for its target cells i.e. skin fibroblast. The protected FGF-2 could in turn stimulate the synthesis of suphated GAG’s give a two-prong action for the extract. This effects were proven clinically via skin biomechanical properties and reduction of wrinkles studies. [12]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. James A. Duke, Judith L. DuCellier CRC handbook of alternative cash crops CRC Press LLC Boca Raton, 1993 pg. 4 – 5
  2. Peter, K.V Underutilized and Underexploited Horticultural Crops:, Volume 2 New India Publishing Agency New Delhi 2007 pg. 212
  3. Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases (http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/farmacy2.pl) Accessed on 16th August 2010
  4. L.P.A. Oyen and Nguyen Xuan Dung PROSEA: Plant Resources of South-east Asia 19, Essential Oil Plants Prosea Foundation Bogor 1999 pg. 53
  5. H. Panda. Handbook on Medicinal Herbs with Uses H. Panda. Delhi, Asia Pacific Business Press, 2004 pg. 2
  6. Johannes Seidemann World Spice Plants Springer-Verlag Berlin 2005 pg.1
  7. Liu IM, Liou SS, Lan TW, Hsu FL, Cheng JT. Myricetin as the active principle of Abelmoschus moschatus to lower plasma glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Planta Med. 2005 Jul;71(7):617-21.
  8. Liu IM, Liou SS, Cheng JT. Mediation of beta-endorphin by myricetin to lower plasma glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Mar 8;104(1-2):199-206. Epub 2005 Oct 3.
  9. Liu IM, Tzeng TF, Liou SS, Lan TW. Improvement of insulin sensitivity in obese Zucker rats by myricetin extracted from Abelmoschus moschatus. Planta Med. 2007 Aug;73(10):1054-60. Epub 2007 Aug 13.
  10. Thing-Fong Tzeng, Shorong-Shii Liou and I-Min Liu Myricetin Ameliorates Defective Post-Receptor Insulin Signaling via β-Endorphin Signaling in the Skeletal Muscles of Fructose-Fed Rats eCAM 2010 pg. 1 – 9 (http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/neq017v1)
  11. Liu IM, Tzeng TF, Liou SS. Abelmoschus moschatus (Malvaceae), an aromatic plant, suitable for medical or food uses to improve insulin sensitivity. Phytother Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):233-9.
  12. Rival D, Bonnet S, Sohm B, Perrier E. A Hibiscus Abelmoschus seed extract as a protective active ingredient to favour FGF-2 activity in skin. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2009 Dec;31(6):419-26.
  13. Peter Hanelt Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops Volume 2 Springer-Verlag, Berlin 2002 pg. 1600 – 1601
  14. Pa-sans-yon-tan (Sman-rams-pa), Yon-tan-rgya-mtshao Dictionary of Tibetan Materia Medica Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Delhi 1998 pgs. 5, 10,66, 68, 194, 223, 252, 256, 281
  15. N.P. Manandhar, Sanjay Manandhar Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press Inc., Portland 2002 pg. 65