Ambrette Seed

ambrette seed
Ambrette Seed
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Latin Name: Abelmoschus moschatus

Plant Family: Malvasceae

Synonyms: Hibiscus Ablemoschus, Musk Seed, Egyptian Alcee, Target-leaved Hibiscus, Muskmallow, Annual Hibiscus, Bamia Moschata, Galu Gasturi, Muskdana, Musk Okra, Ornamental Okra, Rose Mallow Seeds, Tropical Jewel Hubiscus

Origins: Indigenous to India, but widely cultivated in tropical countries including Indonesia, Africa, Egypt, China, Madagascar, and West Indies.

Effects: Relaxing, stimulating and grounding properties.

Parts Used: Seeds

Extraction Method: Steam distillation of the seeds, An absolute is often made by solvent extraction.

Nature of the oil: It is a pale yellow-red liquid that has a high, sweet, rich, floral, and musky scent.  Some sites says its fragrance is akin to wine or brandy.

Appearance: The Ambrette plant is an evergreen shrub that has a final height of about five feet.  It grows large, single, yellow flowers with purple centers.  The capsules, or seed pods, are in the shape of five-pointed pyramids. The seeds are greyish-brown and kidney shaped.

History: The seeds themselves are and used in Ayurvedic Medicine to treat cramps, indigestion, and stomach complaints.  The Chinese use the seeds in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat headache; Egyptians emulsify the seeds in milk to treat dry skin.  Arab countries use it to flavor their coffee, and, also in the East, it is used as a spice.

Recommended preparations: 

  • Circulation, Muscles, and Joints
    • Cramps, fatigue, muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, steroid detoxification*
      • Add 3 drops to a tablespoon of massage oil or lotion
      • Bath salts
  • Glandular
    • Stimulates the adrenals
      • Infuser
      • Bath salts
  • Nervous System
    • Nervine, anxiety, depression, nervous tension, stress-related conditions.
      • Infuser
      • Two drops in herbal tea
      • Bath Salts
  • Digestion
    • Aids Digestion
      • Two drops in herbal tea.
      • Massage oil applied in the digestive area
  • Urinary
    • Diuretic
      • Massage oil.

Blends well with: Amyris, Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Clary Sage, Cypress, Himalayan Cedarwood, Coutus Root Oil, Frankincense, Galbanum, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Mandarin, Mimosa, Myrrh, Orange (Bitter). Oakmoss, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rose, and Sandalwood.

Main Constituents: Ambrettolide, ambrettolic acid, palmitic acid, farnesol, sesquiterpinol

Secondary constituents: dodecyl esters, terpenes

Possible substitutes: At the time of this post, none could be found.

Cross-references: none at this time

Warnings: Safe at normal doses.  Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or UV light source for 24 hours after applying to the skin.  Keep away from young children, avoid during pregnancy.

Pricing and availability: Due to the perfume industry using synthetic substitutes for musk, this essential oil is very rare to find and to date, 10ml of the oil currently goes for $16.00

Sources for the Post: 

The links used for this post are to correlate the data and show you where I received the information.  I in no way endorse the companies below.

-Lawless, Julia. Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, The.  Copyright 1995


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