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Home > Articles > Kasturidana: A medicinial herb
Kasturidana: A medicinial herb
Kasturidana: A medicinial herb ABELMOSCHUS MOSCHATUS Medikus, a medicinal and aromatic herb, is found across the Deccan plateau and the foothills of the Himalayas. It is called Latakasturikam in Sanskrit, Kattukasthuri in Malayalam, Kasturibenda in Telugu, Kasturidana, Muskdana in Hindi, Kadu Kasturi in Kannada, Muskbendibij in Marathi Gandapuri, Kasturilatika, Kattukasthuri and Varttilai Kasturi in Tamil.Kasturidana: A medicinial herb It is an erect, annual herb. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Insects.Its flowers are bright yellow. The plants are grown for their musk-scented seeds that are useful in perfumery and medicine. The seeds, also known as Ambrette seeds, are valued for the volatile oil present in the seed coat.

The seeds contain moisture 11.14 per cent; protein 2.3 per cent; starch 13.35 per cent; crude fibre 31.46 per cent; fatty acid 14.5 per cent; volatile oil 0.2-0.6 per cent and resin 6.55 per cent. The presence of beta-sitosterol and its glucoside has also been reported in this plant. On steam distillation the crushed seeds yield oil that has a peculiar and lasting odour, reminiscent of musk. The crude oil, known as concrete, is semi-solid at ordinary temperature because of a large amount of higher fatty acids, chiefly palmitic acid. The seeds are medicinally important for their diuretic, demulcent and stomachic properties. An emulsion made from the seed is antispasmodic and is deeply 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 a stimulant, an antiseptic, cooling, a tonic, a carminative and an aphrodisiac. A decoction, infusion or tincture of the seeds is useful in nervous debility, hysteria and other nervous disorders.

An essential oil is obtained from the plant. It is used as a food flavouring and in perfumery as a musk substitute.The oil is used in high-grade perfumery. A mucilage obtained from the roots is used as a size for paper.The mucilage prepared from the leaves and roots is used in venereal diseases. A paste of the bark is applied to cuts, wounds and sprains. The stem bark yields quality fibre that may be substituted for jute, but is stated to be of no advantage over jute.

The flowers are used for making zarda, an indigenous flavoured tobacco. The yellow portion of the petals found in plants growing in Muvattupuzha (Kerala) have flavonoids, myricetin and cannabiscitrin. The seeds are used as sachet powders as an insect-repellent.

The plant grows best in June-July and October-November. Three kilogrammes of seeds are sufficient for the cultivation of one hectare. The minimum yield is 1,500 kg per hectare. Family: Malvaceae Genus: Abelmoschus Synonyms : Hibiscus abelmoschus - L. Grown Area: Himalayas to China and Vietnam. Habitat Open places in Nepal at elevations of 600 - 1100 metres. Flat areas, valleys, stream sides and scrub slopes in western and southern China.
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Kasturidana: A medic..
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