Abelmoschus moschatus   Medik. Muskmallow ;  Ambrette - Malvaceae

Muskmallow, Abelmoschus moschatus, is a small evergreen shrub grown throughout the tropics for its musky seeds.  Capsules in the shape of a five-cornered pyramid are filled with grayish-brown seeds the size of lentils

In Egypt the seeds are chewed to sweeten the breath and settle the stomach.  In Asia and Africa seeds are strung as scented necklaces or belts.2 Seeds are added to coffee in the Near East and to liqueurs and tobacco as flavoring.  But their major role is in perfumery, where an extract of the seeds is used as a fixative in the manufacture of perfumes.

Europeans took the plant to tropical America.  In Peru the Yanamomo children suffering from bronchitis and cough wear necklaces of the seeds.3

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