Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Sumbulus moschatus

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Ferula Sumbul



Traditional name

Ferula moschata
Euryangium sumbul
Musk root
Sumbul (Persian and Arabic).
Sumbulus moschatus. Ferula sumbul. Jatamanski. Nardostachys   
Spikenard of the ancients.

Used parts

Tincture of the root.


Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Apiales; Umbelliferae / Apiaceae - Carrot / Celery Family


Original proving

Allen: Cyclopaedia, V. 9. Hering: Guid. Symptoms, V. 10. Possart: Hom. Arz., pt. 2. Altschul: Hom. Viertelj, V. 4. Brit. Jl. Hom., V. 11, p. 678.
First proven by Lembke, Germany.

Description of the substance

Botanical: Ferula Sumbul (HOOK, F.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Common and other names--- Euryangium Musk Root. Jatamansi. Ouchi. Ofnokgi. Sumbul Radix. Racine de Sumbul. Sumbulwurzel. Moschuswurzel.
The parts of the herb used medicinally---Root and rhizome.
Preferred natural habitat---Turkestan, Russia, Northern India.

---The herb's habitat and appearance---The plant reaches a height of 8 feet, and has a solid, cylindrical, slender stem which gives rise to about twelve branches. The root-leaves are 2 1/2 feet long, triangular in outline, while the stem-leaves rapidly decrease in size until they are mere sheathing bracts. The pieces of root, as met with in commerce, are from 1 to 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 to 1 inch in thickness. They are covered on the outside with a duskybrown, papery, transversely-wrinkled cork, sometimes fibrous; within they are spongy, coarsely fibrous, dry, and dirty yellowishbrown, with white patches and spots of resin. The odour is strong and musk-like, the taste bitter and aromatic.

Sumbul - a Persian and Arabic word applied to various roots - was discovered in 1869 by the Russian Fedschenko, in the mountains south-east of Samarkand near the small town of Pentschakend on the River Zarafshan, at an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet. A root was sent to the Moscow Botanical Gardens, and in 1872 two were sent from there to Kew, one arriving alive. In 1875 the plant died after flowering. The genus Euryangium (i.e. 'broad reservoir') was based by Kauffmann on the large, solitarv dorsal vittae, or oil tubes, which are filled with a quantity of latex - the moisture surounding the stigma - which pours out freely when a section is made, smelling strongly of musk, especially if treated with water, but they almost disappear in ripening, making the plant difficult to classify.

The root has long been used in Persia and India medicinally and as incense in religious ceremonies.

The physicians of Moscow and Petrograd were the first to employ it on the Continent of Europe, and Granville first introduced it to Great Britain and the United States.

The root of Ferula suaveolens, having only a faint, musky odour, is one of the species exported from Persia to Bombay by the Persian Gulf. It is the Sambul Root of commerce which differs from the original drug, being apparently derived from a different species of Ferula than that officially given.

The recognized source in the United States Pharmacopceia is F. Sumbul (Hooker Fil.). False Sumbul is the root of Dorema Ammoniacum; it is of closer texture, denser, and more firm, of a red or yellow tinge and feeble odour.