Ambroxide is a naturally occurring organic compound that belongs to the diverse class of terpenoids. Terpenoids are said to be the biggest group of natural products. Ambroxide can be extracted from two main sources; from a plant known as clary sage and from a type of waste produced in the digestive tract of a sperm whale. This waste from the sperm whale is called ambergris and ambroxide is its autoxidation product. Historically, this was the main source of ambroxide but it proved to be too rare and difficult to come by. When presence of ambroxide was discovered later in the plant known as clary sage, it was considered a better source due to its abundance. The clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is native to Europe and most parts of Asia. Ambroxide is desired for its strong ambergris fragrance. Historically, it was used in the cosmetics industry to make perfumes, as a flavoring agent in cigarettes and as oil in aromatherapy.
There is very little information to back ambroxide’s supposed medicinal benefits. In lab studies, ambroxide has been shown to exhibit analgesic properties. During the Middle Ages in most parts of Europe, ambroxide was used to treat colds, headaches and seizures from epileptic persons. Additionally, the test subjects exhibited increased sexual behavior and this may support and justify its traditional use as an aphrodisiac.
1. Aromatherapy treatment
Ambroxide has a nutty, sweet and warm fragrance. In ancient Egypt, ambroxide was used as a type of incense to induce a sense of calmness and well being. It is highly considered as an effective tonic for stress, PMS, insomnia and anxiety related conditions.
2. Use in Perfume and Cosmetic Products
An article published in the US National Library of Medicine supports the use of ambroxide in perfumery. Ambroxide is used in small quantities to create perfumes with a strong musk. It also possesses fixative properties which makes perfume fragrances last longer. It is a suitable ingredient of body lotions, hair products and as a spice in fabric flavoring because it is well tolerated and does not cause allergic reactions.
3. Flavoring Agent
It is used today to flavor cigarettes and give them a better scent. It is an especially excellent flavoring agent in tobacco, masking its unpleasant taste. It is also used in the food industry to improve the flavor of certain foods and liqueur.
The appropriate dosage for ambroxide would ideally depend on the health of the person, age and other factors of interest. Different forms of ambroxide are used in prescription medicine, the most common being ambroxol which is used to treat chronic inflammatory of the respiratory tract. It is available in syrup form, tablets, powder and even drops. In pediatric drops, the usual dosage ranges between 0.5ml-1.25ml per day for children under 2 years. 2.5ml-10ml is the recommended dose for children between 2-10 years. For adults, an equivalent of 90mg-120mg ambroxol hydrochloride is recommended. Drugs containing ambroxide ought to be taken under the instructions of a physician.
Ambroxide Side Effects and Precaution
Due to unavailability of concrete evidence regarding ambroxide’s true medicinal potent, it should not be substituted with regular prescription drugs. It is also advisable that you speak with your doctor before you start taking any form of ambroxide. It is believed to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, however, precaution must be taken because there is no conclusive evidence yet. Avoid taking the supplements if possible.
Ambroxide is generally considered safe as a dietary supplement. In these amounts, there are no known cases of adverse side effects. However, due to a lack of information, not much can be said about its precise dosage and nature of interaction with other drugs.
US National Library of Medicine: BMC Plant Biology V12