This article is by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Indian cotton plant is well known for its medicinal properties for more than a thousand year. Its seeds, seed oil root and bark of the plant in various medicinal preparations.
Sanskrit name – Karpasa.
Botanical name – Gossypium herbaceum Linn.
Hindi name – Kapas
In Ayurveda several other varieties of Karpasa are explained –
Udyana karpasa (Gossypium arboreum Linn),
Aranya karpasa (Thespesia lampas Dalz & Gibs) etc.
However commonly Indian cotton is used that too which is obtained from the natural habitat is preferred.
The seeds as well as the roots contain Dihydroxy benzoic acid, Salicylic acid, fatty acids, betaine, phytosterols etc.
The seeds are hot in potency and undergo pungent bio-transformation.
The seeds are galactogogue , expectorant, neuro-stimulants in nature. The root bark is useful in gynaecological disorders related to uterus.
Karpasastyadi taila is a famous oil preparation of this drug recommended in neuro-muscular troubles.
Read related: Karpasa – Cotton Plant Uses, Dose, Research, Side Effects
Kapas – Cotton plant remedies:
Cotton seed medicated milk to increase the breast milk :
Dried cotton seeds are taken and crushed well (3-5 gram). It is cooked in 150-200 ml of cow’s milk. Filtered. This is given to the breast feeding mother. 3-4 days medication improves the breast milk significantly.
Burning urination, body heat
Tender leaf fine paste for burning urination and body heat:
The tender leaves are collected and fine paste is made. This is administered in a dose of 1 teaspoon along with tender coconut water or lukewarm milk.
This helps to reduce the complaint of dysuria and burning during urination.
Root paste with rice washed water for leucorrhoea:
Fresh roots are obtained and fine paste is made. This is administered in the dose of 2-3 gram twice daily. This reduces the diarrhoea as well as leucorrhoea.
Charred cotton for wounds and oozing/ seretion associated ulcers:
20-30 gram of cotton is taken and it is burnt/charred. This is kept over the oozing ulcers or secretion associated ulcers. It reduces the secretion and helps to heal the wounds.
Joint and muscular pain
Seed oil for joint pain and muscular pains:
The seed oil is obtained by cooking the seeds with sesame oil and water. Or else cotton seed oil is obtained and it is diluted with double amount of sesame oil and warmed. Little salt is added and applied over the joints and painful area. This reduces the pain and swelling in the joints.
Recent studies have given evidence that the seed oil has spermicidal effect. So, in future days on proper investigation and research, it may find its application in contraception also. As the root bark is used abundantly by the folk healers its full strength of the medicinal properties are to be brought to mainstream. A quick research move in this regard may throw light on further utility of this ancient Indian herb.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD