Cotton in Healthcare

Cotton in Traditional medicine
  • Cotton seeds and leaves feature in Vedic medicine.
  • It can be taken internally or applied externally to treat a range of conditions.
  • Cotton is notably used in preparations for therapy for skin problems and injuries.
Cotton Remedies
Headache A drink is made from powdered cotton seeds and mixed with milk.
Dysentery An infusion of seeds and leaves.
Spots and other skin conditions Treated using cotton seed or extracts from the leaves.
Aching joints The leaf extract made into a pounlice to ease painful joints.
Mild burns The seeds are ground and mixed with ginger and water to form a paste which is applied onto the affected area. 
Snake bites & Scorpion stings Treated using infusions or mixtures of the seeds and leaves, sometimes in combination with mustard seeds. 
Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani Physicians use cotton to take care of blood circulation and ear problems, colds, diarrhoea and gout.
This information for general interest only, not for medicinal use.
Cotton in Western medicine
  • Cotton is widely use in the form of dressings, bandages, swabs and cotton wool.
  • Scientific studies have proved that cotton roots and seeds contain     compounds that may be beneficial to the wounds and health.
Dressings & bandages
  • Main use of cotton in medicine is in the manufacture of various dressings that are applied to wounds on the skin.
  • Cotton fibres used for covering wounds are often impregnated with soft paraffin to sticking of fibres to the skin or with medication such as zinc and calamine or anti-microbial ointments. Some cotton dressings are blended viscose which helps to absorb exudates from wounds.
  • Cotton is also used in the manufacture of bandages to give support to strains, sprains and to unhealthy veins. Cotton bandages may be applied to give support to splints.
  • Cotton is also used in the manufacture of some types of adhesive tape that are used to secure bandages.
  • Absorbent cotton gauze may be used to pack cavities like the sinuses or throat following surgery or cleanse and swab wounds or areas of the skin prior to surgery, or to apply medication to the skin.
Some fascinating facts
  • Cotton root bark contains flavonoids and sesquiterpene-type compounds such as gossypol.
  • Gossypol, which is also present in cotton seeds, is reported to have anti-fertility activity and potential anti-cancer and anti-HIV activity.
*This information for general interest only, not for medicinal use.

Cotton as Food

  • Cotton seeds are edible and are rich in vitamins and oil.
  • In India, extensively used as a feed for cattle, particularly to fatten cattle in some parts of India.
  • The cotton seed oil is processed for margarine and cooking purpose.
  • Cotton seed flour is used in small amounts in South Asia. The flour is light in colour with a nutty flavour and is used in some baked products.
  • The short fibres called linters are used as a source of cellulose, to manufacture foods such as ice-cream.
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