Rough cotton – shaggy cotton

Rough cotton (Gossypium hirsutum); cotton, cotton; woolly cottonwood


Perennial (in the conditions of culture — annual) stiff-haired plant (shrub) of the mallow family. The stem is straight, branchy, woody at the base, 1-1.5 m tall. The leaves are alternate, long-petioled, 3-5-lobed, with triangular-ovate pointed blades. The flowers are single, 5-petalled, cream, with a reddish-purple hue. The fruit is a multi-seeded capsule. Seeds — with long unicellular hairs. Blooms in July – September.

Spread. It is grown in the republics of Central Asia and Transcaucasia as a valuable spinning crop. In Ukraine, it is cultivated in the extreme southern regions and in the Crimea.

Raw. The seeds and root bark (Cortex Gossypii radicis), harvested after the cotton (fiber) is harvested, are used. Hygroscopic cotton wool (Gossypium hygroscopicum) is obtained from the fiber. The root bark is not sold by pharmacies.

Chemical composition . All parts of the plant contain a large set of biologically active substances: the root contains gossypol, tannins, ascorbic acid, vitamin K, trimethylamine, essential oil; seeds contain gossypol, gossypin, gosypurpurin pigment, fatty oil, high-quality protein; the flowers contain flavonoids (5%), citric (5-7%) and malic (3-4%) acids. Carotenoids and catechins are found in all parts of the plant.

Pharmacological properties and use.The flavonoids isolated from the flowers of the rough cotton have a capillary-strengthening effect, reduce blood pressure and the tone of coronary vessels. Preparations from the root bark (liquid extract or decoction) have a pronounced hemostatic effect and are used for internal and uterine bleeding. From the roots, the product Gossypolum is obtained, which is used for herpetic keratitis, psoriasis, common, bullous and shingles. The antitumor effect of gossypol has also been revealed. In this regard, it is recommended to use it orally for patients with stomach cancer in the postoperative period. Cottonwood oil (Oleum Gossypolii) is used in medicine along with sunflower and sesame oil. In addition, it is a valuable dietary product and is recommended for use by patients with atherosclerosis.

Medicinal forms and applications. Internally – decoction of the bark (2 teaspoons of dry crushed bark per 1 cup of boiling water) a third of a glass 3-4 times a day; liquid bark extract 30-40 drops 2-3 times a day.

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