Cotton is the most common fiber and is native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India.
Greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa.
Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that so lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, and it is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today.
Under natural condition, the cotton balls will tend to increase the dispersion of the seeds.
Apart from cotton fiber, it seeds and even flowers are useful.
Cotton flowers are in white, yellow or pink color and have high medicinal value in Ayurveda.
Medicinal Value of Cotton Flowers
Cotton flowers have more nectar (madhura rasa) and attract more honey bees. They control 3 vital elements Vaata, Pitta, Kapha and their related diseases and balance the human body.
These petals, when consumed are helpful for increasing breast milk among mothers.
It also gives strength to body, improves skin tone and controls thirst, fatigue etc.
Its juice can be useful as quick rejuvenator in cases of fits, oss of energy, losing consciouness, sunstroke etc.
For curing menstrual pain among women
Collect juice from equal quantities of cotton flower petals, cotton leaves, bamboo leaves and boil them along with water to make a syrup.
Consuming 1 small cup of this juice thrice a day during menstruation, will remove pains.
Curing Hysteria and Fear
Extract 10 ml of cotton flowers juice and mix 2 gm of Saffron (spice derived from the flower of Crocus Sativus) along with 1 tablespoon of honey.
Consuming this quantity everyday will cure all mind related fears, weaknesses and phobias.
Burn Skin Mark Removal and Healing
Grind and make a thick paste from cotton flowers. Apply it as a cream on first degree burns to heal the wounds.
This helps in quick recovery of skin’s original color by removing burn marks too.
There are four commercially grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity:
- Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southern Florida, (90% of world production)
- Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America (8% of world production)
- Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan (less than 2%)
- Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (less than 2%)
Flowers from any of the above species can be used.