Levant cotton plant, called as Karpasa in Sanskrit is used in Ayurvedic treatment. Cotton seeds are an excellent aprhodisiac and nerve tonic. Its root bark decoction is used in amenorrhea.
Botanical name- Gossypium herbaceum Linn. (Gossypium barbadens Linn), Gossypium indicum
Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Kapasi
English name- Cotton Plant, Levant cotton
Kannada Name- Hatti
Gujarati name – Kapas, Von
Punjabi name – Kapas
Marathi name – Kapsi
Telugu name- Pratti Chettu, Karpasimu
Tamil & Malayalam Name- Panji
Samdranta – Commonly found in beaches
Some use Gossypium arboreum and Gossypium barbadense Linn in the name of Karpasa.
Cotton plant chemical composition:
Root- Hemigosypol, Quercimetitrin(flowers)
Essential oil- Caryophyllene, Pinene, Limonene
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Gossypin has analgesic and anti inflammatory properties.
Charaka – Brimhaneeya – Strength and bulk promoting group of herbs
Sushruta – Vata Samshamana – Vata pacifying group of herbs
Bhava Prakasha Nighantu – Purva Khanda, Mishra Prakarana, Guduchyadi Varga
Raja Nighantu – Shatahvadi Varga
Cotton plant medicinal properties:
Root bark –
Guna (qualities) – Laghu – light to digest, Teekshna – strong, piercing (Seed-Snigdha)
Rasa (taste) – Katu Pungent (Root bark- Kashaya – astringent)
Vipaka- Katu – Root bark undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Karma- Vata-pitta hara,
Quality- Snigdha – Oily, unctuous
Vipaka – Madhura – Undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Sheeta – coolant
Kaphakara – increases Kapha Dosha.
Prabhava – Seed – Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Part used, dosage
Part used- Root, flower, seed
Dosage- Decoction 50-100 ml, seed powder 3-6 g
Seed is Vatanashini – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Seeds promote lactation
Indicated in –
Shrama – tiredness, fatigue
Bhranti – dizziness, insanity
Murcha – fainting, loss of consciousness
Hrudbala karini – cardiac tonic.
Root and Root barks are indicated in –
Karnapeeda – earache
Nada – Tinnitus
Puyasrava – Wounds with pus
Trushna – excessive thirst
Daha – burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Root bark contracts uterus and its decoction (Kashaya) in a dose of 30 – 50 ml, in divided doses per day, is used in treating amenorrhoea.
Seed paste is applied externally to treat inflammation, pain, poisonous bites, wounds and ulcers.
Oil prepared with seed is used in treating headache.
Ayurvedic medicines with Karpasa as ingredient:
Karpasasthyadi Thailam – Cotton seed is used as main ingredient. used in the treatment of paralysis, facial palsy, spondylosis and other neuro-muscular conditions caused due to Vata imbalance.
Makardhwaj – It is used in Ayurvedic anti aging and aphrodisiac treatment. Root juice extract is used for Bhavana (grinding till dryness).
Gorochanadi Gulika – Root is used. This medicine is used in Ayurvedic treatment of fever, pneumonia, cough, cold etc.
Karappan Thailam – used mainly in the treatment of skin disorders.
Gossypium herbaceum side effects:
Root bark decoction is contra indicated during pregnancy because it can contract uterus. Soon after delivery, this decoction is administered to induce contractions to expel out placenta easily.
It is quite commonly used in children and in lactating mothers.
Levant cotton seed extract – Gossypol has shown male contraceptive properties in animal experimental studies.
Reference: Grieve, M. “Cotton Root”. A modern herbal. Botanical.com. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
Wound healing property of methanolic extract