Cotton is known as one of the most popular item in textile manufacturing. Among various types of fibers used to produce yarn in textile manufacturing, cotton is considered to be the most important fiber, thereby making it extensively treated. Cotton fiber grows around the seeds of the cotton plants. Cotton plants come from the mallow family in the order Malvales.
The plants that come from that order are widely known as common sources of fibers. But, that is not sole function of the Malvales. Seeds, leaves (which will be our topic here), and barks of the Malvales are also used for medical purposes.
Cotton plants, also known as Gossypium, a genus of the order Malvales, though it’s only the seeds that is commonly used, the leaves of the cotton plants, or let’s just call it cotton leaves, apparently has notable benefits for our health too. (You may want to read : Health Benefits of Smoked Oysters in Cottonseed Oil) Here, you will get to know all about health benefits of cotton leaves. But, before we go on, let’s have a look at nutritional value of said cotton leaves:
Nutritional Values of Cotton Herbs
Here is what inside every 0.5 cup (118 g) of cotton leaves :
- 277 calories
- 7g total fat
- 501mg sodium
- 908mg potassium
- 38g total carbohydrates
- 8g dietary fiber
- 19g sugars
- 25g protein
- 15% vitamin A*
- 113% vitamin C*
- 57% calcium*
- 40% iron*
The leaves also contain mucus, tannins, flavonoids, essential oil, and other substances.
* percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. The values may be different depending on your calorie needs. (Recommended : Benefits of Drinking Milk with Turmeric for Skin)
Those are the nutritional values of cotton leaves. Now, here are some interesting health benefits of cotton herbs:
1. It can be used as a treatment of respiratory diseases
Cotton leaves have been used as a traditional herbal medicine for respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, coughing, throat infections, and emphysema. It is a popular herbal medicine for respiratory diseases because it has healing attributes that may help mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. One of those healing attributes is the mucus substances that protect or recover the tissue from inflammation.
Still associated with respiration, a tea made from the cotton leaves may be used as a medicine for a cough and similar illness. Be aware that you should allow the leaves to be soaked for a few hours in slightly warm water before use. To keep the medical attributes from fading away, do not boil the leaves.
If you are don’t want to make the tea yourself, don’t worry. Cotton leaves are used in many commercial tea products, so you can just buy it. Many over-the-counter medication also used cotton leaves in their products in case you prefer it that way. (Also read : Health Benefits of Marshmallow Root)
2. It also used to treat wounds or inflamed mucus membrane in the respiratory organs
Again about the health benefits of cotton herbs, because of the mucus substances contained in, cotton leaves can heal wounds or treat inflammation of mucosa in the upper respiratory organs such as mouth and throat, and also in the stomach and intestines.
3. A herbal treatment for skin problems
This medicinal herb can be used as an alternative treatment for your skin problems like wounds, boils, skin rashes, insect bites, pimples, eczema, acne, and swelling.
Interesting, right? This is due to the astringent, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory attributes of the leaves. It seems like an effective remedy for inflammation.
4. It benefits breastfeeding mothers
If consumed as tea, it has been said that cotton leaves may help in producing breastmilk. (Also read : Health Benefits of White Tea for Skin)
5. As a healthy food source
Cotton leaves is edible, and can be added with other vegetables as ingredients in making green salad. There are even some canned food products that use cotton leaves.
6. Alternative medicine for various diseases
Beside respiratory and skin problems, cotton leaves may also be used as an alternative herbal medicine for other diseases such as gallstones, kidney stones, kidney inflammation, headache, constipation, gastritis, toothaches and insomnia.
Medical Uses of Cotton Herbs
After all is said about the health benefits of cotton herbs, so now we realize that cotton is not mainly used to produce textile products. Apparently, there are other purposes. One of them being medical purpose. Cotton leaves specialized in curing almost all respiratory diseases.
These include asthma, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, and other diseases that occur in the same place. When using cotton leaves for medical purpose, it is best to make a tea from it. As it is the most effective way to use it for medical purposes, as well as the most relaxing way.
Cotton leaves also has positive effect on nursing mothers, as consuming it will resulting in increase of breast milk production. These leaves also can be used as treatment for skin problems, healthy source of food, and alternative herbal medicine for various diseases. Overall, cotton leaves is very beneficial for our health. (Also read : Health Benefits of Throat Coat Tea )
Cautions of Using Cotton Herbs
Currently, how much portion of cotton leaves you can take safely is still unknown. It is probably depends on various factors, such as user’s health, condition, and age. So, before proceeding to use it, better consult medicinal plants experts. Recommended dose of cotton leaves (according to some experts) is 5 grams a day. It is also suggested to consume it as an infusion.
As for the possibility of side effects, there is still no instance of user getting poisoned. Users should not worry about contraindication either. However, large doses of cotton leaves may have laxative effects and cause diarrhea. Also, there are reports of interaction with other medication from people using it as an addition to prescribed medicines. Therefore, consult your doctor before adding this herb to your medication list.
There are no reports about the effects of cotton leaves consumption during pregnancy. So, it suggested that pregnant women should avoid consuming this herb as a safety measure.
That being said, never consume any herb (including cotton leaves) carelessly as it will lead to any unwanted things to happen.