Gossypium hirsutum is a cotton species native to Central America and the Caribbean. After being domesticated in the United States, this cotton species now provides over 90% of commercial cotton worldwide.
The dried root bark of cotton contains gossypol. This compound may cause abortion-inducing effects. Gossypol may be isolated more easily from the bark. Other parts of the cotton plant have limited gossypol content.
Cotton has a history of use for breastfeeding, contraception, diarrhea, female reproduction, fever, headache, pregnancy, nausea, and various other applications.

Related Terms

Algodón (Spanish), algodón americano (Spanish), algodón cimarrón (Spanish), algodonero (Spanish), coton, cotton plant, cotton root, cotton seed, cotton seed oil, cottonier, cottonseed, cottonseed oil, dimethipin (2,3-dihydro-5,6-dimethyl-1,4-dithiin 1,1,4,4-tetraoxide), fructose, G. arboreum L., G. barbadense, G. herbaceum L., G. hirsutum, glucose, glucosylceramides, Gossypium arboreum, Gossypium herbaceum, Gossypium hirsutum, gossypol, inositol, Karpasa, melezitose, mian hua gen, oligosaccharides, pectin, saccharose, thidiazuron (N-phenyl-N-1,2,3-thidiazol-5-yl-urea), trehalose, trehalulose, tribufos (S,S,S-tributyl phosphorotrithioate).
Note: This monograph focuses on the effects of Gossypium species. The particular effects of gossypol, a constituent of Gossypium and other plant species, are reviewed in detail elsewhere and will not be discussed in detail in this monograph.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Breast feeding (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that cotton may increase the complement components (immune system activators) in breast milk. Additional research on this topic is needed.
Cosmetic uses (Grade: C)
Early research suggests cotton may improve the condition of hair. More high-quality research is needed.
Malaria treatment (Grade: C)
An herbal combination containing cotton may improve malaria symptoms. More studies using cotton alone are needed.