Algodón, Algodón Americano, Algodón Cimarrón, Algodonero, Coton, Cotonnier, Cotton Plant, Cotton Root, Cotton Seed, Cotton Seed Oil, Cottonier, Cotton Honeydew, Cottonseed Oil, Gossypium herbaceum, Gossypium hirsutum, Graine de Coton, Huile de Graine de Coton, Karpasa, Mian Hua Gen, Racine de Coton, Upland Cotton.


Overview Information

Cotton is a plant. People use the bark of the root and seed to make medicine. Don't confuse cotton with cottonseed extract (gossypol).

People use cotton for conditions such as menstrual disorders and menopause symptoms, as well as to induce childbirth, and for birth control in men, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work?

Cotton root bark might help stimulate menstrual flow, induce labor and delivery, and act as a male contraceptive.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Malaria. Early research suggests that taking a specific preparation (AM-1) containing cotton and other ingredients by mouth for up to 7 days helps eliminate malaria parasites in people with malaria.
  • Bringing on labor and childbirth.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Male birth control.
  • Menopausal symptoms.
  • Menstrual disorders.
  • Nausea.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cotton for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Cotton is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken in amounts found in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if cotton is safe when taken by mouth in the amounts found in medicine or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if cotton is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use cotton if you are pregnant. It might cause the uterus to contract, and this might cause a miscarriage.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if cotton is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Kidney problems: Don't use cotton if you have a kidney condition.

Reproductive system condition: Don't use cotton if you have a problem with your reproductive system.



We currently have no information for COTTON Interactions.



The appropriate dose of cotton depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cotton. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Ajaiyeoba, E. O., Falade, C. O., Fawole, O. I., Akinboye, D. O., Gbotosho, G. O., Bolaji, O. M., Ashidi, J. S., Abiodun, O. O., Osowole, O. S., Itiola, O. A., Oladepo, O., Sowunmi, A., and Oduola, A. M. Efficacy of herbal remedies used by herbalists in Oyo State Nigeria for treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infections--a survey and an observation. Afr.J Med Med Sci 2004;33(2):115-119. View abstract.
  • Ankrah, N. A., Nyarko, A. K., Addo, P. G., Ofosuhene, M., Dzokoto, C., Marley, E., Addae, M. M., and Ekuban, F. A. Evaluation of efficacy and safety of a herbal medicine used for the treatment of malaria. Phytother.Res 2003;17(6):697-701. View abstract.
  • Morton, J. F. Folk remedies of the low country. Miami: E.A. Seemann Publishing, Inc;1974.
  • Oberto, G., Bauza, E., Berghi, A., Portolan, F., Botto, J. M., Peyronel, D., Dal, Farra C., and Domloge, N. Cotton honeydew (Gossypium hirsutum L.) extract offers very interesting properties for hair cosmetics and care products. Drugs Exp.Clin Res 2005;31(4):131-140. View abstract.
  • Qian, S. Z. and Wang, Z. G. Gossypol: a potential antifertility agent for males. Annu.Rev.Pharmacol.Toxicol. 1984;24:329-360. View abstract.
  • Sepehri, H., Roghani, M., and Houdebine, M. L. Oral administration of pectin-rich plant extract enhances C3 and C4 complement concentration in woman colostrum. Reprod.Nutr Dev. 1998;38(3):255-260. View abstract.
  • Wendel JF, Brubaker CL Percival AE. Genetic diversity in gossypium hirsutum and the origin of upland cotton. Am J Botany 1992;79(11):1291-1310.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Weiner MA, Weiner JA. Herbs that heal: prescription for herbal healing. Mill Valley, CA:Quantum Books, 1999.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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