(Last Updated on : 10-12-2013)
Cottonweed is a variable, more or less woolly annual herb that grows about 15 to 45 centimeter tall. The branches of the tree are often available as tufted. This magnificent tree is considered to be an Indian medicinal plant. This plant is a pantropical weed, and its habitat is in along the Western Ghats. Cottonweed is found throughout India to an altitude of about 3000 m in the Himalayas. This Indian medicinal plant has been botanically named Pseudognaphalium luteo-album. Its common names include Jersey in English and in Punjabi this Indian medicinal plant is called balraksha.
In this medicinal plant, leaves develop alternately and they are sessile in nature. All the leaves are woolly on both surfaces. They are 2.5-6.3 centimeter long and 0.3-1.3 centimeter wide. The leaves in the plant margin entirely or are very rarely obscurely toothed. In Cottonweed, the lower leaves are oblong-spathulate and upper ones lanceolate. Flower heads appear in golden yellow or pale brown colour. These flowers in this Indian medicinal plant are provided in dense corymbose clusters. The involucral bracts are shining and straw-coloured. The outer of the flowers is ovate and the innermost is linear. Achenes come in oblong or papillose shape.
Cottonweed has innumerable medicinal properties and uses in daily life. This Indian medicinal plant finds importance throughout the country. In Punjab the leaves are used as an astringent and vulnerary. The plant, Cottonweed is also considered diuretic, haemostatic and cholagogue. The tomentum of this Indian medicinal plant is applied externally as a counter-irritant in the treatment of gout.
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