From Old World to New World
Cotton's origins are lost in history.
Different varieties of cotton come from India, Africa,
and the Americas. Native peoples everywhere discovered it was more than
a source of fiber. Africans drank an infusion of the leaves to treat dysentery.
They pressed oil from the seeds and used it to light lamps and cotton wicks.
African Americans used the plant's root to end pregnancies.
Roots are toxic.
Cotton seed oil has been used to ease cases of severe nutritional
deficiency. It is also an ingredient in crackers and chips, margarine, and
cooking oils. There are many different varieties of cotton; we are continually
creating new ones by crossing different strains of the plant.
From Old World to New World Medical Technology