This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Purified Cotton, Absorbent Cotton. Nearly everywhere official, standards being established for its use as a surgical dressing.
Gossypium Species, Cotton-seed Oil. Official in the U. S. for pharmaceutical usage; and Cotton Root Bark, which is official in the British and Mexican standards. Deleted from the Ninth U. S. P. A few other species are designated in various standards.
The older books state that this agent (the root) has an action similar to ergot and is emmenagogue and abortifacient. The drug has long been used as a uterine hemostatic, the fl. being given in doses of 10 to 60 minims. Experiments on animals have definitely shown that it does not have the effect that ergot has in parallel experiments. There is little reliable evidence as regards its action on the human uterus, and, in view of the known activity of ergot and pituitrin, no occasion for its employment.
Crawford, in Jour. Pharmacol. and Exp. Ther., March, 1910, demonstrated the presence of a poisonous principle in cotton-seed meal under certain conditions. It is a salt of pyrophosphoric acid. It does not occur in the oil.
Pyroxylin, Soluble Gum Cotton, is official because used in the making of Collodion, Styptic Collodion, and Cantharidal Collodion. The use of these are well known and require no comment, as they are outlined in surgical texts; but the Flexible Collodion, U. S. P., is the better form for its use as a protective; Styptic Collodion, N. F., contains 20 per cent tannic acid; Cantharidal Collodion, U. S. P., contains 60 per cent cantharides. Either this, or the Cantharides Cerate may be used as a vesicant. Cantharides is going out of use as an internal remedy, but the tr. is used as a counter-irritant.