Devil’s cotton facts

The plant of Devil’s cotton reaches to 2.5 m tall having a small spread. Leaves measures about 20 cm across and have palmate veins. The stems and leaves have soft bristle hairs that irritates the skin. Flowers measures 5 cm as diameter. Sepals are lanceolate and the five petals are concave, purple to dark red. It contains many seeds. The plant bears flowers from July to August.

Name Devil’s cotton
Scientific Name Abroma augusta
Native Available in Eastern Africa, South & Tropical Asia and Australia. It is cultivated widely in India from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya. It is cultivated for ornamental purposes.
Common/English Name Devil’s Cotton, Ulat kambal
Name in Other Languages Hindi: Ulat Kambal;
Sanskrit: Pishach karpas, Ulat kambal;
Ayurvedic: Ulat kambal;
Assamese: Bon kopashi;
Bengali: Ulat kambal;
Chinese: Shuo ma;
Hindi: Ulat kambal;
Tamil: Sivapputtutti;
Malayalam: Shivapparuthy, Karimparuthy;
Unani: Ulat kambal
Plant Growth Habit Large shrub or small tree
Plant Size 2.5 m
Bark Fibrous, dull brown
Branchlets Downy
Leaf Ovate to oblong, long, pointed, alternate, heart shaped; Length: 10-21 cm; Wide: 5.5-13 cm
Flowering Season June-September
Flower Across: 5 cm, bisexual; Diameter: 5 cm, purple, dark red or yellow
Sepals Lance shaped, base fused
Petals Five, concave, prolonged above
Fruit shape & size Capsule, five winged, obpyramidal, Diameter: 3.5 cm
Seed Obovate, 3 x 2 mm
Health Benefits
  • Lowers glucose absorption
  • Treat diabetes
  • Promote hemoglobin
  • Antimicrobial properties
Traditional uses
  • The sap of bark possesses uterine tonic and emenagogue.
  • The root use for itchness.
  • It provides relief from headache.
  • It cures the chronic uterine bleeding.
  • The stems and leaves are used to cure menstrual disorders and uterus diseases.
  • The decoction is used to treat diabetes.
  • It is useful for the flow of menstruation.
  • Side effects such as vertigo, heartburn, burning abdomen and excessive bleeding might be experienced.
  • The pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it.
  • Consultancy of medical professional is essential for lactation women or children.