To naturally help asthmatic patients and those suffering from severe joint pain, Devinder Kaur, 42, a senior scientist and professor at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has created a medicinal fabric through her research that she carried out for three years (2009-2011).
Having completed her education in clothing and textile from the same university, she maintains that her sensitive mind galvanised her for the research. “The rising number of asthmatic and joint pain patients influenced both my mind and heart.
So, through my education, especially through clothing, I decided to make this effort,” says Kaur, who after reading various special columns related to her research and with the advice of various experts from the university, mainly used essential oils extracted from lemon, eucalyptus, pine and jasmine to add medicinal value to the cloth.
The oil that is finely extracted is coated on to the cotton fabric with the help of microencapsulation, a scientific technique through which the cloth successfully absorbs the oil and dries up.
As of now, she has created a pillow cover, a handkerchief and a pair of gloves for asthmatic patients in which she used lemon and pine oils while for joint pain patients she has come up with knee and elbow covers in which eucalyptus and jasmine oils have been used.
She holds the view that body heat and abrasion help release medicinal effect from the respective product used.
If the products are regularly used as per the patient’s need, one can get rid of expensive medicines and ointments, she says, claiming that she along with the university has tested these products in various hospitals on various patients.
Though her created products have proved beneficial to patients, she wants to increase their shelf life before launching them in the market.
“As per my latest experiment, these fabrics can lose their medicinal value if they are washed for about ten times.
But, I wish these products should sustain their value for a longer time. So, I will continue with this research before launching my work in the market,” she says.
Apart from publication of the research in the PAU’s Journal of Research, it also got published this March in an international journal, ISOR Journal of Polymer and Textile Engineering.
The research scholar has presented papers on her research in various international textile conferences held in the PAU, New Delhi and New Zealand.
She also intends to make neck collars to save those suffering from spondylitis and head bands for those who suffer from headaches or migraine.
SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, says, “It is a laudable effort by the scientist which can naturally benefit the asthmatic and joint pain patients. We may soon launch it commercially if we notice a high demand for this work in the market.”