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What Is Kapok?
There are many benefits of using all-natural, organic bedding, especially organic pillows. In this article, we shall look at the benefits of organic kapok pillows. They are great plush pillows, excellent alternatives to down, and are naturally soft, silky, and healthy.
Before I cover the benefits of organic kapok pillows, however, I will go over the kapok tree itself and its uses.
In This Article
- About the Kapok Tree
- Uses of the Kapok Tree
- Benefits of Using Organic Kapok Pillows
The Kapok Tree
Kapok is often used interchangeably to refer to the kapok tree itself as well as the soft, whitish, cotton-like fibre obtained from its seed pods. The kapok tree (ceiba pentandra) is found in the tropical rainforests and stands towering above all other trees at heights of 60–70 meters (200–230 feet). It is a deciduous tree that sheds its leaves during the dry season (May–October) in the tropics.
The sight of the kapok tree itself is beautiful, with and without its flowers. During its flowering season, its clusters of pink, white, or yellow night-blooming flowers are so beautiful above the green forest canopy. In the forest, a kapok tree is easily identified by its big trunk (up to 3 meters in diameter) and the spikes. After the kapok tree sheds its leaves, the flowers often open before the leaves appear.
The odour during the kapok flowering is unpleasant. This smell attracts the fruit bats that pollinate them and also spread the seeds. The kapok seeds are brown and round like peas and are found inside the pods. The pods are smooth and light green in colour, and they burst open while still on the tree after the leaves have fallen.
Uses of the Kapok Tree
My early memories of kapok include the big trees with beautiful flowers that we find in the rainforest and the three that stand tall next to my aunt’s house. My aunt, a village midwife, would send us to collect the kapok when the pods fell to the ground, telling us it is very important for her “work.” She would sew cotton fabric cases and stuff them with the kapok for pillows.
What Is Kapok Used For?
For centuries, kapok has been used for:
- natural healthy properties in pillow fills and mattresses
- pregnancy and as support for breast feeding
- alternate medicine (the seeds, leaves, bark, and resin have been used to treat dysentery, fever, asthma, and kidney diseases)
The straight trunk of the kapok tree is favoured for making big dugout canoes and paddles because of its water-resistant hollow fibres. The timber is used for building houses and making carvings.
Today, you can easily buy organic kapok pillows, mattresses, bolsters, mats, cushions, and doonas.
6 Benefits of Using Organic Kapok Pillows
Here are six of the top benefits of using organic kapok pillows:
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1. Non-Toxic and Chemical-Free
Kapok grows naturally in the rainforest and does not require tending and keeping by human beings. It is also wild harvested and prepared for sale to pillow manufacturers without the use of fertilizers, chemicals, and pesticides. Kapok does not need to be treated with chemicals to make it safe or healthy for use by human beings, as it is naturally healthy and safe. Thus, kapok is a 100% natural and organic fibre.
2. Naturally Hypoallergenic
Kapok fibre is naturally hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, and dust mite resistant. The kapok fibre naturally repels moisture, making it unsuitable for mold, mildew, and bacteria to thrive in.
3. Aids Better Sleep
Good quality sleep is essential for our general health and wellbeing. To get better sleep, the head, neck, and spine must be aligned as straight as possible on a healthy comfortable pillow. Kapok pillows are soft and easily adjustable to conform to your head and neck in any sleeping position you desire—giving continued support and comfort for good-quality sleep. Organic kapok pillows' ability to repel moisture also aids better sleep, reducing tossing and turning by keeping you cool in the head.
4. Promotes Healthy Living
Research has shown that toxic substances and chemicals used in non-organic pillows can cause reproductive, developmental, and neurological problems. Organic kapok pillows are a naturally healthy pillow that can help you prevent diseases and provide relief from headaches, neck pain, muscle pain, and stress.
5. Durable and Washable
Kapok fibres are strong and can last for a long time. All you need is a new covering, and you can transfer the kapok to the new one. Every month or so, put the kapok pillow out in the sun. They can also be washed easily.
The green living message is now echoed across the globe. We are becoming increasingly concerned for our health and the environment, with more and more companies producing eco-friendly products. Organic kapok pillows address both of these issues. Kapok is one of the few sustainable rainforest products that is 100% organic and does not have adverse effects on the environment in its growing, production, and by its product.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Kejanny
Ibramshah on June 26, 2019:
I am from south India. we only use the natural fiber for a pillow. until I reach the USA i never used plastic fiber pillow.
Kejanny (author) from Papua New Guinea on December 30, 2012:
Hi eHealer, thank you for visiting and sharing this hub. Yes, organic pillow stuffing, directly from nature, does exists. It is an excellent alternative to feathers. Regards, Kejanny.
Deborah from Las Vegas on December 29, 2012:
Hello Kejanny, this is an interesting hub. I had no idea that organic pillow stuffing existed. The photos are stellar and very beautiful. Many people are allergic to goose feathers and other inorganic stuffings, I wonder if they would benefit from this? Great hub, Kejanny! Pinned and facebooked!