The Celts and Romans have cultivated the cabbage plant for centuries, the vegetable par excellence. Cabbage has been used for more than two thousand years as a food as well as medicine.
Cabbage Plant Scientific Facts
- French: Chou.
- Spanish: Col.
- Environment: Native to Europe, where it grows wild along the English Channel, Atlantic, and western Mediterranean coasts. The plant is cultivated all over the world.
- Description: Plant of the Cruciferae family, with large, divided, fleshy leaves, and without heart.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: Leaves.
Healing Properties and Warning
Cabbage leaves are rich in chlorophyll and thus magnesium. They also contain a sulfured substance similar to that contained in mustard, mineral salts, vitamins (mainly vitamins C, A, and probably U), mucilage, and an antiulceration factor still not identified. Cabbage is relatively rich in sugars or carbohydrates (7%) and proteins (4%); however, it contains a pretty low amount of fats (0.4%). It has the following properties:
- Antiulceration: Internally used, cabbage juice is recommended for gastro-duodenal ulcers, which cabbage can heal. In his work Health Through Nutrition, Dr. Schneider mentions experiments through which fresh cabbage juice’s cicatrizing (wound healing) ability has been proven on gastro-duodenal ulcers. After four or five days of drinking a glass of juice before each meal, stomach aches disappeared. After three weeks, the ulcer was healed. This antiulcerative action is likely due to the still not well-known vitamin U.
- Antianemic, antiscorbutic, and hypoglycemic (in diabetic people, it decreases the level of sugar in the blood).
- Cicatrizant and vulnerary: Cabbage, when applied as poultices, heals infected wounds, varicose and torpid ulcers, eczema, furuncles, and acne.
- Anticancerous: There is evidence that the cabbage plant can act as a preventative in the formation of cancerous tumors. This is likely due to its content of carotene (vitamin A).
WARNING! When the cabbage plant is continuously consumed for long periods, it can have an antithyroid effect and even produce goiter.
How to use Cabbage
- Fresh plant juice: Drink from half a glass to one glass (100-200 ml), three or four times daily, before each meal, on an empty stomach.
- Poultices are prepared either with raw leaves (previously mashed with a cylindrical bottle or a rolling pin) or with cooked leaves mixed with bran to make the mixture more compact. Cabbage leaves can also be heated with an iron and then applied with a Band-Aid on the skin.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 433,434. Print.