Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Other common names: Cultivars include white cabbage (capitata var. alba), red cabbage (capitata f. rubra) and Savoy cabbage (capitata var.sabauda)
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Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, iron, chlorophyll, cell regenerative, analgesic, antimicrobial, digestive tonic, antihistamine, circulatory stimulant, vulnerary, lowers blood sugar.
Harvest: Harvest when the heads feel firm all the way through. Harvest season ranges depending on the variety. Make sure its a clean cut when you do harvest, as damage to the stalk can discourage future regrowth.
Part used: Leaves
Constituents: Glucosinolates, fibre, beta-carotene, Vitamin C and K, sulphoraphane, anthocyanins (red/purple cabbage only), allylisothiocyanate, magnesium, oxylate, indole-3-carbinol, glutamine, quercetin, genistein, monoterpenes and others.
Used to improve colon health, prevent hangovers/intoxication from alcohol, prevent and treat cancer (consult with a doctor first), and treat warts, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatism, abscesses, ulcers, constipation, sore throats, swollen breasts (do not use while nursing), laryngitis, croup, pneumonia, morning sickness, hyperacidity and asthma.
Cabbage can be eaten in culinary dishes, but medicinally it is most often juiced raw and drank as a supplement or treatment. The juice is renowned for its use in healing peptic ulcers.
The leaves can be applied as a poultice for abscesses, boils, rheumatic joints, warts, swollen breasts (especially for breastfeeding mothers, where its use should be external only and not used long-term – it can reduce milk production) and more. Use caution when using on the skin…if it begins to cause irritation or blistering, stop using.
May cause gas and bloating in some. Can lower blood sugar, so use in diabetics should be monitored. Do not use if allergic to sulfa drugs. Can be irritating to those with Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis. Internal use while breastfeeding can cause colic in the infant and is not advised. External use in breastfeeding mothers should be done in moderation because it can reduce milk production. Do not use in excess while pregnant (culinary use in moderation is fine for most, but consult with a doctor first just in case). Do not consume cabbage if you suffer from hypothyroidism. Cabbage interacts with a number of medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and other drugs that are altered or metabolized by the liver, warfarin and oxazepam, among others. Talk to your doctor before using cabbage while on a pharmaceutical medication or other herbal supplements.
I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.
Cabbage was once considered useful for treating the symptoms of toxic mushroom poisoning, and trench foot during the war. Egyptians used it along with vinegar before imbibing in alcohol to prevent sickness. It is affiliated with money and luck, lunar energy and power. It was considered beneficial in some cultures to bathe in the urine of someone who eats a lot of cabbage (not recommended!!)
Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.