Cabbage – nutrition, proven benefits, uses


The scientific name of the cabbage is Brassica oleracea Linn. var. Capitata Linn. It is also known as white cabbage.

Other names include

CHINESE: Lan cai, Juan xin cai, Ye cai.
DANISH: Hovedkål.
DUTCH: Sluitkool, Sluitkoolachtigen.
ESTONIAN: Peakapsas.
FINNISH: Keräkaali.
FRENCH: Chou cabus, Chou pommé, Chou cultivé, Chou cultivé pommé, Chou blanc, Chou commun.
HINDI: Band gobhii.
ITALIAN: Cavolo cappuccio.
JAPANESE: Kanran, Kyabetsu.
POLISH: Kapusta warzywna gowiasta.
PORTUGUESE: Couve de repolho, Couve de cabeça.
RUSSIAN: Kapusta belokachannaia.
SPANISH: Col, Cogolo, Repollo, Berza común.
URDU: Band gobhii.

Cabbage was used in ancient times by Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties.

Cabbage or Repolyo is the head-bearing or true cabbage, a biennial herb. Main axis is short and thick, the leaves are densely packed, and as it grows, close and develop into a gigantic bud of head. There are various forms of cabbage shapes: flat, round, egg-shaped, oval, or conical. Leaves vary in color, from the common light yellowish green to dark green and dark red.


– Cultivated from seeds.


– Contains a considerable amount of sulfur.

– Contains significant amounts of the amino acid glutamine with its antiinflammatory properties.

– Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, amino acids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, proteins, saponins, steroids, tannins, and terpenoids.

Medicinal Properties of cabbage

Seeds are diuretic, laxative, stomachic and antihelminthic.

Leaf considered digestive and tonic.

Red cabbage is emollient and pectoral

Possibly cholesterol-lowering, anticancer, antifungal.

Parts utilized

Seeds, leaves.


Excellent source of vitamin C; good source of vitamin B; fair source of vitamin A.

Folkloric traditional medicine uses, benefits and remedies with cabbage

· Juice of red cabbage used for chronic coughs, bronchitis, asthma.

· Juice of white cabbage used to treat warts.

· Bruised leaves of the common white cabbage used for blisters.

· In European folk medicine, leaves are used for acute inflammation, the paste of raw cabbage are placed on a cabbage leaf and applied to the affected area.

· Cabbage juice used to accelerate gastric ulcer healing.

Scientific proven health benefits of cabbage

Antihyperglycemic /counteracting high levels of glucose in the blood/ Antioxidant:

Petroleum extract significantly lowered induced hyperglycemia and a significant decrease in peroxidation. Study confirms the antihyperglycemic and antioxidant activity of Brassica oleracea in stretozotocin-induced diabetes in rats.

Antihyperglycemic / Antioxidant:

Study of red cabbage extract showed the antioxidant and antihyperglycemic properties of B oleracea extract offer a potential therapeutic source for the treatment of diabetes.

Anti-HPV / Indol-3-carbinol:

Source of indol-3-carbinol, or 13C, an adjunct compound used for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis ( head and neck disease caused by HPV (human pappiloma virus)


A Norway Study: Source of natural antioxidant glucosinolates shown to possess anticancer properties.


Jewish study showed a cabbage and broccoli beverage to have cholesterol-lowering effects.

Wound healing:

Study showed administration of topical cabbage extract and egg-white once daily showed wound healing enhancement in second degree burn wounds comparable to results obtained in the silver sulfadiazine group.

Antitrypanosomal activity:

Extract of BO was found to be effective in immobilizing trypanosomes and rendering them not infective to mice.

Antifungal Activity:

Study showed fresh aqueous juice was effective in inhibiting the growth of blastoconidia, reducing growth of C albicans and inhibiting the growth of some pathogenic filamentous fungi.

Occupational Pollen Source:

Study showed Brassica oleracea pollen is a new source of occupational allergen with strong allergenic potential causing symptoms in almost half of exposed employees.

Anthelmintic /destroy parasitic worms:

Comparative study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of seeds of B. juncea and flowers of B. oleracea against Pheritima posthuma, using Albendazole as standard. Results confirmed the anthelmintic activity of both plants, with Brassica juncea showing more efficient activity.


Study evaluated an aqueous extract for antiulcerogenic activity in acetylsalicylic acid-induced ulcers in Wistar rats. Results showed treatment with AEB inhibited gastric damage with significant inhibition of ulcer formation with a maximum of 99.44% curation.

Hepatoprotective / protects liver/ Simvastatin Induced Hepatotoxicity:

Study investigated the hepatoprotective activities of ethanolic leaf extracts of B. oleracea L. var. capitata against simvastatin-induced hepatotoxicity. Results showed significant changes in biochemical parameters, with restoration of oxidative stress markers towards normalization in treated animals.

Gastroprotective and Ulcer Healing / Juice:

Study showed B. oleracea var. capitata fresh juice of leaves inhibit acid secretion by acting as H2 receptor antagonist similar to ranitidine, beneficial in acute and chronic treatment of duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer, and hypersecretory conditions.

Phytochemicals / Antioxidant Activity:

Study investigated the phytochemical content and antioxidant properties of B. oleracea. Study yielded alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenols, glycosides, terpenoids, steroids, and flavonoids. The ethanol extract of leaves showed the highest phenolic content and highest anti-oxidant activity.



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