Cabbage

What other names is Cabbage known by?

Brassica oleracea, Cabbage Leaf, Chou, Chou Blanc, Chou Commun, Chou Rouge, Chou Vert, Col, Green Cabbage, Purple Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Repollo, Vitamin U, White Cabbage.

What is Cabbage?

Cabbage is a plant that is commonly eaten as a vegetable. People also use the leaves for medicine.

Cabbage is used for stomach pain, excess stomach acid, stomach and intestinal ulcers, and a stomach condition called Roemheld syndrome. Cabbage is also used to treat asthma and morning sickness. It is also used to prevent weak bones (osteoporosis), as well as cancer of the lung, stomach, colon, breast and other types of cancer.

Breast-feeding women sometimes apply cabbage leaves and cabbage leaf extracts to their breasts to relieve swelling and pain.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Relieving breast engorgement (hard, painful breasts) in breast-feeding women, when applied to the skin of the breasts. Whole cabbage leaves seem to be about as effective as chilled gel-packs in relieving swelling and pain. A cabbage leaf extract applied as a cream has also been tried. Some women say it helps, but not significantly better than a cream without the extract.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Bladder cancer: There is some evidence that people who eat large amounts of cabbage and related vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, have a lower risk of developing bladder cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer: There is some evidence that people who eat large amounts of cabbage and related vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, have a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Stomach cancer: There is some evidence that people who eat large amounts of cabbage and related vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, have a lower risk of developing stomach cancer.
  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that adding cabbage and broccoli to a beverage containing fruit and other vegetables for 3-9 weeks might lower "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
  • Lung cancer: There is some evidence that people who eat large amounts of cabbage and related vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, have a lower risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer: There is some evidence that people who eat large amounts of cabbage have a lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
  • Prostate cancer: Some evidence shows that people who eat large amounts of cabbage and related vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. However, other evidence shows no benefit.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • Excess stomach acid.
  • Asthma.
  • Morning sickness.
  • Preventing osteoporosis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cabbage for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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