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Cabbage (Brassica Oleracea) Print

Background

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is a plant of the Family Brassicaceae. It is herbaceous, biennial (takes two years to complete its cycle), and a flowering plant with leaves forming a characteristic compact cluster. Cabbages grown late in autumn and in the beginning of winter are denominated coleworts.

A cabbage is derived from a leafy wild mustard plant, native to the English Channel and Mediterranean region. The cultivated variety is produced throughout the world. It was known to the ancient world. The Greeks gave it to pregnant women shortly before birth to increase their milk. The Romans used it to counteract intoxication and used the leaves to clean infected wounds. Cato the Elder praised this vegetable for its medicinal properties, declaring that "it is first of all the vegetables".

The English name is derived from the Normanno-Picard caboche ("head"). The dense core of the cabbage is called the babchka.

Hadith

Rasulullah sallallâhu 'alayhi wa sallam said,

"Decorate your tables with green things, for it chases away Shaytaan, when ALLAH's name is taken over it." [Tibb-e-Nabawiy]

This would include cabbage.

Poultice

Cabbage is often used as a poultice. Pound the leaves with a mallet and apply the pulpy wet leaf to the afflicted area. Alternatively cut the thick midrib of the leaf and iron it then place it on the area while it is still hot. It is also beneficial if applied to swellings, tumours, painful joints and sore swollen breasts. It relieves mastitis, rheumatism, pleurisy and urticaria. The poultice must not be left for more than two hours as the juice may cause blisters.

 

 

Cancer

Cabbage contains flavonoids and helps prevent cancer. This was noted in Japan regarding cancerous polyps forming in the colon. A US study conducted over 15 years confirmed this. Cabbage also accelerates oestrogen metabolism in females, offering a degree of protection against breast and ovarian cancer.

Other Benefits

Raw cabbage detoxifies and helps break down toxins in the liver. It prevents and treats scurvy because of the high Vitamin C content. It promotes healing of ulcers and sores and relives pain. A traditional ulcer treatment is a litre of raw cabbage juice per day for eight days. A diet rich in cabbage can reduce acne. Water in which cabbage has been boiled helps treat coughing and sore throats.

Caution

Cabbage juice should not be consumed in excess or over a long period as it may cause anaemia. Eat beetroot to counteract that. Use fennel, coriander, garlic or ginger with cabbage to counter its possible flatulent effects.

Nutrients

Eat cabbage raw as cooking reduces its nutrients by more than 50% and microwaving reduces its vitamin content by more than 80%. Most of the nutrients are contained in the outer dark leaves which are generally discarded. Cabbage is not suitable for people of the O blood group. They should have broccoli instead.

 
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