Brassica oleracea, Cabbage Leaf, Chou, Chou Blanc, Chou Commun, Chou Rouge, Chou Vert, Col, Green Cabbage, Headed cabbage, Purple Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Repollo, Vitamin U, Vitamine U, White Cabbage.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationCabbage is a plant that is commonly eaten as a vegetable. It is a relative of broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, and kale. People use the leaves for medicine.
Cabbage is used for stomach pain, stomach and intestinal ulcers, acid reflux (GERD), a stomach condition called Roemheld syndrome, and high cholesterol. 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. Cabbage leaves are also applied to joints to relieve pain in people with joint pain due to osteoarthritis.
How does it work?Cabbage contains chemicals that are thought to help prevent cancer. Cabbage might change the way estrogen is used in the body, which might reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Cabbage might also reduce swelling. Overall, it isn't well understood how the chemicals in cabbage might work as medicine.
Uses & Effectiveness
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. Cabbage leafs also appear to be more effective than genral nursing care for decreasing breash pain and hardness. 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 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.
- Osteoarthritis: Early research shows that applying cabbage leaf wraps to the knees for at least 2 hours per day for 4 weeks reduces pain in people with knee osteoarthritis. The cabbage leaf wraps seem to work as effectively as applying gel containing the medicine diclofenac.
- 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.
- Morning sickness.
- Preventing osteoporosis.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyCabbage is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts or when applied to the skin, short-term. Some people have reported pain and burning sensations when applying cabbage to the skin. But this is uncommon.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough information about the safety of eating cabbage in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. Stay on the safe side and stick to usual food amounts.
Cabbage is LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin for a short amount of time while breast-feeding. Applying cabbage leaves to the breasts to relieve swelling and pain due to breast-feeding seems to be safe when done several times a day for a day or two. However, if you are breast-feeding, taking cabbage by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Don't eat cabbage even in usual food amounts. There is some evidence that nursing infants can develop colic if their mothers eat cabbage, even as infrequently as once a week.
Allergy to vegetables from the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae family: There is some concern that people who are allergic to cabbage relatives from the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae family, such as broccoli, Brussels sprout, and cauliflower, might also be allergic to cabbage. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before consuming cabbage.
Diabetes: Cabbage might affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use cabbage.
Under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism): There is some concern that cabbage might make this condition worse. It's best to avoid cabbage if you have an under-active thyroid gland.
Surgery: Cabbage might affect blood glucose levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using cabbage at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination
Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) interacts with CABBAGE
The body breaks down acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to a get rid of it. Cabbage might increase the breakdown of acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Taking cabbage along with acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) might decrease the effectiveness of acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with CABBAGE
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.<br /><br /> Cabbage might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking cabbage along with some medications that are changed by the liver can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking cabbage talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.<br /><br /> Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pentazocine (Talwin), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others.
Medications changed by the liver (Glucuronidated Drugs) interacts with CABBAGE
The liver helps the body break down and change some medications. The body breaks down some medications to get rid of them. Cabbage might increase how quickly the body breaks down some medications changed by the liver. Taking cabbage along with these medications changed by the liver might decrease the effectiveness of some medications change by the liver.<br /><br /> Some of these medications changed by the liver include acetaminophen, atorvastatin (Lipitor), diazepam (Valium), digoxin, entacapone (Comtan), estrogen, irinotecan (Camptosar), lamotrigine (Lamictal), lorazepam (Ativan), lovastatin (Mevacor), meprobamate, morphine, oxazepam (Serax), and others.
Oxazepam (Serax) interacts with CABBAGE
The body breaks down oxazepam (Serax) to get rid of it. Cabbage can increase how quickly the body gets rid of oxazepam (Serax). Taking cabbage along with oxazepam (Serax) might decrease the effectiveness of oxazepam (Serax).
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with CABBAGE
Cabbage contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, cabbage might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For enlarged and painful breasts during breast-feeding: Cabbage leaves are prepared by stripping out the large vein of the cabbage leaf, cutting a hole for the nipple, and then rinsing and chilling the leaf. The chilled cabbage leaf is worn inside the bra or as a compress under a cool towel until the cabbage leaf reaches body temperature (approximately 20 minutes). This procedure is repeated 1-4 times daily for 1-3 days.
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