[a medicinal cooking blog: using food as medicine to treat whatever may ail you]

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cabbage - Anti Inflammatory Ruffage

First off, you might wonder why is there a cabbage next to a pint size glass in the picture? Wellll, if you must wonder, it's because it's a MASSIVE cabbage and that's to help you understand how beautiful and large this cabbage is. Not that size matters when it comes to cabbage but I was in awe when I came across this beauty in the Vietnamese/Chinese grocery store a few days ago and I had to buy it for the cooking show that is being taped tomorrow.

Now, onto cabbage... which for some reason (at least in the U.S.) seems to get a bad rap! I happen to love cabbage, maybe it's growing up in Thailand where it's paired perfectly with many spicy salad dishes, or maybe cabbage just rocks. I also love sauerkraut, slow cooked pork and cabbage soup, cabbage in borscht, coleslaw, Chinese cabbage cooked with garlic, boiled cabbage with an English Sunday roast, I love all cabbage - feed me cabbage!

When I found out that cabbage is actually a phenomenal medicinal I was of course in heaven. Especially with all the anti-cabbage sentiments going on out there. One of the particularly exciting benefits of cabbage I learned of while I was working in a clinic in New York as an Acupuncturist, was that cabbage is used to reduce swelling in breasts when women are lactating. Okay, don't disappear if you are a man! I have heard this is used as a therapy in Russia, Israel, and just recently in the U.S.! The other fabulous medicinal uses for cabbage are : for treating constipation (it moistens the intestines - sexy!, as an ulcer remedy, skin disorders such as leg ulcers, wounds, skin eruptions, as well as arthritis). It's healing properties are thought to be due to it's high sulfur content, which is warming, destroys parasites, and purifies the blood. It is also the reason for it's odiferous manifestations at times.

While there are many different ways to achieve this medicinal magnificence in cabbage I'll share three. If you were attempting to treat a leg ulcer you would make a poultice by grinding up cabbage, mixing it with water, and wrapping it in a cloth (cheese cloth or whatever is somewhat porous and works) and placing it on the affected area. If you wanted to treat inflamed breasts when lactating, you can either bruise the whole cabbage leaf and then place it on your breast/s and massage it in or use a poultice for a period of at least 30 mins and then until the inflammation has decreased, however many days that might take. This is getting a bit raunchy but it's how it's done! If you were going to treat a stomach ulcer, you would make cabbage juice (with a juicer or liquify and strain) and drink it 2-3 times a day until the ulcer is healed, approximately 1-2 weeks.

And with that, I will leave you with your cabbage dreams.


Unknown said...

I have been suffering with the most unbelievable back pain that then include hip pain in both hips! I tried many home remedies because I knew my medical doctor would just prescribe a muscle relaxer - she had done so in the past. The other day I bought a packaged cabbage salad with carrots and had some for dinner and another portion for lunch the next day. Again that night for dinner and for the first time in three months I was not only pain free all day but was able to sleep with no pain all night. So began the research on cabbage to discover it anti-inflamatory properties & health benefits, I always liked cabbage but I love it now!

The Spice Doc said...

I'm so glad to hear the cabbage helped by eating it, you can also make an external poultice/wrap to apply to the affected areas with crushed cabbage. Let me know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

I have been having sinus trouble for months now and they've been so swollen and sore. Tonight with dinner, I had raw cabbage and an hour later I noticed that I could actually breathe and the sinuses seemed to be clearing as they should. This sent me in search of cabbage info. Pretty cool.