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Family Brassicaceae
Brasicca cretica Lam.
Cai hua

Scientific names Common names
Brassica botrytis (L.) Mill. Cauliflower (Engl.)
Brassica cretica Lam. Common cauliflower (Engl..)
Brassica leucantha Boiss. ex Nyman Heading broccoli (Engl.)
Brassica nivea Boiss. & Spruner Perennial broccoli (Engl.)
Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis  
Brassica rupicola Boul.  
Brassica cretica Lam. is an accepted name. Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Cai hua, Hua lan cai, Hua ye cai, Ye cai hua, Gai lan hua.
ESTONIAN: Lillkapsas.
FRENCH: Chou-fleur, Chou-fleur commun.
GERMAN: Blumenkohl.
HINDI: Phuul gobhii.
ITALIAN: Cavolo broccolo, Cavolfiore.
JAPANESE: Jarifurawaa, Hana Kyabetsu.
POLISH: Kalafior.
PORTUGUESE: Couve-flor.
RUSSIAN: Kapusta tsvetbaia.
SPANISH: Coliflor.

Gen info
- The varietal epithet botrytis derives from a Greek word meaning a cluster resembling a bunch of grapes.
- Cauliflowers derives from the Latin caulis (stalk) and floris (flower), meaning "cabbage flower." Similarly, the Italian cavolfiore claims derivation.
- Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable from the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens. (3)
- Considered a highly domesticated form of cabbage. Commercially, white cauliflower is the most common, although orange, purple, green and brown cultivars exist.

Brassica oleracea var. botrytis is an herbaceous annual plant growing 50-80 cm and higher to 140 cm when flowering. Stem base is non-fleshy and cylindrical. Leaves are oblong-ovate, light greenish-gray, often simple, with no ;lateral buds in the leaf axils, widely spaced in a rosette. Flower is raceme, 40-70 cm long with 4-merous bisexual flowers with green sepals, spathulate, yellow petals. Fruit is silique, 5-10 cm by 0.5 cm with 10-30 globose brown seeds.

Cauliflower curd: Cauliflower consists of undeveloped white florets attached to a single stem, which form a compact, cabbage-like head, referred to as Curd, usually 6-7 inches in diameter, white, cream or yellow colored. The flower buds are attached to a central stalk, which are broken apart into individual buds. The white head (curd) is surrounded by long green leaves that are attached to the stem, which protect the cauliflower from sunlight, allowing the head to remain white.


- Nutrient analysis of cauliflower per 1 cup or 100g: Calories 23Kcal., calories from fat 4.05 Kcal., (Proximate) water 93 g, energy 23 Kcal or 96 Kj, protein 1.84 g, total fat 0.45 g, ash 0.6 g, carbohydrate 4.11 g, total dietary fiber 2.3 g, total sugars 2.08 g. (Minerals) calcium 16 mg, iron 0.32 mg, magnesium 9 mg, phosphorus 32 mg, potassium 142 mg, sodium 15 mg, zinc 0.17 mg, copper 0.018 mg, manganese 0.132 mg, selenium o.6 µg. (3)
- Phytochemical screening of crude extract of B. oleracea flower yielded alkaloid, saponins, steroids, flavonoids, tannins, and reducing sugar, with absence of terpenoids, glycosides, and anthraquinnones. (see study below) (10)
- Study compared proximate and mineral compositions of fresh (F), cabinet dried (CB), and sun-dried (SD) cauliflower. Moisture was 90.62% in fresh. Cabinet dehydration and sun drying substantially decreased moisture content to 9.99% and 13.27%, respectively, while proportions of other components increased i.e., carbohydrate 4.42% F, 42.44% CD, 38.37% SD; protein 1.98% F, 19.06% CD, 18.37% SD; fats 0.23% F, 2.24% CD, 2.16% SD; dietary fiber 2.,03% F, 18.59% CD, 18.80% SD; and ash 0.62% F, 5.98% CD, 5.76% SD. Fresh samples were rich in phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. (see study below) (11)

- High in vitamin C and potassium.
- Studies have suggest antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, water remediative, antiulcer, cytotoxic, thrombolytic, hepatoprotective, antiproliferative properties.

Parts used
Leaves, flowers.


- Flowers are edible, consumed raw, cooked (roasted, grilled, boiled, fried, steamed), or pickled. Stalk and surrounding thick green leaves are also edible, used as vegetable broth, but often discarded. (3)
- Cauliflower rice is made by pulsing cauliflower florets and cooking in oil. Cauliflower is also used for making pizza crust. (22)
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Egyptian traditional medicine, use for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

Effect if Drying on Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Content:
Study evaluated four solvents for efficacy in extracting antioxidants from cauliflower and effect different drying processes on total phenolics and antioxidant activity. The aqueous solvents were superior in ability to extract the antioxidants. Oven-dried cauliflower had the highest yield pf extractable antioxidants, with air-dried showing the lowest. /There was excellent correlation between extraction yield, antioxidant activity, and total phenolic content. (4)
Antifungal / Fresh Aqueous Juice: Study evaluated the antifungal activity of fresh, aqueous B. oleracea var. botrytis juice against Candida albicans and other pathogenic fungi. The juice was found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of blastoconidia and reducing the appearance of C. albicans germ tubes. It also inhibited the growth of some pathogenic, filamentous fungi. (5)
Effect of Long-Term Freezer Storage: Long-term freezer storage did not affect total alipathic and indole GLS *glucosinolates) in cauliflower in a major way. There was some reductions in total phenols content. In FRAP and ORAC, reductions occurred towards the end of the storage period on average of 15% and 37%, respectively. Long-term freezer storage did not affect the anthocyanin content with only minor effects on colour parameters. (6)
Agglutinating /Activity / Lectin: The lectin from B. oleracea var. botrytis agglutinated erythrocytes from species like rabbit, rat and mouse. The lectin at a concentration of 0.1 mg/ml also exhibited hemagglutination activity on some tumor cells such as Ehrlich ascites cells and S_(180) tumor cells from mouse, W_(256) tumor cells from rat and MGC_(80-3) tumor cells from man. (7)
Antimutagenic / S-Methyl Methane Thiosulfonate: Study isolated a compound with potential antimutagenic activity to Escherichia coli B/r WP2, identified to be S-methylll methane thiosullfonate by NMR and MS analysis. (8)
Prebiotic Antioxidant / Potential as Food Supplement / Leaves: Study evaluated the prebiotic potential of Murraya koenigii and Brassica oleracea var. botrytis leaves extract on lactobacilli strains along with its antioxidant property. The extracts exhibited efficient resistance against a-amylase and artificial gastric juice hydrolysis compared to standard probiotic fructo-oligosaccharide and inulin. The extracts showed efficient activity for augmentation of almost all strains of lactobacilli. Results showed both leaves extracts exhibited efficient prebiotic and antioxidant activity and has potential as a functional food ingredient. (9)
Cytotoxic / Thrombolytic / Flowers: Study evaluated the cytotoxic and thrombolytic activities of methanolic extract of flower of B. oleracea. Cytotoxic activity of crude extract suing brine shrimp lethality bioassay showed KC50 of 62.08±1.22µg/mL, compared to standard vincristine 8.50±0.56µg/ml. The extract showed clot lysis activity of 42.75±3.72% compared to streptokinase 67.32±5.25%. Results suggest potential as an economic and safe cytotoxic and thrombolytic alternative. (10)
Cytotoxic / Thrombolytic / Flowers: Study compared proximate and mineral compositions of fresh (F), cabinet dried (CB), and sun-dried (SD) cauliflower. Cabinet dehydration and sun drying substantially decreased moisture content, and increased carbohydrates, protein, fats, and dietary fiber. Results suggest both cabinet dehydration and sun drying are effective in preserving the chemical composition of cauliflower and preventing deterioration by reducing moisture. (see study above) (11)
Biochar / Water Remediation / Roots: A novel biochar was prepared by pyrolyzing the roots of cauliflower. Results suggest it could be used as an excellent adsorbent material because of low cost and high efficiency and extensive availability of raw materials. The biochar developed from the roots showed good removal efficiency of NOR (norfloxacin) and CTC (chlortetracycline) from aqueous solution, suggesting good potential as efficient adsorbent for contaminated water remediation. (12)
Effect of Blanching, Boiling and Steaming on Glucosinolates and Antioxidant Parameters: Processing methods applied were blanching 3 min, boiling 10 min, and steaming 10 min. Total GLS (glucosinolates) were significantly (p<0.05) affected with highest losses of 55% and 42% with boiling and blanching, respectively. Steaming cause only 19% average reduction. Antioxidant-related parameters were similarly affected with average losses of 27, 33, 36, 46% and 16, 21, 22, 28% in boiled and blanched cauliflower for TP, FRAP, L-AA and ORAC, respectively. Steaming affected the antioxidant-related parameters the least. Main losses were caused by leaching into the processing waters. (13)
Activity Against Foodborne Pathogenic Bacteria / Leaf Juice: Study reports on the antibacterial effect of B. oleracea leaf juice on several foodborne pathogens. Leaf juice was effective in inhibiting growth of Salmonella enteritidis, verotoxigenic E. coli O157:H7, E. coli HB producing thermolabile toxin, nontoxigenic E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes. All cauliflower cultivars tested suppressed bacterial growth in a dose-dependent manner. Foodborne bacteria tested were markedly reduced by isothiocyanates, natural components which are abundant in Brassica, indication glucosinolate-derived isothiocyanates can play a major role in cauliflower's antimicrobial activity. Antimicrobial activity of the juice was reduced by cysteine, suggesting a mechanism that involves blocking bacterial sulfhydryl groups. (14)
O-Acetylserine(thiol)lyase / Inflorescence The subcellular localization of O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase in nongreen tissue from higher plants has been studied using purified proplastids, mitochondria, and protoplasts from cauliflower buds as a source of subcellular fractions Study observations are consistent with the need for cysteine biosynthesis in each subcellular compartments where the synthesis of proteins occurs. (15)
Prophylaxis of Peptic Ulcer: The aqueous (hydrophilic) and chloroform (lipophilic) extracts of nine medicinal plants used in Egyptian traditional medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders were tested for gastroprotective effect against indomethacin-induced ulcer model in rats The studied plants, including an aqueous fraction of Brassica oleracea Botrytis (cauliiflower) showed high protection against incidence of gastric ulcer (95%). (16)
Improvement of Blood Hemoglobin / Anti-Anemic / Leaves: Study evaluated the efficacy of a feeding trial consisting of cauliflower greens in improving blood hemoglobin in selected adolescent girls , aged 20-22, with mean hemoglobin levels of 19.6 g/dl±1.32. Mean hemoglobin levels after the feeding trial showed a significant increase (p<0.05) to 13.56 g/dl±0.35. Study suggests anemia can be prevented and hemoglobin increased in adolescent girls by incorporating cauliflower leaves in their diet. (17)
Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study evaluated the parasiticidal activity of Brassica oleracea var. botrytis against Ascaris suum as a model. Plant extracts were tested against the test parasite in vitro and compared with pyrantel embonate solutions. The median lethal concentration of the extract is less than 0.00800 g/mL with a mortality rate of 53.33%. Results suggest no significant difference between parasiticidal effect of the cauliflower extract and pyrantel embonate against A. suum suggesting potential of the plant extract as an anti-parasitic drug. (18)
Antioxidant / Antiproliferative / Brassica Sprouts: Study evaluated the bioactivity of sprouts of turnip (Brassica rapa), cauliflower (B. oleracea botrytis) and mustard (B. juncea). Antioxidant potential was evaluated by DPPH and superoxide anion radical scavenging. The extracts showed potent antioxidant effect and significant cytotoxic effect at 100 µg/ml concentration, Antiproliferative potential was evaluated by applying cell cycle and intracellular reactive oxygen species generation. All extracts caused increase in G0 population of PC-3 cells in cell cycle analysis and increase intracellular ROS generation compared to untreated cells. Cell death was attributed to apoptosis and intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species. (19)
Hepatoprotective / Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the acute toxicity and hepatoprotective activity of aqueous extract of leaves of BO var. botrytis against paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity. Using OECD guidelines, the extract was found to be safe up to 2000 mg/kbw. Pretreatment with extract significantly reduced elevated biochemical markers and significantly increased total protein in a dose dependent manner. Histopath studies further supported the hepatoprotective effect of the plant extract. (20)
Alleviatory Effect on Thyroid Function in Fluoride Intoxication / Leaves: Study evaluated the alleviatory effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of leaves of the cauliflower plant on thyroid function in sodium fluoride intoxicated male albino rats. Compared to toxic control group, administration of leaves extract resulted in significant alleviatory reductions in levels of total T4 and total T2. (21)


July 2021

IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO: Cauliflower Anthony DiPierro / Cemters fpr Dosease Control andPrevention USA / WIKIPEDIA
IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO: A budding cauliflower plant / CC by SA 3.0 / click on image to go to source page / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Brassica names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.

Brassica cretica Lam. / Synonyms / Plants of the World Online

Caulifower / Health Benefits
Effect of drying method and extraction solvent on the total phenolics and antioxidant activity / F Anwar, U Kalsoom, B Sultana, M Mushtaq. M Mahmood et al / International Food Research Journal, 2013l 20(2): oo 653-659
Antifungal activity of Brassiica oleracea var. botrytis fresh aqyeous juice / M Sisti, G Brandi et al / Fitoterapia, July 2003; 74(5): pp 453-458 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0367-326X(03)00108-4
Glucosinolates, L-ascorbic acid, total phenols, anthocyanins, antioxidant capacities and colour in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. botrytis): effects of long-term freezer storage / Jon Volden, Trude Wicklund / Food Chemistry, Feb 2009; 112(4): pp 967-976
Study on Cell Agglutination and Sugar-inhibiting Action of the Lectin from Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L. / Huang Deqi, Yu Ping, Zhu Sumin, Yan Zhisen, Lin Yuman / CNKI
S-Methyl Methane Thiosulfonate, a New Antimutagenic Compound Isolated from Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis / Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 1993; 16(2) / https://doi.org/10.1248/bpb.16.207 / eISSN: 1347=5215 / pISSN: 0913-6158
Antioxidant and prebiotic potential of Murraya koenigii and Brassica oleracea var. botrytis leaves as food ingredient / Shriya Bhatt, Mahesh Gupta / Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, Dec 2920l Vol 2: 100069 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafr.2020.100069
Phytochemical Screening, Cytotoxic, bad Thrombolytic Activity of Extract of Brassica oleracea Flower (Cauliflower) / A T M Mostafa Kamal, Kazi Ashfak Ahmed Chowdhury, Limon Kanti Shilll, Mohammad Forhadul Hassan et al / Global Journal of Pharmacology, 2015; 9(11): pp 115-120 / ISSN: 1992-0075 /
DOI: 10.5829/idosi.gjp.2015.9.1.939
Proximate and Mineral Compositions of Dried Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L.) Grown in Sindh, Pakistan / Allah Bux Balloch, Xiaodong Xia, Saghir Ahmed Sheikh / Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 2015; 3(3): pp 213-219 / DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-3-3-14
A novel biochar derived from cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L.) roots could remove norfloxacin and chlortetracycline efficiently / Tingting Qin, Zhaowei Wang, Xiaoyun Xie, Chaoran Xie, Junmin Zhu, Yan Li / Water Sci Technol, 2017; 76(12): pp 3307-3318 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2017.494
Processing (blanching, boiling, steaming) effects on the content of glucosinolates and antioxidant-related parameters in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. botrytis) / Jon Volden, Gunmar B Bengtsson / LWT-Food Science and Technology, 2009; 42(1): pp 63-73 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2008.05.018
Activity of Brassica oleracea Leaf Juice on Foodborne Pathogenic Bacteria / Giorgio Brandi, Mauro de Santi, Maurizio Sisti et al / J Food Prot, 2006; 69(9): pp 2274-2279 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X-69.9.2274
Subcellular Distribution of O-Acetylserine(thiol)lyase in Cauliflowers (Brassica oleracea L.) Inflorescence / Norbert Rolland, Michael Droux, Roland Douce / Plant Physiology, March 1992; 98(3): pp 927-935 /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.98.3.927
Assessment of some Herbal Drugs for Prophylaxis of Peptic Ulcer / Ahmed A Gohar, Ahmed A Zaki / Iran J Pharm Res, 2014; Summer, 13(3): pp 1081-1086 / PMID: 25276211
The efficacy of cauliflower greens (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) preparation in improving blood hemoglobin in selected adolescent girls / Mohankumar J B, Bhavani K / Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Deemed University / ISSN: 0022-3174
Parasiticidal activity of Brassica oleracea var. botrytis (Cauliiflower) on an ascaridae model / Student Researchers: Rachelle G Derain, Mabelle R Aldovino, Arrian Marie S Magbuhos, Jenessa Camille P Villanueva et al / The Steth, 2011, Vol 5 / ISSN: 2094-5906
In vitro Evaluation of Brassica Sprouts for its Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Potential / A Chaudhary, Sonika Choudhary, U Sharma, A P Vig, S Arora / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2016; 78(5): pp 615-623 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.4172/pharmaceutical-sciences.1000160
Evaluation of Acute Toxicity and Hepatoprotective Effect of Brassica oleracea var. Botrytis in Experimental Animals / M Raghavendra, K Ravindra Reddy, P Raghuveer Yadav, K N Jayaveera, A Sowmyalatha, A Raza Khan / Journal of Pharmacy and Chemistry, Apr-Jun 2014; 8(2): pp 12-16 / ISSN: 0973-9874
Alleviatory effects of hydroalcoholic extract of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) on thyroid function in fluoride intoxicated rats / Mitta Raghavendra, Reddy Kandula Ravindra, Maheswara Rao Vattikuti Uma, Polu Navakishor et al / Research Report Fluoride, Jan-Mar 2016; 49(1): pp 84-90

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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