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Family Cruciferae
Brassica oleracea Linn. var. Capitata Linn

Gan lan

Scientific names Common names
Brassica oleracea Linn. var. Capitata Repolyo (Tag.)
  Cabbage (Engl.)
  White cabbage (Engl.)
Brassica oleracea var. capitataa L. is a synonym of Brassica oleracea L. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Lan cai, Juan xin cai, Ye cai, Gan lan.
DANISH: Hovedkål.
DUTCH: Sluitkool, Sluitkoolachtigen.
ESTONIAN: Peakapsas.
FINNISH: Keräkaali.
FRENCH: Chou cabus, Chou pommé, Chou cultivé, Chou cultivé pommé, Chou blanc, Chou commun.
HINDI: Band gobhii.
ITALIAN: Cavolo cappuccio.
JAPANESE: Kanran, Kyabetsu.
POLISH: Kapusta warzywna gowiasta.
PORTUGUESE: Couve de repolho, Couve de cabeça.
RUSSIAN: Kapusta belokachannaia.
SPANISH: Col, Cogolo, Repollo, Berza común.
URDU: Band gobhii.

Gen info
- Cabbage was used in ancient times by Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties.
- Likely domesticated in Europe before 1000 BC.
- The UN Food and Agricultural Association reported in 2014 that world production of cabbage was 71.8 million metric tons, with China accounting for 47% of the world total. (25)
- Cabbage heads are usually picked during the first year of the plant's cycle. Seed sources are allowed to grow a second year, but separate from other crops to prevent cross-pollination. (25)

Repolyo is the head-bearing or true cabbage, a biennial herb. Main axis is short and thick, the leaves are densely packed, and as it grows, close and develop into a gigantic bud of head. There are various forms of cabbage shapes: flat, round, egg-shaped, oval, or conical. Leaves vary in color, from the common light yellowish green to dark green and dark red.

- Cultivated from seeds.

- Contains a considerable amount of sulfur.
- Contains significant amounts of the amino acid glutamine with its anti-inflammatory properties.

- Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, amino acids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, proteins, saponins, steroids, tannins, and terpenoids. (12)
- Screening of leaves extract yielded alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenols, glycosides, steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. (see study below) (14)

- Seeds are diuretic, laxative, stomachic and anthelmintic.
- Leaf considered digestive and tonic.
- Red cabbage is emollient and pectoral
- Possibly cholesterol-lowering, anticancer, antifungal.

- Studies have shown antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, anti-HPV, hypolipidemic, antitrypanosomal, antifungal, anthelmintic, hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, anticancer properties.

Parts utilized
Seeds, leaves, juice.

Edibility / Nutrition
- Edible and prepared in many ways: stewed, steamed, sauteed, pickled, fermented, or eaten raw.
- Excellent source of vitamin C; good source of vitamin B; fair source of vitamin A.
· Juice of red cabbage used for chronic coughs, bronchitis, asthma.
· Juice of white cabbage used to treat warts.
· Bruised leaves of the common white cabbage used for blisters.
· In European folk medicine, leaves are used for acute inflammation, the paste of raw cabbage are placed on a cabbage leaf and applied to the affected area.
· Cabbage juice used to accelerate gastric ulcer healing.
· In Iranian folk medicine, used for wound healing.

Antihyperglycemic / Antioxidant: Petroleum extract significantly lowered induced hyperglycemia and a significant decrease in peroxidation. Study confirms the antihyperglycemic and antioxidant activity of Brassica oleracea in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats.
(4) Study of an ethanolic extract of leaves in alloxan-induced diabetic rats showed antihyperglycemic and antioxidant activity as evidenced by a significant increase (p<0.05) in body weights and GSH, SOD, and GPX1 levels and significant decrease (p<0.05) in FBG and MDA levels extract treated diabetic rats. (18)
Anti-HPV / Indol-3-carbinol: Source of indol-3-carbinol, or 13C, an adjunct compound used for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis ( head and neck disease caused by HPV (human pappiloma virus)
Hypolipidemic: Jewish study showed a cabbage and broccoli beverage to have cholesterol-lowering effects.
Wound healing: Study showed administration of topical cabbage extract and egg-white once daily showed wound healing enhancement in second degree burn wounds comparable to results obtained in the silver sulfadiazine group.
Antitrypanosomal activity: Extract of BO was found to be effective in immobilizing trypanosomes and rendering them not infective to mice.
Antifungal Activity: Study showed fresh aqueous juice was effective in inhibiting the growth of blastoconidia, reducing growth of C albicans and inhibiting the growth of some pathogenic filamentous fungi.
Occupational Pollen Source: Study showed Brassica oleracea pollen is a new source of occupational allergen with strong allergenic potential causing symptoms in almost half of exposed employees.
Anthelmintic / Seeds: Comparative study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of seeds of B. juncea and flowers of B. oleracea against Pheretima posthuma, using Albendazole as standard. Results confirmed the anthelmintic activity of both plants, with Brassica juncea showing more efficient activity. (9)
Anti-Ulcerogenic: Study evaluated an aqueous extract for antiulcerogenic activity in acetylsalicylic acid-induced ulcers in Wistar rats. Results showed treatment with AEB inhibited gastric damage with significant inhibition of ulcer formation with a maximum of 99.44% cure. (11)
Hepatoprotective / Simvastatin Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study investigated the hepatoprotective activities of ethanolic leaf extracts of B. oleracea L. var. capitata against simvastatin-induced hepatotoxicity. Results showed significant changes in biochemical parameters, with restoration of oxidative stress markers towards normalization in treated animals. (12)
Gastroprotective and Ulcer Healing / Juice: Study showed B. oleracea var. capitata fresh juice of leaves inhibit acid secretion by acting as H2 receptor antagonist similar to ranitidine, beneficial in acute and chronic treatment of duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer, and hypersecretory conditions. (13)
Phytochemicals / Antioxidant Activity / Leaves: Study investigated the phytochemical content and antioxidant properties of B. oleracea. Screening of leaves extract yielded alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenols, glycosides, steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. The ethanolic extract yielded the highest amount of phenolic compounds which exhibited greater antioxidant activity by DPPH and reducing power assay. The high scavenging property was attributed to hydroxyl groups in the phenolic compounds. (14)
• Wound Healing / Ointment: Study evaluated cabbage and sunflower oil for wound healing capacity in animal models analyzing wound contraction area, total collagen, types I and III collagen, glycosamino-
glycans, and tissue cellularity.
Area and wound contraction showed best results in groups receiving B. oleracea treatment indicating cell proliferation and differentiation. Ointment and balsam were effective in accelerating wound closure and forming a basis for formation of granulation and mature scar tissue, rich in collagen I. Results suggest B. oleracea might modulate repair of skin wounds and the final stages of the healing process. (15)
• Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of phytochemicals of cabbage varieties i.e., red heads (RH), Savoy (Sv), Chinese (Ch), and green heads (GH). RH yielded the highest antioxidant contents, followed by S, C, and GH. Ch showed highest ABTS antioxidant activity at 5.72 µmol TE/g fw (Trolox equivalent). GH showed the highest DPPH activity with 91.2 µmol TE/g fw. Ch, Sa and GH showed highest anti-inflammatory activity values and RH the lowest, Results suggest cabbage as an important source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds for the prevention of chronic disease associated with oxidative stress such as cancer and heart disease. (16)
• Antioxidant / Anticholinesterase: Study evaluated the in-vitro antioxidant and anticholinesterase activity of red cabbage extracts. Maximum antioxidant activity was seen with the methanolic extract and maximum anticholinesterase activity with the hexane extract. (17)
• Antimicrobial: Study evaluated various extracts of B. oleraceae var. capitata, BO var botrytis and R. sativus var. longipinnatus for antimicrobial activity. The ethanol extracts showed prominent antibacterial activity with maximum inhibition zones against E. coli, B. subtilis, S. aureus, S. typhimurium, S. paratyphi, and S. epidermis. (19)
• Anticancer / Antioxidant / 2-Pyttolidinone Fraction / Apoptosis Induction in Human Cancer Cells: Study evaluated a 2-pyrrolidinone rich fraction of B. oleracea var. capitata for antioxidant and anticancer activity. The fraction exhibited in vitro cytotoxicity in HeLa and PC-3 human cancer cell lines, and also exhibited antioxidant activity in cell free assays. The antiproliferative effects of 2-pyrrolidinone were mediated through cell cycle arrest in the G0-G1 phase. (20)
• Wound Healing Effect / Polyherbal Formulation: Study of an ointment prepared from a mixture of Brassica oleracea, Punica granatum, and Plantago major showed local wound healing activity in Wistar rats. (21)
• Antidiabetic / Phenolic and alkaloid Compound / Seeds: GC-MS analysis of seed isolated 24 compounds, one a phenolic compound
[2,4- bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-] and another an alkaloid compound, 2,3-Dicyano-5,6-diphenylpyrazine. Of the two compounds, the alkaloid compound produced significant moderate reduction of glucose level in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits. (22)
• Protective Effect Against Ketamine-Induced Sterotypic Behaviors / Juice: Study evaluated the effect of B. oleracea juice against Ketamine-induced sterotypic behaviors in mice. Haloperidol and Olanzapine were used as standard drugs. Results showed significant diminution of Ketamine induced falling turning head bobbing and weaving behaviors in mice. Study suggests consumption of cabbage on a regular basis may help prevent the development of mental problems. (23)
• Glucosinolates / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the hydrolysis products of glucosinolates and other volatile compounds and antioxidant activity by DPPH method. Total identified glucosinolates including other volatile compounds comprised 99.99% (glucosinolates 7.39%, other volatiles 62.51%). Results showed significant dose-dependent DPPH scavenging, with IC50 of 85.66 mg compared to 15.57 mg for ascorbic acid. The cabbage variety yielded allyl isothiocyanate, iberin and indole-3-carboxyaldehyde in high amounts and played a significant role in antioxidant potential. (24)
• Flavonoids / Antibacterial: Food borne illness caused by microbe contamination is an important health, social, and economic issue. Study evaluated the flavonoid content by UPLC-MS in the Indian variety of organic white cabbage and their potent antibacterial property against food borne pathogens. Different flavonoids (genistein > kaempferol > naringenin and catechin) were observed that possessed antibacterial activity. The flavonoids and their derivatives have potent antibacterial activity against gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative E. coli. (26)
• Effect of Blanching on Carbohydrate and Glucosinolates Composition: Study evaluated the effect of blanching and treatment with white vinegar containing acetic acid on dietary fiber, low-molecular weight carbohydrates and glucosinolates. Results concluded that blanching and souring decrease the content of carbohydrates and glucosinolates to a great extent. Individual components were affected differently in the two cultivars studied. (27)
• Color Cause of Purple Cabbage: Study evaluated the mechanism responsible for the establishment of purple color in cabbages. Bo-MYBL2-1 is one of the regulatory genes in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway in cabbage—a repressor whose expression is inversely correlated to anthocyanin synthesis and is not detected in purple cabbages. The purple color in cabbages resulted from a loss of Bo-MYBL2-1 expression, caused by either the promoter substitution or deletion of the gene. (28)
• Cancer Chemopreventive / Glucosinolates: Recent epidemiological studies have suggested that high intake of white cabbage may be associated with a lower risk of neoplastic diseases such as cancer of the pancreas, breast, prostate, stomach and lungs. The chemopreventive effects of cabbage may be connected with modulation of activity of phase I and II detoxification enzymes and other mechanisms triggered by glucosinolates and products of their decomposition, which are formed by hydrolysis catalyzed by the enzyme myrosinase. Products of glucosinolate decomposition my influence a number of cellular processes via regulation of transcription factor levels, signaling pathways, cell cycle, and apoptosis. Results suggest s need for a science-based dietary recommendations for the optimal exploitation of the vegetable in health protection. (29)
• Anti-Inflammatory in Contact Dermatitis: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of cabbage of methanol extract in mice with contact dermatitis induced by DNFB with ear swelling, erythema, and histiopathologic changes. Treatment with the methanol extract significantly inhibited epidermal hyperplasia and infiltration of immune cells. Levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interferon-gamma, interleukin-6 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 in inflamed tissues were effectively lowered. The anti-inflammatory activity is closely related to inhibition of Th1 skewing reactions. (30)

- Commercial cultivation.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated April 2022 / August 2018 / July 2013

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Natural Standard . The Authority on Integrative Medicine . March 2008
The Effect of Compound of Brassica Oleracea L.and Egg-white on Burn Wound Healing in Rat / Gholamreza Hasanzadeh MD and Naser Mehdikhanloo / Journal of Sabzevar School of Medical Sciences Volume11/ Number 4/ Winter 2004-2005
Antitrypanosomal effect of the aqueous extract of Brassica oleracea / Fitoterapia ISSN 0367-326X / 2002, vol. 73, no1, pp. 17-21

Antihyperglycaemic And Antioxidant Activity Of Brassica Oleracea In Streptozotocin Diabetic Rats
/ Vijaykumar P Rasal / Internet Journal of Pharmacology
Antifungal activity of Brassica oleracea var. botrytis fresh aqueous juice / M Sisti et al / Fitoterapia
Volume 74, Issue 5, July 2003, Pages 453-458 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(03)00108-4
Brassica oleracea pollen, a new source of occupational allergens / Hermanides H K et al / Allergy • 2006, vol. 61, no 4
Red Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) Ameliorates Diabetic Nephropathy in Rats / Hazem A H Kataya and Allaa Eldin A Hamza / eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nem029

In-vitro comparative study of anthelmintic activity of Brassica juncea and Brassica oleracea / Lavanya, Bhaduri; S., Ramya Krishna P.; Nagarjuna, S.; Reddy, Y. Padmanabha / Journal of Pharmacy Research; Sept 2011, Vol. 4 Issue 9, p 2907.
Sorting Brassica names
/ Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

Evaluation of antiulcerogenic activity of aqueous extract of Brassica oleracea var. capitata (cabbage) on Wistar rat gastric ulceration. / Carvalho CA, Fernandes KM, Matta SL, Silva MB, Oliveira LL, Fonseca CC. / Arq Gastroenterol. 2011 Oct-Dec;48(4):276-82.
Protective Effect of Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata against Simvastatin Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats / M.F. Ahmed et al / Int. Res. J. of Pharmaceuticals (2012), Vol. 02, Issue 04, pp. 91-97
Effect of fresh juice of Brassica oleracea Var. Capitata on isolated precontracted rat uterine horns
Kirti Patel V*, Kalpana Patel G, Tejas Mehta, Tejal Gandhi R, and Ramesh Goyal K / Hygeia. J.D. Med. Vol.4 (2), October.2012
Ointment of Brassica oleracea var. capitataMatures the Extracellular Matrix in Skin Wounds of Wistar Rats / Mariaurea Matias Sarandy, Romulo Dias Novaes, Sergio Luiz Pinto de Matta et alv / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., Jun 11, 2015 / DOI: 10.1155/2015/919342
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) Phytochemicals with Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Potential / Sami Rokayya, Chun-Juan Li, Yan Zhao, Ying Li, Chang-Hao Sun / Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2013; 14(11): 6657-6662 / DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/APJCP.2013.14.11.6657
Antioxidant and Anti Cholinesterase Potential of Red Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra) / J. Archana, M. P. Kusuma and Ch. Vijayabhargavi / European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Vol 22, Issue 1: pp 1-7 / DOI : 10.9734/EJMP/2018/38169
EFFECT OF ALCOHOLIC EXTRACT OF Brassica oleracea L. VAR. CAPITATA PLANT LEAVES ON GLUCOSE LEVEL AND ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY IN ALLOXAN- INDUCED DIABETIC RATS / Mahdi Hamza Khashan and Zainab Shnewer Mahdi Al-Turfi / Scientific Journal of Medical Research, Winter 2017; Vol 1, Issue 1: pp 19 - 23
Antioxidant and In Vitro Anticancer Effect of 2‐Pyrrolidinone Rich Fraction of Brassica oleracea var.  capitata Through Induction of Apoptosis in Human Cancer Cells / Ramar Thangam, Veeraperumal Suresh, Mayan Rajkumar, Jally Damien Vincent, Palani Gunasekaran, chinnathambi Anbazhagan, Krishnasamy Kaveri, Soundarapandian Kannan / Phytotherapy Research, Nov 2013; Vol 27, Issue 11: pp 1664-1670 / https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.4908
Wound Healing Effect of an Ointment Made From a Mixture of Brassica oleracea varPunica granatum, and Plantago major L Extracts in Rats /  Mohammad Hassan Bazafkan, Ameneh Hardani, Mohammad Reza Afzal Zadeh, Ashraf Amir Zargar, Mahmoud Orazi Zadeh, Ali Asghar Hemmati, Esrafil Mansori, Majid Asadi-Samani, Maryam Ghasemiboroon and  Vesam Kooti  / Jentashapir Journal of Health Research, Aug 1, 2014; 5(4) / DOI: 10.17795/jjhr-21877
Effect of phenolic and alkaloid compounds extracted from Brassica oleracea var. capitata seed on glucose level in blood of alloxan- induced diabetes rabbits / Khalid Abdulkareem Mohammed, Abbas Dawwas Mattar Al-Maliki / World Journal of Experimental Biosciences, 2014; Vol 2, No 1: pp 24-29
Protective effect of Brassica oleracea juice against Ketamine-induced stereotypic behaviours in mice / Monu Yadav, Milind Parle and Mamta Sachdeva Dhingra / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 2017; 5(1): pp 200-204
Glucosinolates and Antioxidant Properties of Brassica Oleracea var. capitata L. / Anandan S, Syeda FS, Mahadeva MJ and Urooj A / Food Sci Nutr Technol, 2018; Vol 3, Issue 3
Cabbage / Wikipedia
Quantification of flavonoids by UPLC-MS and its antibacterial activity from Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.
/ A Satish, Syeda S Farha, Asna Urooj, / GSC Biological and Pharmaceutical Science, 2018; 5(1) /
DOI: 10.30574/gscbps.2018.5.1.0105
Changes in carbohydrate and glucosinolate composition in white caggage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) during blanching and treatment with acetic acid
/ Mathias Wennberg, Margareta Nyman et al / Food Chemistry, 2006; 95(2): pp 226-236 / DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.11.057
Purple Brassica oleraceae var. capitata F. rubra is due to the loss of BoMYBL2-1 expression
/ Hayoung Song, Hankuil Yi, Yookang Hur et al / BMC Plant Biology, 2018: 18L Art No 82 /
DOI: 10.1186/s12870-018-1290-9
Cancer chemopreventive agents: glucosinolates and their decomposition products in white cabbage (Brassica oleraceae var. capitata
/ Smiechowska A, Bartoszek A, Maniesnik J / Europe PMC, 2008; 62: pp 125-130 / PMID: 18388852
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Brassia oleracea var. capitata L. (cabbage ) Methanol Extract in Mice with Contact Dermatitis
/ Youjung Lee, Seoyoung Kim, Suin Cho et al / Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2018; 14(54): pp 174-179 / DOI: 10.41103/pm.pm_152_17 / PMID: 29720827

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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