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Family Cruciferae
Brassica oleracea Linn. var. Capitata Linn

Gan lan

Scientific names Common names
Brassica oleracea Linn. var. Capitata Cabbage (Engl.)
  White cabbage (Engl.)
  Repolyo (Tag.)
  Gan lan (Chin.)

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Lan cai, Juan xin cai, Ye cai.
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.

General info
Cabbage was used in ancient times by Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties.

· 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 antiinflammatory properties.

- Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, amino acids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, proteins, saponins, steroids, tannins, and terpenoids. (12)

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

Parts utilized
Seeds, leaves.

- 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.

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 stretozotocin-induced diabetes in rats.
Antihyperglycemic / Antioxidant: Study of red cabbage extract showed the antioxidant and antihyperglycemic properties of B oleracea extract offer a potential therapeutic source for the treatment of diabetes.
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)
Anticancer: A Norway Study: Source of natural antioxidant glucosinolates shown to possess anticancer properties.
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: Comparative study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of seeds of B. juncea and flowers of B. oleracea against Pheritima 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% curation. (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: Study investigated the phytochemical content and antioxidant properties of B. oleracea. Study yielded alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenols, glycosides, terpenoids, steroids, and flavonoids. The ethanol extract of leaves showed the highest phenolic content and highest anti-oxidant activity. (14)


Last Update 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

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