Cabbage (Brassica oleracea):
I don’t think I have to tell anyone what a cabbage looks like because it is one of the most widely grown vegetables and is a European native. The heads of cabbage varieties range in shape from pointed, through to globular, to flat and from soft to hard in structure. The various forms are said to have been developed by long cultivation from the wild. Edible parts are low in caloric value and are an excellent source of ascorbic acid and also supply minerals and the necessary bulk in the diet.
Much is written about the cabbage in cook books, but I wonder how many people realise that cabbage not only has nutritional value, but also many medicinal uses?
Studies in the U.S. and Switzerland have revealed that cabbage juice contains valuable medicinal properties useful in a number of disorders. For example, it will improve and often cure conditions such as arthritis, gastric ulcers, and metabolic disorders.
Externally cabbage leaves have been used for centuries for
- sprains and strains
Its anti-inflammatory properties are used to
- treat joint pain
- for sport injuries
- to relieve arthritic and inflamed joints
- to promote slow-healing wounds.
This is how its done:
- Peel some cabbage leaves from the cabbage head and cut out large veins.
- Flatten the leaves using a rolling pin or a bottle till the leaves are pliable and soft.
- Place the leaves on some cling plastic and apply to the painful area.
- Secure the lot with a bandage or towel and leave on for 2-6 hours or overnight.
The fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) enabled Captain Cook to sail for years without getting sick? Cabbage and sauerkraut should be eaten regularly. An old German saying – ‘Sauerkraut every day keeps the doctor away’ is true.
Cabbage is high in calcium and has great medicinal value when eaten raw.
Sauerkraut is made from cabbage. I realise that not everyone knows how to make sauerkraut, but if you want to make your own, contact me for the recipe. Use the minimum of salt but add herbs and spices such as thyme, juniper berries and mustard seed. They help preserve the sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut water or its juice is an excellent remedy for many gastric and intestinal disorders.
But beware of the of the highly salty, factory-made sauerkraut. Only when it is raw does sauerkraut have the healing properties.
In his book, The Nature Doctor, the nature practitioner De H. C. Vogel says: “Sauerkraut is a wonderful remedy and should have a place of honour in every home. It is the best antiscorbutic remedy and it was sauerkraut that enabled the daring explorer James Cook (1728-79) to sail the farthest seas for years without any of his sailors falling victim to scurvy.
“Captain Cook always made sure that there were sufficient barrels of fermented cabbage on his ships. The supplement of sauerkraut with the sailors’ meals provided them with food and medicine at the same time, so that he could carry on with his explorations and discoveries.
“If your gums bleed easily or become soft and spongy around the teeth, if you constantly have small ulcers or sores on your gums, if your skin bleeds easily, if you notice swellings near the joints, or if you suffer from a general feeling of weakness and weariness, then you must add raw sauerkraut to your daily diet.”