Botanical Name :: Brassica oleracea var, capitata
Indian Name :: Bandgobhi, Karam kalla and Pattagobhi
The cabbage is one of the most highly rated leafy vegetables and a marvelous food item. It is grown for its enlarged edible, terminal buds and is eaten all over the world. It is excellent as a muscle builder and cleanser. There are several varieties of cabbage. They differ in size, shape and color of leaves, and in size, shape, color and texture of head.
Origin and Distribution of Cabbage
The cabbage was cultivated long before the dawn of human history. The ancient Greeks regarded it as an important vegetable. It was also very popular in Rome and it was introduced by the Romans into those lands which they conquered. The original home of cabbage is Southern Europe and the Mediterranean regions. The major areas of cultivation are Northern India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Central, East and West Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean
Food Value of Cabbage
This vegetable is chiefly valuable for its high mineral and vitamin content and alkaline salts. This vegetable can be used raw in the form of salad. It can also be steamed, boiled or cooked. It should be eaten raw for best results as in cooking its valuable nutrients are largely lost. The raw cabbage is also more easily digested than the cooked one. The longer the cabbage is cooked the less digestible it becomes. It can be rectified by adding some asafetida i.e. hing. The cabbage with green leaves is especially valuable because of its high vitamin A content.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 91.9%||Calcium – 39 mg|
|Protein – 1.8%||Phosphorus – 44 mg|
|Fat – 0.1%||Iron – 0.8 mg|
|Vitamin C – 124 mg|
|Fibre – 1.0%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Minerals – 0.6%||* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion|
|Carbohydrates – 4.6%||Calorific Value – 27|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Cabbage
The cabbage has wonderful cleansing and reducing properties. Its most valuable properties are the high sulphur and chlorine content and the relatively large per cent of iodine. The combination of the sulphur and chlorine causes a cleansing of the mucus membranes of the stomach and intestinal tract, but this only applies when cabbage or its juice is taken in its raw state without the addition of salt.
However, cabbage and cabbage juice should never be taken as a main part of the diet. Very excessive intakes have been known to cause the thyroid disease called goitre. It is only in normal amounts that cabbage is valuable nutritionally and that its juice, which is bitter and not delicious. constitutes an important part of the natural treatment of infection, ulcers and other disorders of the digestive system
- Constipation:- The cabbage provides the roughage i.e. indigestible material which is essential to stimulate intestines for the proper action of the bowels. A meal of raw cabbage is an excellent remedy for constipation. It acts immediately without any adverse after effects. This meal can be prepared by adding a little salt, black pepper and lemon juice to finely chopped raw cabbage.
- Stomach Ulcers:- Duodenal ulcers have responded almost miraculously to the drinking of cabbage juice. Its origin as a traditional remedy goes back to the work of Garnet Cheney, M.D., of Stanford University School of Medicine some thirty years back. He is reported to have cured many ulcer patients with raw cabbage juice. The juice contains the anti ulcer factor, vitamin U. This vitamin is destroyed by cooking. The treatment consists of taking 90 to 18O gm. of cabbage juice for three times daily followed by a natural diet.
To render the juice more palatable Dr. Cheney often added celery juice, made from both stalk and green, pineapple juice, tomato juice or citrus juice. Chilling the mixed juice also helps to improve the flavor. The juice, however, should not be taken all at once, but in many intervals throughout the day. If one does not have a juicer or blender, one can nibble on raw cabbage four or five times a day.
- Obesity:- Recent research has discovered in cabbage a valuable content called tartronic acid which inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Hence, it is of great value in weight reduction. Taking cabbage salad would be the simplest way to stay slim, a painless way of dieting.
A hundred grams of cabbage yields only 27 kilocalorie’s of energy while the same quantity of wheat bread will yield about 240 calories. Cabbage is found to posses the maximum biological value with minimum calorific value. Moreover, it gives a lasting feeling of fullness in the stomach and is easily digestible.
- Skin Disorders:- The cabbage leaves have been successfully used in the form of compresses in healing ulcers, infected sores, blisters and skin eruptions, including psoriasis. They are also valuable in burns and carbuncles. The thickest and greenest outer leaves are most. effective for use as compresses. They should be thoroughly washed ill warm water and dried with a towel. The whole leaves should be used for large compresses. The leaves should be made flat, soft and smooth by rolling them with a rolling pin after removing the thick veins. They should be warmed and then applied smoothly to the affected part in an overlapping manner. The leaves may be cut into thin strips for treating a small area. The cabbage leaves should be placed on a linen cloth and a pad of soft woollen cloth should be put over it. The whole compress should then be secured with an elastic bandage. The compress can be kept for the whole day and night. If, however, the leaves wither or change color, they should be replaced by fresh ones. When changing the compress, affected area should be thoroughly washed and dried.
- Premature Ageing:- Research has shown that cabbage contains several, elements and factors which enhance the immunity of the human body and arrests its premature ageing. The vegetable is of great value for persons of advancing age. Some of the elements help prevent the formation of patches on the walls of blood vessels and stones in the gall bladder. It has been found that a combination of vitamin P and C in cabbage lends strength to the blood vessels.