Image for Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collard, Kale, Brussels sprouts, Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea)
Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collard, Kale, Brussels sprouts, Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Related terms: Antioxidant, biotin, Brassica (genus), Brassica vegetable, Brassicaceae (family), broccoli seed extract, broccoli sprouts, cabbage butterfly, cabbage extract, cabbage leaves, cabbage soup diet, caffeic acid, calcium, carotenoids, Chinese cabbage, chlorogenic acid, chlorophyll, coleslaw, colewort, coumarins, cruciferous vegetables, daikon, dietary indoles, dithiolethiones, ferulic acid, fiber, flavonoids, folate, glucosinolates, glutamine, goitrin, Helicobacter pylori, histidine, hydroquinone, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), isothiocyanates, kebis, kimchi, lutein, magnesium, manganese, oriental cabbage, phylloquinone, phytochemicals, phytoestrogens, pickled cabbage, pierisin, potassium, radishes, riboflavin, sauerkraut, sinigrin, sulforaphane, sulfur, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, zeaxanthin.
  • Synonyms/common names:
  • Brassicaoleracea L. var. acephala: Brassica oleracea L. (acephala group), Brassicaoleracea L. var. viridis, borecole, chou vert (French), chou vert non pommé (French), chou cavalier (French), chou à grosses côtes (French), collard, collard greens, couve galega (Portuguese), couve tronchuda (Portuguese), kale, leaf cabbage, sukuma wiki (Swahili), tronchuda cabbage.
  • Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra: Brassica oleracea L. (alboglabra group), brocoli de Chine (French), chou de Chine à fleurs blanches (French), bróculi chino (Spanish), Chinese broccoli, Chinese kale, Chinesischer Brokkoli (German), gai lan (Chinese), jie lan (Chinese), kailan (Malay), kairan (Japanese), phak khana (Thai), white flowering broccoli.
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Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Brassica oleracea belongs to the Cruciferae family. The wild form of this vegetable originated along the Atlantic seaboard of Europe (e.g., the coastlines of Britain and along the Bay of Biscay) and the Mediterranean basin. It has been cultivated as a vegetable for more than 2,500 years, and through selective breeding, particular characteristics of the plant were cultivated. People have derived six types of vegetables from this wild stock through selection of favorable cultivars. Colewort (cole-plant) is the wild form; its basic domesticated forms are collard, having enlarged leaves, and kale, with leaves curled in various ways. Cabbage is the terminal bud, with enlarged leaves in a tight mass. Brussels sprouts are lateral buds, which appear as miniature tight forms of cabbage, and kohlrabi are the enlarged stems. Broccoli and cauliflower are the highly enlarged flower stalks.
  • The Brassica vegetables have many nutrients and biochemical substances, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, sulfur, dithiolethiones, and glucosinolates. More importantly, these vegetables enhance the body's cancer-fighting abilities, possess antioxidant effects, and remove harmful chemical additives, such as radiation (1;2).
  • Several clinical studies in humans have found the beneficial effects of Brassica vegetables in various conditions, such as gastric ulcers, Helicobacter pylori infection, cardiac conditions, asthma, and morning sickness. Brassica vegetables also may prevent certain conditions, such as osteoporosis, macular degeneration, cancers of the lung, stomach, breast, and prostate (3;4;5;6;7). Various in vivo studies have also suggested the use of Brassica vegetables as antacids; mild laxatives; and antihelminthic (anthelmintic), antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral agents, as well as for weight loss and skin ailments. Topical application of cabbage leaves and cabbage leaf extracts relieved the swelling and reduced breast engorgement in lactating women (8;9;10).
  • According to the American Cancer Society and Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating, it is recommended to include the Brassica vegetables in the daily diet, especially in women, because of their nutritional value and medicinal properties (11). Hence, factors affecting the health-promoting properties of these vegetables, such as processing conditions (e.g., shredding or chopping for pickling and sauerkraut), transport, storage, and domestic cooking, have been widely studied (12;13).

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.