From an Ayurvedic Medicine perspective, cabbage is a calming and grounding food. It is balancing for all body types. It clears the blood, fortifies the stomach and treats constipation. It has a slightly bitter taste that helps to stimulate gastric juices contributing to a better digested meal. Cabbage also is a mild diuretic.
There are many cures associated with drinking juiced cabbage. Cabbage has been called the poor man’s medicine chest. Many people swear that drinking raw cabbage juice is what took care of their stomach ulcer. Gargling and swallowing fresh cabbage juice is a great remedy for a sore throat.
Cabbage poultices are also used to effectively treat a variety of ailments. External application of fresh cabbage poultices are great for increasing circulation to a congested or inflamed part of the body, helping with arthritis, chest infections, sore throats, tonsillitis, lymph blockage, tumors and sciatica. Cabbage poultices are antiseptic and draw out infection and toxins. I have seen cabbage poultices work miracles for general skin infections and hot swollen joints. Cabbage poultice is also a very soothing remedy for mastitis from breast feeding, irritated varicose veins and boils.
To make a cabbage poultice, just chop up the cabbage and put it in the blender with a little boiling water until you make a thick past. Apply the paste about one inch thick on the desired area of the body and leave on for about twenty minutes. When you apply cabbage poultice to an inflamed or infected part of the body, you can actually feel the heat being absorbed by the cabbage.
Like other brassica family vegetables of which cabbage is a member it has the ability to lower the risk of certain cancers. When eaten raw it has been shown to help protect against the effects of radiation.
Cabbage is a highly nutritious vegetable. Raw cabbage is a great source of vitamins and nutrients including vitamin C, potassium and Folic Acid. If you want to really turn your head of cabbage into medicine, learn how to ferment it and make real sauerkraut. Talk about a medicine chest. Raw sauerkraut is an amazing healer for the digestive tract and helps the body to fight off just about any disease.
Weather you eat it or slather it on your body, enjoy this vegetable medicine chest.
Herbal Cole Slaw
6 cups finely chopped cabbage
½ cup grated carrots (You can also add other vegetables that you have on hand such as cucumbers, celery, radish and grated beets)
2 finely chopped green onion
1 cup chopped herbs (combination of cilantro, rosemary, chives, sage or whatever you have on hand)
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
Add 2 tablespoons whole plain yogurt if you like a creamier cole slaw
Crock Pot Cabbage Soup
1 head of chopped cabbage
5 organic chicken legs or whole chicken
2 stalks celery (really you can add any vegetable to this soup, just clean out your refrigerator)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons other savory herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano
Chop the vegetables, put everything in the crock pot and let cook for at least four hours. This soup is EASY. It is highly nutritious and helps to ward off colds and coughs
Kami McBride has taught herbal medicine since 1988. Through her classes and personal wellness consultations she helps people understand how whole foods and herbal medicine are an important aspect of everyone’s preventive health care plan. Kami has helped thousands of people learn to use herbs in their daily lives in ways that are healthy, safe and fun and she teaches classes in herbal medicine and women’s health at her school and herb gardens in Vacaville, California. She can be reached at 707-446-1290 or www.livingawareness.com