CABBAGE, Brassica oleracea

Cabbage Plant

A whole lot of years ago, I attended an Air Force refreshing course. The instructor asked a question and one of the guys got up to answer the question, but he went on and on. The instructor walk up to the black board and wrote K.I.S.S. and he said, “Class?” and we all said in unison “KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID.”

You can make anything complicated or you can keep it simple. That goes for a way of life, thing we eat, or even our health. I guess that’s why I like the herbs so much. They are so simple.

They have few side effects, or after effects. You can make herbs into teas, capsules, tinctures, tablets, ointments, salves or whatever you want and they are still simple. You can find them almost anywhere, back along a hiking trail, in an old field, or even in your garden. They are free, they are helpful and very simple.

Staying healthy can be simple if we eat right, exercise and obey the rule of health.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you really sick with someone thing bad, go see the health practitioner of your choice, but try to keep it simple. About the most simple thing I know of is a plain old head of cabbage. Just one leaf wrapped on top of another, real simple.

I have to smile when I think about a story I read about a famous herb doctor in Europe. He had observed his late herbalist father and knew herbs quite well. One day an important dignitary called and wanted the young herbalist to come to his home and give him some herbs for the awful pain of arthritis in his shoulder.

The next morning the young herbalist showed up at the man’s house with a head of cabbage and some herbs rolled in a newspaper.

After he peeled a few leaves off the head of cabbage he ask the man if he could borrow a steam iron the cabbage leaves so they would be soft and more pliable. The man, although very important, was also very tolerant and understanding. The leaves of cabbage were ironed and the poultice of cabbage leaves and herbs were applied to his shoulder. The poultice was left on all day and night. The next morning the pain was relieved; the man phoned and thanked his young herbalist friend. His tolerance and understanding were rewarded. The pain in his shoulder was all gone.

There are many kinds of cabbage; wild cabbage, skunk cabbage, red cabbage and many more, but we will look to the garden cabbage or white cabbage. We all know what cabbage looks like, so we won’t take the time to describe it.

From the time of the Greeks and Romans until today, cabbage has been important, both as a food and a medicine. In our modern day, who would think of cabbage as a cure-all; yet, before modern bondages were available, a crushed or bruised cabbage leaf was applied to a wound as both a protection and an antiseptic. In case of a burn or a cut or a bruise, a crushed cabbage leaf will soothe and heal. If you add a little honey, wheat germ oil and comfrey root powder, it will work even better. Cabbage has the ability to draw infection out of the skin, and help to get rid of boils, carbuncles and even pimples. That is why it is used for varicose veins, ulcerations, swelling, skin eruptions, hemorrhoids, leg ulcers and superficial infections.

In Europe, various muscular aches and pains, sciatica, neuralgia and rheumatism, are relieved by hot compresses of cabbage, well chopped, wrapped in a cabbage leaf or in muslin and applied to the painful areas. (Change twice a day). They also use cabbage for cirrhosis of the liver, anemia,, gout and dysentery. Cabbage juice is used for peptic ulcers and digestion problems. Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, making it good for everything from colds to scurvy; it contains vitamin U and it is rich in sulfur. The claims of many old folk practices that cabbage is used for healing has been confirmed by modern research.

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