Scientific name: Brassica oleracea

Also known as “colewort”.

Cabbage has been used for many generations as a digestive remedy, joint problems, skin problems, and fevers. It was even used to prevent drunkenness back in the day!


  • Minerals
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, C
  • Amino acids

Health Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Heals tissues
  • Improves acne
  • Liver decongestant
  • Use externally for arthritic joints, inflammation, wounds, and ulcers
  • Use internally for digestive and lung disorders, migraines, fluid retention, and pains

Cooking Tips

Cabbage is pretty mild and can be used in soups, raw, and one of my new favorites – stir fried with purple onion, olive oil, butter, and a little salt.

  • If you have problems like ulcerative colitis, some say it’s better to cook and even over-cook cabbage to help the colon and digestive process.

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Arthritic, sprained joints, varicose ulcers, wounds: take out central rib of the leaf, beat gently to soften, bind to the area with a bandage. You can also place this leaf in bra cups for mastitis or engorged breasts.
  • Colitis: boil 60g leaves in 500 ml water for 1 hour, drink in half cup doses.
  • Acne: mix 250g fresh leaves with 250 ml distilled witch hazel, blend. Strain and add 2 drops lemon juice oil. Use twice per day.

How to Grow


Where do you live?

Cabbage is pretty hardy, but prefers cooler weather and can attract a few pests. But if you plan out your season, you can get two crops, one in the spring and one in the fall.

Put em in the ground
  • Start seeds inside 6-8 weeks before your area’s last frost
  • Prep outdoor soil with aged compost/manure
  • Plant outside 2-3 weeks before last frosts, on a cloudy day
  • Plant 12-24″ apart, depending on how large you want the cabbage to be
  • Put mulch on top


  • Don’t plant near broccoli or cauliflower (each takes a lot of nutrients out of the soil)
  • Ok to plant near beans and cucumbers
  • Fertilize 3 weeks after transplant
  • Thin once they reach 5″
  • Make sure to rotate the crop each year to minimize soil diseases
  • Old tradition says spreading elder leaves will keep pests away; dill can also keep some pests away by attracting the right kind of wasps that kill some of the bad bugs.


  • Harvest when the cabbage heads are the desired size and are firm
  • Can keep in the fridge for 2 weeks; if you have a good cellar, they may last up to 3 months. Make sure they are dry before storing.