In the battle against joint pain, it may be worth it to get ahead in a race. A race to the market to buy cabbage, of course. Popular wisdom about its anti-inflammatory properties has been around for generations. It is said that this vegetable relieves pain and swelling when used as a compress. A treatment with cold cabbage leaf requires applying a cold cabbage leaf on an affected joint for up to 20 minutes several times a day to relieve inflammation, reduce pain and improve circulation.
Red cabbage in particular is a rich source of antioxidants in the form of anthocyanin, a type of plant pigment that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and may be of help with symptoms related to arthritis.
Although clinical research on the benefits of cabbage leaf compresses for the treatment of arthritis is sparse, a small amount of data shows that these compresses can help relieve pain and associated discomfort with the swelling in the breasts that some women may experience when breastfeeding. It is believed that the chemical properties of the cabbage dilate the small vessels, allowing the fluid to advance and, therefore, reducing the swelling.
However, research published in the Indian Journal of Community Medicine showed that cabbage leaves helped reduce swelling but did not improve pain or discomfort. However, pieces of anecdotal evidence indicate that it does work for some women when breastfeeding, as well as for people suffering from arthritis pain.
If you prefer to eat cabbage instead of using it on your body, this common cruciferous vegetable has much to offer nutritionally. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K and is a good source of potassium and fiber. All varieties of cabbage provide antioxidants, but red cabbage in particular is a rich source of antioxidants in the form of anthocyanin, a type of plant pigment that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and which may be of help for the symptoms of arthritis.
Cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways, however, cooked cabbage retains more nutrients when sautéed, rather than boiled or steamed.
About the author
Eilender is a professor and writer about health science established in New Jersey.