It’s no surprise that many of the foods you know and eat everyday often have surprising healing properties.
And while most of these foods work internally, some have similar, if not more powerful effect when applied directly to the skin.
Perhaps one of the most unusual foods you can use topically is cabbage. Believe it not, cabbage poultices are actually a common and effective home remedy.
Still not convinced? Here are 6 ways you can use cabbage internally and externally to heal your body in surprising ways.
Add cabbage to your soup and steamed vegetables to get these amazing benefits!
Cabbage contains antihyperglycemic properties, meaning that the vegetable has the ability to lower blood sugar and manage diabetes. These benefits can be obtained by eating a bit of raw or boiled cabbage at every meal or drinking cabbage juice twice a day (1).
2. Heart Disease
Cabbage contains thocyanin, a water-soluble polyphenol that reduces inflammation and enhance capillary strength and permeability, and to inhibit platelet formation and enhance nitric oxide (NO) release. In doing so, cabbage actually prevents heart disease and heart attack (2).
For best results, it’s best to 2 tablespoons of cooked cabbage or one glass of cabbage juice daily.
3. Digestive Issues
The vegetable contains high potassium, which balances your body’s fluids and its high vitamin C and anti-oxidant levels protect your cells from toxins. It also contains vitamins E, and K; sulphur; beta-carotene; potassium; magnesium; and calcium (3).
Consuming cooked or juiced cabbage can help heal constipation, stomach ulcers and diarrhea. On the other hand, fermented cabbage prepared in sauerkraut and kimchi can be used to heal irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and infectious diarrhea (4).
Although it may feel a little silly at first, applying cabbage to your wounds will actually help them heal!
4. Ingrown Toenails
Cabbage is often used in natural remedies to remove pus from ingrown toenails and prevent infection. All you need to do is place several leaves around the toe and secure with in cling wrap and a cloth bandage. cover with a sock and leave overnight to give it a chance to act. Remove the leaves in the morning and repeat the process overnight. Follow up with an Epsom salt soak in the morning.
It’s also a good idea to slightly shave the top of your toenail to make it more flat. This will encourages the side of your nail to curl upwards, drawing the nail out of your skin.
5. Relieves Pain
Red cabbage contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These work together to lower oxidative stress and prevent expression of several inflammatory factors. Applied to the skin, cabbage can actually promote wound healing (5,6).
Simply wash and dry your cabbage leaves , secure in place with a bandage and leave overnight. If possible, remove the compress in morning and make a a new one to wear during the day.
Cabbage leaf has been used for centuries for swelling, ulcers, sprains, and strains. Even in our modern age, some Swiss hospitals wrap the joints of their arthritis patients in cabbage to reduce swelling and pain (7).
To make a poultice, you simple have to remove the vein of your leaves, lay them flat between two sheets of plastic wrap and get their juice flowing by rolling them with a rolling pin. Next, place the leaves directly on your skin, cover with plastic wrap and secure with a cloth bandage.