Using Vegetables to Heal: Cabbage & Yams


Since about 400 BC, cabbage has been used as a valuable medicine since the days of Dioscorides, who saw it as a proper digestive remedy. The vegetable has also proven to work wonders in treating the joints and skin problems. Fevers also respond to cabbage treatments. In ancient Roman times, the vegetable was used to prevent the side effects of a hangover from emerging. It is the leaves of the vegetable that is used to create herbal remedies, including the fresh red leaf, fresh green leaf, prepared savory leaf, which then makes a juice as well.

Use the fresh leaves of cabbage to treat arthritic joints or sprained wounds. First, you will need to strip out the central rib of the leaf first and then gently beat the leaf so that it becomes soft. This prepares it for application onto the skin (like a bandage). You may also place prepared leaves into bra cups to soothe engorged breasts. A decoction of cabbage leaves can treat colitis. Simply boil 60 grams in two cups of water for one hour and then drink in increments of ½-cup doses.

Cabbage leaves make a acne lotion when you combine 250 grams of fresh leaves with one cup of distilled witch hazel in a blender. Strain the ingredients and then add two drops of lemon juice oil. This treatment is then used in the morning, as well as in the night. The juice of cabbage creates a distinct green hue and can be used to treat gastric ulcerations. The syrup that develops from cabbage can be made from a decoction that combats the coughs that swell in the chest, as well as asthma and bronchitis.


Did you know that yam was used to create the initial birth control pill when synthetic hormones were not approved for commercial distribution? The Mexican wild yam possesses hormonal substances that can mimic the effects of progesterone. It can also be used to relax the muscles. Sometimes, you will hear this vegetable being referred to as colic root.

A variety of species exist in the world, including D. Hypoglauca, which is quite popular in China. This species is known to aid in urinary disorders. When turning to D. opposita, you can use as a tonic to remedy the stomach and spleen. It is the rhizomes of the various species of yam that is used to create natural remedies. With D. villosa , patients will receive a decent muscle relaxant that has also proved promising in those battling acute rheumatic issues.

To get an idea of some of the remedies associated with yams, consider the following herbal treatments that shine through as decoctions and tinctures:

Decoction: colicky pains, irritable bowel syndrome, menstruation discomfort, arthritic pains, kidney deficiencies, rheumatic pains

Tincture: dry asthmatic coughs, urinary infections, labor or postpartum pains

A precaution of taking yams to treat medical concerns is that a pregnant woman should avoid large doses of D, villosa, unless they are receiving professional supervision.