Cabbage isn’t just for coleslaw, stir-fry and sauerkraut. Did you know the leaf of the cabbage has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that provide a remarkably effective treatment for relieving swelling, bruising, simple strain and pain associated with a wonky knee, twisted ankle and painful joints.
How to Make a Compress with Cabbage
You can use any kind of cabbage such as savoy or green cabbage.
- Peel away an outer cabbage leaves, wash thoroughly then pat dry with kitchen roll.
- Use a knife to cut out the hard stem then place the cabbage leaves on the kitchen work surface.
- Using a rolling pin or a milk/wine bottle, gently bruise the leaves to release the natural juices and they are floppy enough to easily mould to the body.
- Place the cabbage leaves directly over the affected joint or area, cover with a bandage, cling film or tin foil and elevate if at all possible.
Keep your cabbage compress on the affected area for up to an hour. You can repeat this process 2-3 times per day. You could, however, apply the leaves at bedtime and keep the poultice on overnight.(If you have any swelling or itching to the skin where the cabbage poultice is placed, remove the leaves immediately)
Cabbage leaves can create great warm or cold compresses. For a cold compress, refrigerate the cabbage before you begin the process above. For a warm compress, microwave aleaf for 15-30 seconds. You can then skip the rolling pin step, as the heat will bring out the juices of the cabbage.
Though there is no scientific proof, cabbage leaves have been used for years as a low-cost, natural remedy to treat joint pain and inflammation
Sean Barker is the MD of First Tunnels, and is enthusiastic about providing quality gardening supplies to gardeners across the UK