Cabbage Leaf Wraps for Arthritic Knees


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Unbelievably, a randomized managed trial of cabbage leaf wraps for arthritis was revealed.

In a bit of the British Medical Journal referred to as “Minerva,” the place attention-grabbing little snippets are compiled, an image was revealed of a girl who had taped a cabbage leaf to her knee. She mentioned that was the one measure that supplied reduction from the signs of her osteoarthritis. You may see the photograph at 0:12 in my video Advantages of Cabbage Leaves on the Knee for Osteoarthritis. Some docs responded with bemusement, and one other was amazed—“not amazed {that a} cabbage leaf was used, however that this was thought-about newsworthy.” That physician disclosed she could also be a bit biased, although, admitting to being a cabbage-leaf-user herself.

Wrote one other reader, “Freshly washed cabbage leaves are recognized in European people medication because the poor man’s poultice. There may be nothing new about this historical treatment used to assist cut back all types of painful swelling…So there’s nothing freakish or silly concerning the girl pictured in Minerva who used it over her painful knee.” I didn’t notice it was such a sensitive subject. 

After all, how might we all know if it really works? We’d want a randomized managed trial of topical cabbage leaves for osteoarthritis, and we bought simply that.

The research: “Efficacy of Cabbage Leaf Wraps within the Therapy of Symptomatic Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Managed Trial.” How did the research even get funded? A household basis stepped ahead and paid for it. I really like that. The truth is, it was the inspiration of Germany’s former President and First Woman. In any case, “Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is without doubt one of the most typical continual ailments amongst older adults.” So, why not take a look at the consequences of cabbage leaf wraps?

Sufferers with confirmed osteoarthritis of the knees had been randomly assigned to one in every of three therapies for 4 weeks: a cabbage leaf on their knees day-after-day, a topical ache gel containing an anti-inflammatory drug, or neither, simply “traditional care.” (Even higher would have been a fourth group making use of iceberg lettuce leaves, for instance, however I’ll take what I can get.)

At 2:13 in my video, I present a graph of ache depth over the 28-day experiment. The topical gel didn’t work a lot better than doing nothing all, however the cabbage leaf remedy really labored in lowering ache depth. General, the research “discovered {that a} 4-week utility of CLWs [cabbage leaf wraps] was simpler than UC [usual care] with respect to ache, purposeful incapacity, and high quality of life. It was, nonetheless, not superior to a 4-week utility of topical remedy” within the remaining evaluation. Since cabbage leaves are “secure and could also be utilized in the long run,” why not give them a attempt in case you have osteoarthritis of the knee?

It additionally wouldn’t harm when you ate some as nicely, as cabbage could have inside anti-inflammatory potential as nicely. The truth is, the anti-inflammatory results could clarify the well being advantages of cabbage and different cruciferous household greens. And I’m not simply speaking about potent anti-inflammatory results in petri dishes, however in folks, too. In a single research, ten days of broccoli consumption in people who smoke minimize C-reactive protein ranges 40 %! Okay, however what about for arthritis?

In vitro, sulforaphane, the magic cabbage chemical, protects cartilage from destruction, suggesting {that a} food plan excessive in cabbage or different cruciferous greens “could also be a helpful measure both to stop or to sluggish the development of OA,” osteoarthritis. However, as you’ll be able to see at 3:38 in my video, even when sulforaphane can defend cartilage cells in a petri dish, how do we all know the compound makes it into our joints once we eat it? I imply, nobody has ever performed a research the place folks eat broccoli after which a needle is caught of their knee joints to test. Nobody, that’s…till now.

And, certainly, sulforaphane was detected within the synovial fluid of 40 sufferers with osteoarthritis after broccoli consumption, adopted by vital epigenetic modifications of gene expression inside the joint. The following step is to see if it will possibly really enhance the illness.

Knees aren’t the physique elements cabbage has been examined on. Keep tuned for my video about using cabbage leaves for mastitis!


  • Cabbage leaves, often called “the poor man’s poultice” in European people medication, have been used to assist cut back painful swelling.
  • One of the vital frequent continual ailments amongst older adults is osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Researchers randomized osteoarthritis sufferers to one in every of three teams for a month: cabbage leaves on their knees day-after-day, a topical ache gel containing an anti-inflammatory, or nothing however “traditional care.” The each day cabbage leaf wraps had been simpler than traditional care almost about ache, purposeful incapacity, and high quality of life, however not in comparison with a month of topical remedy utility.
  • Since cabbage leaves are “secure and could also be utilized in the long run,” they could be price making an attempt to alleviate ache attributable to osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Consuming cabbage can also be useful, as cruciferous greens have confirmed anti-inflammatory results. For example, people who smoke lowered their C-reactive protein ranges by 40 % after solely ten days of consuming broccoli.
  • Sulforaphane, a potent chemical in crucifers, has been proven in vitro to guard cartilage from destruction.
  • When studied in folks as an alternative of a petri dish, sulforaphane was certainly detected within the synovial fluid of osteoarthritis sufferers after broccoli consumption.

For extra on pure therapies for arthritis, see:

What’s that sulforaphane stuff I discussed? Try:

In well being,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: In the event you haven’t but, you’ll be able to subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my reside shows:


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