Chap. 103. Cabbage.


I. The Names. It is called in Greek, *********, In Latin, Brasica Capitata: In English, Cabbage, or Headed Colewort.

II. The Kinds. It is twofold, 1. ******* Brassica Capitata Alba, White Cabbage, 2. **********, Brassica Capitata Rubra, Red Cabbage

III. The Description. The Common White Cabbage has a Root going right down, but not deep, nor spreading far, and usually dies in Winter: from which Root springs up one thick Stalk, having at top thereof a great thick Head of crumpled Leaves: this Head is closed hard and round, and has at first great large thick Leaves, of a grayish green color, with thick, great, and lying open most part of the Summer, without closing: but towards the end of the Summer, being grown to have many Leaves, it then begins to grow close and round in the middle, and as it closes, the Leaves grow white inwards; yet there are some kinds, which will never be so close as these, but will remain half open, which are not accounted to be so good as the other. In the middle of this Head, the next Year after the Sowing (in other Countries especially, and sometimes in ours) if the Winter is mild, you may see in divers Gardens a great thick Stalk to shoot forth, which is divided in the top into many Ramifications, or Branches, bearing thereon divers small Flowers, sometimes white, but most commonly yellow, made of four Leaves, which being past, turn into long, round, and pointed Cods, containing therein small round Seed, like to Turnep Seed. Nsow here is to be noted, that by reason of the hard Frosts, and Cold of our Countrey, some of our Gardiners, for the preventing the danger of the said Winter Frosts, do use to take up such Cabbages (as they intend to reserve for Seed) with their Roots and tying a Cloth or some such thing about the Roots, do hang them up in their Houses, that thereby they may be defended against the Cold; and then set them again after the Frosts are past.

IV. The Red Cabbage is in all things like unto the White, excepting in the color, this being deeply Red as also in the magnitude, the Red being for the most part less than the White; and though it is many times found large, yet it is scarcely ever found so large as the large ones of the White. In this also the color of the Leaves is very variable, in some it is Green striped with Red in others it is more Red and again in some, it is a very deep Red, and sometimes declining to purple.

V. The Places. They are found growing with us only in Gardens, being nourished, and brought to perfection chiefly by the care and industry of Gardiners.

VI. The Times. They Flower for the most part in June or July, and the Seed is ripe in August.

VII. The Qualities. They are Temperate in respect of heat or coldness; and moist in the first Degree: They are also Opening, Absterfive, Diuretick and Emollient: also Pectoral, Hepatick, Nephritick, and Hysterick; Galactogenetick and Alterative.

VIII. The Specification. It is in vain to be particular, for the old Romans having expelled Physicians out of their Territories for Six Hundred Years, did maintain their Health by using and applying Cabbages and Coleworts as their only Medicine, or Remedy, in every Disease. And therefore as they thought them to be effectual against all Diseases of the Body, whether inward or outward, so Chrysipus wrote a Volume of their Virtues, applying them to every part of the Body.

1. A liquid Juice.
2. A Decoction
3. A Syrup.
4. An Electuary.
5. Ashes.
6. The whole Substance.
7. A Collyrium.
8. The Seed.

The Virtues.

XI. The Decoction. The first Decoction is said to open the Body, but the second does Astringe or Bind, for that the Nitrous quality is quite consumed or spent. If it is made in Water, with an old Cock beaten to peices boiled in it, it prevails against Consumptions, and helps such as are troubled with Gripings, and pains in their Stomachs and Bowels, it is also good for such as are troubled with Obstructions of Liver or Spleen, and the Stone or Gravel in Reins or Bladder. It restrains the Vapors arising from Wine, and suddenly makes them sober again. It takes away the Swelling and Pain of Gouty Knees, being bathed warm therewith, dispersing the Humors. It also cleanses and heals old and filthy Ulcers or Sores, and Scabbiness, being often warned therewith, as also Pustules and Wheals which break out in the Skin.

XII. The Syrup. Made of the Juice, has the Virtues of the same, but in a more peculiar manner it is good against Coughs, Colds, Wheasings, shortness of Breath, Consumptions, and other Diseases of the Brest and Lungs: dropt into the Eyes, it consumes Films, Clouds, or other things which obfuscate the Sight, and heals Sores and Ulcers in the Eyes.

XIII. The Electuary. It is made of the Pulp of the great middle Ribs of the great Leaves, boiled soft in Almond Milk, or Cows Milk, and completed with Honey. It is profitably used for such as are Hoarse or Wheeze, or are Purfie or Short-winded; being taken three, four or five times a day, as much as a Wallnut.

XIV. The Ashes. They are made of the Stalks, and are of such a drying Quality, that as Parkinson saith, they become almost Caustick: being mixed with Oil Olive, and Beef Suet, in a small proprotion, they are found to be effectual to anoint the Sides of such as have had vehement and inveterate Pains there; as also it is good for Pains in any other place, caused by the access of Melanchoick and Flatulent Humors, helping mightily to discusses and scatter them; and therefore must be very profitable against the Gout.

XV. The whole Substance. It is usually boiled in Water, or in Mutton or Beef Broth, till it is soft; and so with Butter, Vinegar, and Pepper, it is eaten as a Sallet, and for Food: and so eaten it nourishes, cleanses the Bowels, creates Seed, also Milk in nurses, helps Coughs, and Hoarsess, and restores in Consumptions, being very Stomatick (for Stomaticks are indeed the greatest restauratives.)

XVI. The Collyrium. It is made of the Juice mixed with Honey, and boiled to the thickness of a thin Syrup. Drop'd into the Eye, it clears the fight, and clears it of Clouds or Films, or any other matter which hurts it. It prevails against an Ophthalmie, and heals Sores or Ulcers of the Eye, removing, the weakness, and much strengthening the part affected.

XVII. The Seed. If it is Bruised, and mixed with a sixth part of Mustard Seed, and so drunk with Wine, it kills Worms in the Stomach or Bowels: it also expels Wind in the Bowels; and eases the pains of the Ventricle caused from Acid, or Cold and Moist Humors. Dose one dram, Morning and Evening.

Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.