Supplements & Herbs

Medicinal cabbage leaf poultices

Dr. Blanc on the therapeutic topical application of Brassica oleracea

by Healing Cancer Naturally, copyright © 2016

There are few remedies which are as simple and easily available, and we can say as useful, beneficial and effective in treating and healing as our cabbage is.
Nicolas Neuens (1845-1925), Luxembourgian abbé and naturopath

In the following, Healing Cancer Naturally presents translated extracts from a groundbreaking book owed to 19th-century physician Dr Anselme Blanc[1] on the medicinal, detoxifying and in fact often curative properties of cabbage leaf poultices[6]. They are included on this site to help lift another powerful folk remedy out of the undeserved obscurity it has been relegated to. As you will see, these excerpts also show that certain observations and truths in the realm of medicine are timeless indeed...

While it is known that the cabbage family has cancer-preventative effects if taken as part of a person's diet[2], its outer application will only be a subject of derision among those who ignore the details.

The below-featured translated extracts from Dr Blanc's book[1] describe how he came to discover this ancient folk remedy and how it is thought to work on a large variety of illnesses — Dr. Blanc used it on tumors as well.[5]

"Cabbage could be in the area of medicine what bread is in the area of food, a providential medicine of the poor.

Cabbage leaves contain curative virtues which are highly effective and applicable to many diseases. This I have often and regularly witnessed. Estimable persons whom I had advised the use of the leaves and who had greatly benefitted from them have strongly urged me to write a summary of the cures I was able to obtain by this crucifer and to show the reader the way to use it. They said in this manner I would render humanity a great service.

But this is not what I had planned. I wanted to present the Académie de médecine[3] with a compilation of the cures achieved using this vegetable. Since these healings involved very serious illnesses and were obtained both promptly and easily, I had hoped they would incite this learned institution to closely examine them. Such examination, by confirming my own assessment of the value of cabbage leaves, would have increased the trust in them and widened their application.

My efforts to get the Académie de médecine interested proved futile, however, so I decided to follow the advice I had been given.

May my work achieve the promised result: to be useful for those who will have the courage to make use of a plant as common as the cabbage!

Indeed, to be rare, to come from a far-away country, to carry an unknown, bizarre name, to have been analysed, processed by savant hands, to have a market value, all of these are considerations which confer excellence on a medication, and all of which the cabbage leaf is devoid of. Is there any more common plant, any plant easier to grow? And the cabbage doesn't make up for all of these flaws by its form or by the way it is applied, either.

To maintain that cabbage leaves have the power to quickly and well heal numerous serious ailments of varying types would require a boldness bordering on insanity — or to have clear facts at one's disposition which undergird this notion.

And yes, such facts abound.

I had been unaware — as is the majority of people — in what high esteem cabbage had been held in days of old, it was considered a panacea. The Romans who had no medicine used the cabbage for all their diseases. They used it as a purgative and blood-cleanser as well as in poultices. Roman soldiers bandaged their wounds with cabbage. Cato applied it as a remedy against the plague.

The Romans seem to have appointed it the guardian of their health, and thanks to it and thanks especially to their good morals and customs, they enjoyed perfect health for six hundred years... when decadence set in... the cabbage who had rendered them such great services was forgotten."

The following describes in detail how Dr Blanc was led to use cabbage leaves in the first place and how he gradually started to extend their range of application.

It was the year 1851 when Dr Blanc had to treat a large and strongly swollen leg ulcer. With the surrounding tissues equally swollen, disintegrating and forming crusts in several points, Dr Blanc thought it impossible to heal those tissues without first bringing the swelling down. To this effect, he thought of trying a poultice of meadow sage (Salvia pratensis) leaves on the ulcer (at this time, various types of poultices seem to have been commonly used in medicine).

This choice proved of little help since several days of application of the plant brought no change in the ulcer. Dr Blanc next tried replacing the sage leaves with cabbage leaves — without attaching any greater hope to them.

Half a day into this new application, however, he observed a phenomenon which both astounded and delighted him.

Under the cabbage leaf covering, the previously dry ulcer and surrounding tissues had begun to secrete large amounts of serous pus, flushing out along with the pus the impurities that had covered the ulcer.

The oozing continued as Dr Blanc kept renewing the poultice with fresh cabbage leaves. The ulcer took on a pink colour, the formerly swollen and reddish leg recovered its normal shade and proportions. Finally the ulcer closed, leaving an esthetically pleasing scar. The crucifer had gone far beyond expectations and hope; it had quickly drained both the leg and ulcer of superfluous fluids and on top had dramatically accelerated its healing.

Dr Blanc tried the same treatment on similar cases, reaping the same results.

He wondered why all the skin ulcers he saw, which at his time were refractory to all known medication — and in fact to this day are typically slow to heal[4] —, would heal so easily under a poultice of [properly prepared[6]] cabbage leaves.

Under cabbage leaves, invariably and immediately, an abundant discharge set in (which varied according to the exact nature of the disease), and this phenomenon was invariably followed by healing.

I.e., abundant discharge -> prompt improvement -> healing.

The order and constancy of these facts made Dr Blanc believe that ulcers healed in that manner were caused by a certain "vitiated agent " (this was before the time when the words "bacterium" and "bacteria" became a household name), the expulsion of which — provoked or accelerated by the crucifer — resulted in healing.

According to this fundamental principle, the effect disappears when the cause is halted. In other words, the cabbage leaf heals thanks to its affinity to the "vitiated agents" that cause maladies in the human body.

A keen observer and logical thinker, Dr Blanc gradually enlarged the range of application of cabbage leaves beyond skin ulcers and was eventually able to reap rapid and constant successes in many diverse and frequently very serious afflictions, including what appeared to be cancerous tumours.[5]

Although Dr Blanc's experiments never involved his patients with any risk or harm, he originally reaped anything but praise for his efforts both within and outside of the hospital he practised in (the Hôtel-Dieu of Romans, a commune in eastern France; he also did private consultations).

But as he writes in the fourth edition of his book: "Times have changed! It's been several years now that medicinal cabbage has been expressly cultivated in the hospital garden, and some of my very honorable confreres in the town of Romans are not afraid to state their approval of the approach by employing the precious vegetable themselves."

DOCTORS BAFFLED — "My cancer is gone!"
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1 "Notice sur les propriétés médicinales de la feuille de chou et sur son mode d'emploi" [approx.: On the medicinal properties of the cabbage leaf and how to apply it] by Dr. Anselme Blanc, 4th expanded edition, 1883. This 248-page work features many spectacular healing successes in a variety of diseases obtained thanks to cabbage leaf application including numerous desperate cases.

2 See for instance Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables & cancer risk.

3 See . At that time, the Académie de médecine must have been the highest medical institution in France.

4 See

5 Compare Medicinal cabbage leaf poultices Dr. Blanc: tumors cured (1).

6 English-language details on the proper preparation of cabbage leaves for therapeutic purposes can be found in Father Thomas Haeberle's books.

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