Scientific Name/Common Name: Brassica oleracea var. acephala / Kale
Part(s) Used: Leaf
Constituents/Active Ingredients: A 100 g serving of kale is a rich source (20% or more of the RDI) of vitamin A (500 mcg), as well as lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids, vitamin C (120 mg), vitamin K (705 mcg), vitamin B6 (0.27 mg), folate (141 mcg), manganese (0.66 mg). It’s also a good source of vitamin B1 (0.11 mg), B2 (0.13 mg), and B5 (0.9 mg), vitamin E (1.54 mg), and the minerals calcium (150 mg), iron (1.5 mg), potassium (491 mg), and phosphorous (92 mg).
Overview: Kale is a hardy biennial variety of cabbage. Kale is a highly nutritious food containing fiber, provitamin A carotenoids, vitamins C and K, minerals, antioxidants, and compounds known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are sulphur compounds that yield sulforaphane during digestion. Based on a vast number of epidemiological studies, Brassicaceae vegetables, including kale, are associated with preventing the development of abnormal growths more effectively than any other common foods. Kale and other Brassicaceae plants including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, collard greens, bok choy, and turnips contain specific indoles that activate enzymes in the body that deactivate and dispose of dangerously reactive forms of estrogen thereby reducing the risk of abnormal growths.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Kale is recently making a resurgence in popularity as a highly nutritious vegetable. Traditionally it was grown as a hardy winter vegetable throughout Europe.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Gupta P, Wright SE, Kim SH, Srivastava SK. Phenethyl isothiocyanate: a comprehensive review of anti-cancer mechanisms. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Dec;1846(2):405-24. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Aug 23. Review.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.