(From or to devour.)
Cabbage; called also crambe, brassica oleracea Lin. Sp. Pi. 932. All the species are supposed to be only varieties of the smaller kind, which grow spontaneously on our sea coasts. The white and green cabbages are called caulo rapum.
Cabbages are supposed to have a stronger tendency, to putrefaction than most other vegetable substances; chiefly because in putrefying they exhale an offensive smell, which much resembles that of putrefying animal bodies; it may therefore seem reasonable to believe that they are easily digested in our stomachs, and also very nutritious. This, however, is by no means true. All of them, says Dr. Cullen, may be considered as a supplemental provision only, and are seldom chosen by the quantity of nourishment they afford, but by the tenderness of their texture, and the fulness and sweetness of their juice. In general they are flatulent, and inconvenient in weak stomachs.
Cabbages are, however, far from being unsalutary; they neither induce nor promote a putrid disposition in the human body, but, on the contrary, are salubrious aliment in the scurvy. They loosen the belly when eaten freely, and produce much flatulency; but by-boiling they lose their laxative quality. The brassicae have great powers as antiscorbutics, and taken in largely as aliments have proved a cure for the scurvy.
The Germans make the following preparation of cabbage, to which they give the name Sauer Kraut. Sour krout.
Cut the cabbages in common use into thin slices, put them into a cask that is previously cleaned, dried, and lined in its whole inside with the sour paste called leaven; on each layer of the sliced cabbage sprinkle a small handful of salt, and press it down: when as much is put into the cask as it will contain when thus forcibly pressed, and all the liquor squeezed out of the cabbages is poured off, cover it with a clean cloth, then lay on it the loose cask head, and over it any heavy weight, that the pressure may be continued; thus, let it stand in a warm room until it ceases to ferment, and then it is fit for use. When used, boil a proper quantity for the present meal in water during two hours or.more; then, pouring off the liquor, add to it a little butter, and eat it as other vegetable substances.
If the cask is closed up when the fermentation of the cabbage is finished, this preparation will be preserved in its perfection many years, and would be a convenient part of seamen's diet, as a preservative from the scurvy.
The white sort is the most putrescible and fetid; the red is supposed to be the sweetest, most emollient, and laxative: there is, however, little difference. If the stalks of the red kind are cut longitudinally in autumn and placed in a cool shade, a laxative juice, resembling honey or manna, exudes from the incisions.
Brassica sativa. Colewort or cabbage, named also brassica capitata alba vel rubra; b. oleracea, var. '
Brassica florida. Cauliflower, called also brassica multiflora, caulis florida; b. olerac. var.
Brassica congylodes. Turnip cabbage, called also brassica caulorapa, rapocaulis, brassica coule rafium gerens; b. oleracea var.
The seeds yield, by expression, an oil which is useful for lamps, and in the woollen manufactory. After the oil is obtained, the remains are an indifferent food for cattle. In their recent state, however, sheep, and even oxen, are fed on them during winter.
Brassica capitata virescens Italica crispa. Green brocoli.
Brassica rugosa, longioribus foliis. Brown brocoli. These are varieties of the brassica of little importance, chiefly belonging to the b. oleracea botritis; var. .
Brassica eruca. See Eruca
Brassica Italica tenerrima glomerosa flore albo. Tabaude. The Savoy cabbage.
Brassica oleracea arvensis; from whose seed the oil styled calsa is expressed. B. rapa is the turnip. See Rapa.
Brassica maritima, called also soldanella maritima minor, convolvulus maritimus minor, maritimus nostras. Sea bindweed, sea coleworts, and Scotch scurvy grass. The convolvulus soldalenna Lin. Sp. Pi. 226. It grows wild on the sea coast in the north and south of England, and flowers in June. The leaves arc a violent cathartic; and this quality resides in the milky juice which -exudes upon wounding them. A decoction of the dried leaves, from 3 ss. to 3 iij. is a dose.
Brassica Brasiliana. Caspar Bauhine. Arum esculentum.