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Old 07-26-2003, 08:19 PM
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ajrsmom ajrsmom is offline
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Cabbage leaves help to relieve the pain of engorgement

Several women have told me that this really does work although I didnt try it. They used it to help relieve the pain from breast engorgement after pregnancy.

Engorgement: The Cabbage Cure

Lactation consultants frequently suggest cabbage leaves to reduce swelling in moderate to severe engorgement. References to cabbage compresses for swelling and engorgement date back to the early 1800's. Cabbage compresses have been used to reduce the swelling in sprains and broken bones. Research data is sparse but published studies and anecdotal reports seem to support its value in reducing breast engorgement.

The common green cabbage (Brassica capitata) is used for engorgement therapy. Cabbage is known to contain sinigrin (allylisothiocyanate) rapine, mustard oil, magnesium, oxylate and sulphur heterosides. Herbalists believe that cabbage has both antibiotic and anti irritant properties. It is theorized that this natural mixture of ingredients helps decrease tissue congestion by dilating (opening) local capillaries (small blood vessels) improving the blood flow in the area.
Cabbage compresses should be used with other engorgement treatment routines.


In addition, cabbage compresses should not be used if the skin is broken (i.e., cracked, bleeding or blistered nipples etc...). If the skin is broken, you can place the cabbage around the breast without covering the irritated skin.

Instructions for use:

Remove the core and gently peel individual leaves away from the center of the head pulling outward. Try to avoid tearing the leaves, but it's OK if they shred a little.
Thoroughly wash the leaves.
Leaves can be chilled in the refrigerator for extra benefits.
Just before use, crush the veins with a rolling pin or similar object or slice off the tops of the "veins" with a sharp knife.
Drape one or two leaves over each breast (cover ALL the engorged tissue).
Leave on until they become wilted, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Repeat application of cabbage leaves three or four times (about every 6 to 8 hours) per 24 hours until engorgement subsides (usually 1 or 2 days). If the engorgement is severe, compresses can be used as often as every 4 hours as needed.
For the mother who is not breastfeeding, cabbage compresses can be used continuously to help dry up her milk.
Discontinue direct use immediately if skin breaks out, blisters or becomes irritated. Place the leaves so they do not touch irritated areas.

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