Family • Cruciferae - Brassica oleracea L. (Alboglabra Group) - Broccoli - Jie lan

Scientific names

Brassica oleracea Linn.
Brassica sykvestris (L.) Mill.

Common names

Wild cabbage
Headless cabbage
Chinese broccoli (Engl.)
White flowering broccoli (Engl.)
Jie lan (Chin.)

Other vernacular names (White folowering broccoli)

CHINESE: Jie lan cai, Gai lan.
FRENCH: Broccoli de Chine, Chou de Chine à fleurs blanches.
GERMAN: Chinesischer Brokkoli.
KHMER: Spéi sââ.
MALAY: Kailan.
SPANISH: Bróculi chino.
THAI: Phak khana.

Gen info
Broccoli is an edible green plant belonging to the cabbage family, classified in the cultivar group of species Brassica oleracea. It has been used by ancient Greeks and Romans as food. It was introduced in Europe by Italy in the 16th century.


Types are classified according to general appearance (Calabrian with large green heads and tender, green, thick stalks; Broccoli type, with smaller but more numerous heads, hard, white or red;Romanesque, green with yellow heads formed by conical protuberances; and Purple type, cauliflower-like, mainly grown in Spain and the UK), color of flower heads (white, green, or violet), and production time (early, late, or intermediate sprouting).

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Evaluation of Hepatoprotective Activity of Broccoli ‘Brassica oleracea’ in Rats / Tawfeq Al-Howiriny / Hungarian Medical Journal • Vol 2 No 1 • Mar 2008 / 10.1556/HMJ.2.2008.1.16

(2) Broccoli can battle chronic obstructive pulmonary disease / Health and Fitness Archive Site
Northeast Ohio Health and Medical Consumer News

(3) Brassica oleracea / Wild Cabbage / Plants For A Future

(4) Cancer breakthrough: Medical nutrient in broccoli found to kill cancer cells / Natural News / September 18, 2006

(5) Compounds in broccoli, cauliflower, and watercress block lung cancer progression / Medical News Today

(6) Red Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) Ameliorates Diabetic Nephropathy in Rats / Hazem A H Kataya and AlaaEldin A Hamza / Oxford Journals Medicine Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. MedicineeCAM Advance Access10.1093/ecam/nem029

(7) Sorting Brassica names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(8) BroccoliBotanical.OnLine

Broccoli is a headless member of the cabbage family. The flowers are numerous in compact clusters. Stems come up from the roots and surrounded by leaves. Flower heads are usually green. Inflorescence acquire a conical shape. Unlike cauliflower which forms a central inflorescence, broccoli develops a central inflorescence and surrounded by many others. Leaves are grayish-green, with waxy deep lobes, and petioles with elongated limbs.

Cultivated, especially in the Baguio area.

Parts used
Flowers and leaves.

• Phytochemicals: Glucosinolates, dithiolthiones, indoles, glucoraphanin, S-methyl cysteine sulfoxide, isothiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol.
• High in antioxidant and anticancer compounds.

• Considered anthelmintic, cardiotonic, diuretic, laxative and stomachic.
• Leaves are cardiotonic and stomachic.


Edibility / Nutrition
– Immature flowers and thick stems are usually eaten.
– Good source of vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C and minerals.
– High in dietary fiber.
– Good for anemia because of abundant iron content.
– Externally used for gout and rheumatism.
– Decoction of flowers are carminative, emollient, diuretic.
– Poultice of leaves used for cleaning infected wounds – midrib removed, leaf ironed and placed on wound while hot.
– Used for gastrointestinal maladies.
– Both leaves and flowers are used for scurvy and xerophthalmia.

Study Findings
• Antioxidative / Anti-Diabetic: Study on the antioxidative effect and protective potential against diabetes in both in vitro and diabetic rat model showed an antioxidative effect and protection against diabetic-induced oxidative stress in an in-vivo model. Study showed antioxidant and glucose lowering activities in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
• Biologic Activities / Constituents: Studies show decreased mortality rates in radiation-exposed lab animals fed broccoli and cabbage Some isothiocyanates have been shown to inhibit tumors induced by chemical carcinogens. Rats fed with indole glucobrassicin showed lower incidence of chemically induced tumors Studies also suggest compounds in broccoli can protect against macular degeneration. Indole-3-carbinol showed preventive effects on endometrial carcinogenesis in mice. Inhibitory effects of sulforaphane on H. pylori and prevents benzo-a-pyrene-induced stomach tumors. Cancer cells with a lot of Bcl-2 has increased resistance to chemotherapy drugs. Study showed that Bcl-2 can not protect cancer cells against vegetable photochemical isothiocyanates.
• Anti-cancer: Compounds found in cruciferous vegetables were found to block lung cancer progression in animal studies and tests on human lung cancer cells.
• Antioxidant / COPD/ Smoking: Study showed broccoli can boost antioxidants that counter chemical triggers to COPD and other negative effects of tobacco smoke.
• Antioxidative: Study on the antioxidative effect and protective potential against diabetes in both in vitro and diabetic rat model showed an antioxidative effect and protection against diabetic-induced oxidative stress in an in-vivo model.
• Wound Healing: Administration of topical cabbage extract and egg while once a day in second degree burn wounds showed enhancement of healing. Results were comparable to silver sulfadiazine group.
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study suggests broccoli possesses hepatoprotective activity probably through it antioxidative effects on hepatocytes due to its flavonoids and sulfurated compounds.
• Diabetic Nephropathy Amelioration : Daily ingestion of RC polar extract ameliorates oxidative stress and ameliorates diabetic nephropathy.