African Cabbage, Ethiopian Cabbage


Ethiopian Cabbage or Brassica abyssinicum is an ancient strain of open leaf cabbage that is hardy and prolific. You can eat the whole plant or leaf by leaf.Ethiopian Cabbage is a beautiful large open leafed cabbage that grows to a height of about 1.5m and a width of about 1m with small yellow flowers. It is related to Kale and the Collard Green eaten in America’s deep south and is very ancient in origin.The great thing about this annual vegetable is it’s hardiness. It will self seed and thrive in many climates and soils and is high in nutrients. It can be picked on leaf at a time or the whole plant can be eaten at one sitting. It has a mustardy flavour and could be classified as a bitter green.

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Typically, the leaves and shoots are eaten boiled or in stews. The leaves form an important part of diets in Southern Africa, while in Thailand the leaves are a popular food item fermented with rice water as a pickle known as phak sian dong.

Nutritional analyses have found it to be high in certain nutrients including beta-carotene, folic acid, ascorbic acid and calcium. It also contains vitamin E, iron, and oxalic acid. Generally, the leaves are about 4.0% protein. The leaves also have antioxidative properties that can help with inflammatory diseases.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is sometimes used as a medicinal herb.


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