Why Cabbage Leaves for Mastitis

Cabbage: A Natural Remedy for Mastitis

Mastitis, a common breast infection that affects breastfeeding women, can cause significant discomfort, pain, and even fever. While conventional medical treatments are available, many women seek natural remedies to alleviate symptoms and promote healing. One such remedy that has gained popularity is the use of cabbage leaves.

Benefits of Cabbage Leaves for Mastitis

Cabbage leaves have been traditionally used to treat mastitis due to their purported anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and pain-relieving properties. Some of the key benefits attributed to cabbage leaves include:

1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties:

Cabbage contains compounds like sulforaphane and anthocyanins, known for their anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the breast tissue, contributing to pain relief and faster healing.

2. Antimicrobial Activity:

Certain compounds in cabbage leaves possess antimicrobial properties that may help combat the bacteria that cause mastitis. This can potentially inhibit the growth and spread of infection, promoting healing.

3. Pain Relief:

The cooling effect of cabbage leaves can provide soothing relief from breast pain associated with mastitis. Additionally, some studies suggest that cabbage leaves may contain compounds that have mild analgesic properties.

4. Improved Milk Flow:

Cabbage leaves are believed to aid in maintaining milk flow by preventing breast engorgement. Engorgement, a common symptom of mastitis, can aggravate the infection and cause further discomfort.

How to Use Cabbage Leaves for Mastitis

Using cabbage leaves for mastitis is relatively simple and straightforward. Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Select and Prepare the Cabbage Leaves:

Choose fresh, crisp cabbage leaves. Remove the tough outer leaves and wash the remaining leaves thoroughly.

2. Chill the Cabbage Leaves:

Place the washed cabbage leaves in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill. The cold temperature can enhance their soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Apply the Cabbage Leaves:

Gently place the chilled cabbage leaves directly onto the affected breast, ensuring they cover the entire breast area. Secure the leaves using a bra or a piece of cloth.

4. Leave the Cabbage Leaves in Place:

Allow the cabbage leaves to remain in place for approximately 20-30 minutes or as long as they feel comfortable. You can repeat this process several times a day, as needed.

Precautions and Considerations

While cabbage leaves are generally safe and well-tolerated, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:

1. Avoid Overuse:

Using cabbage leaves excessively may lead to skin irritation or discomfort. It’s best to limit their use to a few times daily and remove them if they cause any adverse reactions.

2. Cleanliness:

Ensure that the cabbage leaves are thoroughly washed and chilled before use to minimize the risk of contamination.

3. Seek Medical Attention:

If mastitis symptoms persist or worsen, consult a healthcare provider promptly. While cabbage leaves can provide relief, they should not replace professional medical care if the infection is severe or does not improve.


Cabbage leaves have been traditionally used as a natural remedy for mastitis, offering potential benefits such as reducing inflammation, providing pain relief, and aiding in milk flow. While cabbage leaves can be a helpful adjunct to conventional treatment, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management of mastitis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How often can I use cabbage leaves for mastitis?

You can use cabbage leaves several times a day, as needed. However, avoid excessive use to prevent skin irritation.

2. Can I use cabbage leaves if I’m not breastfeeding?

While cabbage leaves are commonly used for mastitis in breastfeeding women, they may also provide relief for breast pain or inflammation in non-breastfeeding women. Consult a healthcare provider for guidance.

3. Are there any risks associated with using cabbage leaves for mastitis?

Cabbage leaves are generally safe, but excessive use may cause skin irritation. Additionally, if mastitis symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly.

4. What other natural remedies can I try for mastitis?

Some other natural remedies that may help alleviate mastitis symptoms include warm compresses, massage, and maintaining proper hydration. It’s always advisable to discuss these remedies with a healthcare provider before use.

5. When should I seek medical attention for mastitis?

Seek medical attention if mastitis symptoms persist or worsen, if you experience fever, or if you notice any changes in breast appearance or discharge. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for managing mastitis effectively.



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