HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Cruciferae
Brassica oleracea L. (Italica Group)

Jie lan

Scientific names Common names
Brassica oleracea L. Brokoli (Tag.)
Brassica oleracea L. convar. botrytis (L.) Alef. var. italica f. cymosa Calabrese broccoli (Engl.)
  Green sprouting broccoli (Engl.)
Brassica oleracea L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names (White folowering broccoli)
CHINESE: Jie lan cai, Gai lan, Jie lan.
ESTONIAN: Asparkapsas.
FRENCH: Brocoli a jets.
GERMAN: Spargelkohl, Sprossenbrokkoli.
POLISH: Brokul.
SPANISH: Brócoli de yemas.

Gen info
- The genus Brassica is known for its important agricultural and horticultural crops and includes a number of weeds. Brassica species and varieties commonly used for food include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, choy sum, rutabaga, turnip, and some seeds used in the production of canola oil and condiment mustard. There are over 30 wild species and hybrids are in cultivation. (23)
- 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).

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.

• Besides glucoraphanin, which has been reported to have anticancer properties, broccoli also yields glucosinolate glucoraphanin (blood pressure and renal benefits), sulforaphane (normalize DNA methylation, antidiabetic and antimicrobial), isothiocyanate (cancer protective).
• Analysis per 100 g of fresh, raw broccoli yields: (Principle) energy 34 Kcal, carbohydrates 6.64 g, protein 2.82 g, total fat 0.37 g, cholesterol 0 mg, dietary fiber 2.60 g; (Vitamins) folates 63 µg, niacin 0.639 mg, pantothenic acid 0.573 mg, pyridoxine 0.175 mg, riboflavin 0.117 mg, thiamin A 623 IU, vitamin C 89.2 mg, vitamin E 0.17 mg, vitamin K 101.6 µg; (Electrolytes) sodium 33 mg, potassium 316 mg; (Minerals) calcium 47 mg, copper 0.049 mg, iron 0.73, magnesium 21 mg, manganese 0.210 mg, selenium 2.5 µg, zinc 0.41 mg; (Phytonutrients) carotene ß 361 µg, crypto-xanthin-ß 1 µg, lutein-zeaxanthin 1403 µg. (USDA National Nutrient Data Base) (13)
• Ethanol extract pf edible parts of stems and florets yielded carbohydrates, proteins, alkaloids, tannins, and flavonoids. (see study below) (23)
* Study of broccoli florets isolated a new intact glucosinolate Cinnamoyl derivative [6-O-trans-(4"-hydroxy-cinnamoyl)-4-(methylsulphinyl) butyl glucosinolate]. (27)

• Considered anthelmintic, cardiotonic, diuretic, laxative and stomachic.
• Leaves are cardiotonic and stomachic.
• Studies have suggested anticancer, antidiabetic, antioxidant, wound healing, hepatoprotective, and renoprotective properties.

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.

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. (3) Study showed antioxidant and glucose lowering activities in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Biologic Activities / Constituents:
(1) Studies show decreased mortality rates in radiation-exposed lab animals fed broccoli and cabbage (2) Some isothiocyanates have been shown to inhibit tumors induced by chemical carcinogens. (3) Rats fed with indole glucobrassicin showed lower incidence of chemically induced tumors (4) Studies also suggest compounds in broccoli can protect against macular degeneration. (5) Indole-3-carbinol showed preventive effects on endometrial carcinogenesis in mice. (6) Inhibitory effects of sulforaphane on H. pylori and prevents benzo-a-pyrene-induced stomach tumors. (8) 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.
Compounds found in cruciferous vegetables were found to block lung cancer progression in animal studies and tests on human lung cancer cells. (8)
Antioxidant / COPD / Smoking:
Study showed broccoli can boost antioxidants that counter chemical triggers to COPD and other negative effects of tobacco smoke. (5)
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. (2)
Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study suggests broccoli possesses hepatoprotective activity probably through it antioxidative effects on hepatocytes due to its flavonoids and sulfurated compounds. (9)
Diabetic Nephropathy Amelioration : Daily ingestion of RC polar extract ameliorates oxidative stress and ameliorates diabetic nephropathy. (9)
Antigenotoxic / Seeds: Study of seed extract of B. oleracea L. var. italica using Allium cepa root chromosomal aberration assay against ciluron herbicide showed dose dependent antigenotoxic effects.  (14)
Antibacterial / Seeds / Florets and Stems: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of broccoli (B. oleracea L. var. italica) against six food borne bacteria viz., Bacillus cereus ATCC 10876, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Salmonella typhimurium MTCC 3224 and Shigella flexneri ATCC. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were recorded against most of the pathogens with the acetone and methanol extracts. B. subtilis and B. cereus were the most sensitive organisms.
(15) Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of ethanol extracts of edible part of florets and stems of broccoli against certain human pathogenic bacteria viz. S. aureus, S. pyogenes B. subtilis, E. coli, P. aeruginosa and K. pneumonia. Results showed predominant effect against B. subtilis, and least action against K. pneumonia. (see constituents above) (23)
Free Radical Scavenging Activity: Study evaluated the antioxidant activities of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of B. oleracea L. var italica using different antioxidant tests including DPPH radical scavenging, superoxide radical scavenging, inhibition of microsomal lipid peroxidation, reduction of power, and metal iron chelating activities. The ethanolic extract showed higher antioxidant activity in DPPH radical and superoxide anion scavenging than that of the aqueous extract. B. oleracea L. var. italica is a natural source of antioxidants with potential in reducing the level of oxidative stress. (16)
Antidiabetic: Study evaluated the antidiabetic potential of B. oleracea L. var. italica in type 2 diabetic Sprague Dawley rats induced by high fat diet and streptozotocin. Metformin was used as standard antidiabetic drug. At highest dose of 800 mg/kg, there was significant attenuation in blood glucose. Results showed potential for the vegetable or its extract for control of hyperglycemia. (17)
Effect of Processing: Study evaluated the effect of processing on biochemical properties of broccoli. Steaming and drying result in an increment of sulforaphane content as well as antioxidant activity, most likely due to an increase in extractability of antioxidants and sulforaphane. Freezing and boiling diminish polyphenol concentration due to volatilization and leaching into cooking water. Optimization of broccoli processing that may help maximize the content of bioactive compounds should be investigated in greater depth. (18)
Antiproliferative / Antioxidant: Broccoli in three different stages of maturity were subjected to biofortification with selenium and evaluated for antioxidant and antiproliferative activities. Antioxidant trials showed maturattion stages fortified with selenium had significantly higher amounts of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities. Although non-polar extracts showed antiproliferative activity, the broccoli seedlings fortifed with selenium showed higher antioxidant and antiproliferative activity. with cytocidal activity for a glioma line (U251, GI50 28.5 mg/L). (19)
Effect of Boiling on Antioxidant Properties of Florets: Caffeic, ferulic, sinapinic acids and kaempferol were identified in extracts of fresh raw and frozen broccoli. Polyphenol concentration was 2.69 mg/g fresh mass and 0.96 mg/g fresh mass in fresh raw broccoli and frozen raw broccoli, respectively. Boiling significantly reduced the amounts of phenolic compounds in fresh broccoli while boiling increased polyphenol concentration in frozen broccoli by 38%. Fresh broccoli extracts neutralized free radicals by 19.87%, and boiling significantly reduced its antiradical activity to 15.06%. (20)
Anti-Helicobacter Activity // Sulforaphane / Sprouts: Study evaluated a crude methanolic extract prepared from fresh broccoli sprouts, ferulic, A chloroform extract showed greatest inhibition zone (<5cm) for Helicobacter pylori strain, followed by the hexane extract (5.03 cm). Sulforaphe and five sulforaphane-related compounds were identified in the chloroform extract, with 5-methylsulfinylpentylnitrile with highest concentration (475.7 mg/kg of fresh sprouts). Among 18 sulphoraphane and related compounds synthesized, 2 amines, 6 isothiocyanates, and 1 nitrile exhibited <5 cm inhibitory zones for the H. pylori strain. Results suggest broccoli sprouts is a potential food source for medicinal substances. (21)
Enhancement of Broccoli Indole Glucosinolates / No Effect on Prostate Carcinogenesis: Broccoli is rich in bioactive compounds like sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which may impact cancer risk. Glucosinate profile of broccoli can be manipulated by treatment with plant stress hormone methyl jasmonate (MeJa). Study evaluated the broccoli with enhanced levels of indole glucosinolate and assess its impact on prostate carcinogenesis. MeJA-treated broccoli significantly increased levels of glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, and gluconasturtin (p<0.05). While broccoli powder was ineffective at reducing prostate carcinogenesis in the TRAMP model in mice, study demonstrated the feasibility of employing plant stress hormones exogenously to stimulate changes in phytochemical profiles, which may be useful for optimizing bioactive component patterns in food for chronic disease prevention study. (22)
Immunostimulant: Study evaluated the innate immunostimulating activities of hot water extracts of various vegetables using the silkworm muscle contraction assay system. Results showed broccoli contains a strong innate immunostimulant, which comprised of galacturonic acid, galactose, glucose, arabinose, and rhamnose, with a pectic-liike polysaccharide structure. (24)
Immunomodulatory / Sulforaphane: Study evaluated the effect of sulforaphane on the immmune system using BALB/c mice. Sulforaphane at a dose of 500 mg/dose/animal/day enhanced total WBC count, increased bone marrow cellularity and number of α-esterase positive cells. Sulforaphane along with antigen, sheep RBC enhanced circulating antibody titer and number of plaque forming cells in the spleen. There was also enhancement of phagocytic activity of peritoneal macrophages. There was also significant reduction of elevated TNF production by LPS-stimulated macrophages. Results suggest imuno-modulatory activity of sulforaphane. (25)
Glucosinolates and Polyphenols in Broccoli Discards: The agrifood industry produces tons of waste and substandard products that are discarded a great expense. With broccoli, production yields greater than 25% rejects. Study characterized and quantified industrial broccoli by-products for glucosinolates and polyphenol contents. UPLC MS/MS study showed the by-products were high in glucosinolates (0.2-2% dw sample), with polyphenols at less than 0.02% dw sample. Valorization of industrial residues the production of high value functional food ingredients along with socio-economic sustainability. (26)
Antioxidant / Florets: Study evaluated water and ethanol extracts of broccoli florets for in-vitro antioxidant properties. Both extracts exhibited strong total antioxidant activity, effective reducing power, free radical scavenging. superoxide anion radical scavenging, hydrogen peroxide scavenging, and metal chelating activities. (28)
Gold and Silver Nanoparticles / Antimicrobial: Study reports on the synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles. Functional metabolites identified were phenols, alcohols, aldehydes, vitamins and proteins. The NPs inhibited the growth of tested bacterial and fungal pathogens at concentration of 50 µg/mL. (29)
Mitigation of Effects of Food Preservatives and Chemical Colorants: Study evaluated the biochemical influence of broccoli and beet extracts on selected individual additives NaNO2 or sunset yellow treated rats, in addition to expression of some antioxidant enzymes. Results showed rats co-administered with beet or broccoli extracts had significant decrease in AST, ALT, ALP, urea, total lipids and triglycerides, as well as significant increase in GSH, GSH-px and SOD enzyme activities. Study showed broccoli and beet extracts have protective effect against NaNO2 or sunset yellow treated groups. (30)
Apoptotic Role of Sulforaphane in Lung Carcinogenesis: Sulforaphane (SFN) is a naturally occurring isothiocyanate found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. Study evaluated the rehabilitating role in alleviating the oxidative damage caused by benzo(a)pyrene [B(q)P] to biomolecules and the apoptotic cascade mediated by orally administered SFN against induced pulmonary carcinogenesis in Swiss albino mice. SFN treatment decreased H2O2 production (p<0.001) in cancer-induced animals, proving its antioxidant potential. Results showed the rehabilitating role of SFN in B(a)P induced lung carcinogenesis. (31)
Effect on Role of Sulforaphane in Lung Carcinogenesis: Sulforaphane
Anti- Anxiety Effect: Study evaluated the anti anxiety activity of extracts of broccoli in experimental animals using Elevated Plus Maze (EPM), hole board and mirror chamber tests. The hydroalcoholic extract showed marked anxiolytic activity as evidenced by dose dependent increase in average time spent and frequency of entries in the open arms of the EPM. decreased latency, increased time spent and frequency of entries in the mirror chamber, increased number of head dips in the hole board test. Effects were comparable to effect by diazepam. (32)


Updated July 2021 / April 2016

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Broccoli or Brassica oleracea, vintage engraving. Old engraved illustration of a Broccoli / Image ID : 13771029 / Copyright : Patrick Guenette / 123RF / Royalty Free Stock Photos

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Protective Effects of Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) against Oxidative Damage in Vitro and in Vivo / Cho Eun Ju et al / Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology 52(6) pp.437-444 20061200 / The Vitamin Society of Japan
The Effect of Compound of Brassica Oleracea L.and Egg-white on Burn Wound Healing in Rat / Dr Gholamreza Hasanzadeh and Naser Mehdikhanloo / Journal of Sabzevar School of Medical Sciences Volume11/ Number 4/ Winter 2004-2005
Antihyperglycaemic And Antioxidant Activity Of Brassica Oleracea In Streptozotocin Diabetic Rats / Vijaykumar P Rasal et al / The Internet Journal of Pharmacology™ ISSN: 1531-2976
Evaluation of Hepatoprotective Activity of Broccoli ‘Brassica oleracea’ in Rats / Tawfeq Al-Howiriny / Hungarian Medical Journal, Mar 2008; 2(1): pp 145-156 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1556/hmj.2.2008.1.16

Broccoli can battle chronic obstructive pulmonary disease / Health and Fitness Archive Site
Northeast Ohio Health and Medical Consumer News
Brassica oleracea / Wild Cabbage / Plants For A Future
Cancer breakthrough: Medical nutrient in broccoli found to kill cancer cells / Natural News / September 18, 2006
Compounds in broccoli, cauliflower, and watercress block lung cancer progression / Medical News Today

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
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.
Broccoli, Botanical.OnLine

Brassica oleracea L. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Broccoli nutrition facts / NutritionAndYou
Antigenotoxic Effects of Brassica oleracea L. Var. Italica Aqueous Seed Extract on Allium cepa Root Chromosomal Aberration Assay / Anita Kumari, Sonia Sharma and Adarsh Pal Vig / International Journal of Genetics 2(2): 22-28, 2012 ISSN 2222-1301 / DOI: 10.5829/idosi.ijg.2012.2.2.65166
In vitro antibacterial activities of Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.var italica) against food borne bacteria / Sibi G*, Abhilasha Shukla, K. Dhananjaya, K.R. Ravikumar and H. Mallesha / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science Vol. 3 (05), pp. 100-103, May, 2013 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2013
Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Aqueous and Ethanolic Extracts of Brassica oleracea L. var italica / Abdul Mueed Budchol, A Wilfred, R Harish et al / Food and Bioprocess Technology, 2011; 4: pp 1137-1143 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11947-009-0196-9
Antidiabetic Potential of Brassica oleracea var. Italica in Type 2 Diabetic Sprague Dawley Rats / Shah MA, Sarker MMR, Gousuddin M / International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research, 2016; 8(3): pp 452-469 / ISSN: 0975-4873
An overview of health-promoting compounds of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var italica) and the effect of processing / Andrea Mahn, Alejandro Reyes / Food Science and Technology International / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1082013211433073
Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities in different maturation stages of broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica) biofortified with selenium / Patricia Bachiega, Jocelem Mastrodi Salgado, Maresa Caldeira Morzelle et al / Food Chemistry, Jan 2016; Vil 290: pp 771-776 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.06.024
Effect of hydrothermal treatment on the antioxidant properties of brocoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis italica) florets / Urszula Gawlik-Dziki et al / Food Chemistry, July 2008; 109(2): pp 393-401 /
DOI: https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2007.12.058
Analysis and Anti-Helicobacter Activity of Sulforaphane and Related Compounds Present in Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) Sprouts / Joon-Kwan Moon, Jun-Ran Kim, Young-Joon Ahn, and Takayuki Shibamoto / Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 59(11): pp 6672-6677 / https://doi.org/10.1021/jf10035
Broccoli Indole Glucosinolates by Methyl Jasmonate Treatment and Effects on Prostate Carcinogenesis / Ann G Liu, John A Juvik, John W Erdmnan Jr et al / Journal of Medicinal Food, Nov 2014:L pp 1177-1182
Antibacterial potential of ethanolic extract of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) against human pathogenic bacteria / Jayaprakash Somasundaram. Sivakumar Sivagurunathan, Mohamed Eltyepelmoobark et al / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Apr-Jun 2018; 10(2)
Structural analysis of an innate immunostimulant from broccoli, Brassica oleracea var. italica / Makoto Urai, Keiko Kataoka, Satoshi Nishida, Kazuhisa Sekimizu / Drug Discovery and Therapeutics /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5582/ddt.2017.01044
Immunomodulatory Activity of Sulforaphane, a naturally occurring isothiocyanbate from broccoli (Brassica oleracea) / P Thejass, G Kuattan et al / Phytomedicine, Aug 2007; 14(7-8): pp 538-545 /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2006.09.013
Characterization of industrial broccoli discards (Brassica oleracea var. italica) for their glucosinolate, polyphenol and flavonoid contents using UPLC MS/MS and spectrophotometric methods / Minty Thomas, Ashraf Badr, Paul Angers et al / Food Chemistry, April 2018; Vol 245: pp 1204-1211 /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.11.021
Characterization of a cinnamoyl derivative from broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) florets / Nasneen Shaik Srvay, Brajesh Kumar, Chandrama Prakash Upadhyaya, Se Won Park et al / Fitoterapia, Dec 2010; 81(8): pp 1062-1066 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2010.06.030
Evaluation of the in vitro antioxidant properties of broccoli extracts (Brassica oleracea L) / Gulcin I, Sat I G, Küfrevioglu O I / Italian Journal of Food Science, s004; 16(1): pp 17-30 /
Intracellular biosynthesis of Au and Ag nanoparticles using ethanolic extract of Brassica oleracea L and studies on their physicochemical and biological properties / Palaniselvam Kuppusamy, Solachyddin J A Ichwan, Natanamurugaraj Govindan et al / Journal of Environmental Sciences,, March 2015; Vol 29: pp 151-157 / DOI: https: //doi.org/10.1016;j.jes.2014.06.050
Biochemical and molecular studies on the possible influence of the Brassica oleracea and Beta vulgaris extracts to mitigate the effect of food preservatives and food chemical colorants on albino rats / Mohammed A A Sarhan, Ali A Shati, Fahmy G Elsaid / Saudi Joiurnal of Biological Sciences, Sept 2014; 21(4): pp 342-354 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2013.11.004
Apoptotic role of natural isothiocyanate from broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica) in experimental chemical lung carcinogenesis / D Jalpana Deepa Priya, R Gayathri, G R Gunassekaran, S Murugan, amd D Sakthisekaran / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2013; 51(3) / DOI: https:..doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2012.761242
Evaluation of Anti-Anxiety Effect of Brassica oleracea L. Extracts in Experimental Animals / Divneet Kaur, Richa Shri, Anjoo Kamboj / Pharmacognosy Journal 2017; 9(5): pp 638-643 / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2017.5.101
Brassica / Wikipedia

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL