Brassica oleraceae or What is Kohlrabi?


The Brassica genus belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It consists of a total of 37 species and is the most important economically valued genus (1). Kohlrabi (Brassica oleraceae var. gongylodes L.) is a fast-growing cool-season vegetable crop. It is grown primarily for its enlarged stem that is rich in nutritional components, especially with respect to vitamin C and potassium. The enlarged stem of the plant can be eaten raw, cooked, or preserved, while its young leaves can be used for salads or cooked like spinach (2). Leaves are bitter used in stomach ache, cardiotonic, application in gout, and rheumatism. Seeds are diuretics, and laxatives. The following article is all about what is kohlrabi, how to take care of, and their medicinal properties.

What is Kolrabi?

Botanical description

Common name: Kohlrabi

Scientific name: Brassica oleraceae var. gongylodes L.

Family: Brassicaceae

Varieties: It exists in two varieties viz. white Vienna and purple Vienna

Appearance: White Vienna is globular, light green, smooth, tender medium-sized knobs. Purple Vienna is having a purplish knob and the flesh is greenish-white.

Growing season: Cool seasonal crop.

When to harvest: When the swollen stems reach a diameter of 5-7 cm the plant is pulled out.

Propagation and care

This plant requires full sunlight with medium water for irrigation. The maintenance is generally low and is an annual vegetable. Kohlrabi grows well in organically rich, moist soil with low water holding capacity.

Kohlrabi is grown mainly during spring or fall when the temperature is low or cool. This vegetable is pulled out from the ground when it reaches about 2-3 inches across as up to this height this remains tender and sweet. But if we leave this plant to grow it gradually becomes tough and woody up to 12 inches tall and wide (3).

Potential pest problems

Aphids, cabbage loopers, cabbageworm, cutworms.


Downy mildew and soft rot (3).

Medicinal properties

1. Antioxidant properties

The kohlrabi juice both purple and white is having potent antioxidant activity because of its total phenolic content (4).

2. A high amount of vitamin C

Kohlrabi helps individuals to stay healthy by scavenging free radicals as it provides a high amount of vitamin C (5).

3. Effective against colon cancer

It helps in protection against colon and prostate cancer by providing the body with precious phytochemicals including isothiocyanates (6), sulforaphane (7), and indole-3-carbinol (8).


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