Scientific Names of Broccoli:    

Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis L. [Fam. Brassicaceae]


Fresh, whole broccoli; freeze-dried, powdered broccoli

Traditional Usage:    

– Anti-aging
– Antioxidant
– Blood Purifier
– Bone and Joint Conditions
– Breathing Problems
– Cellular Regeneration
– Cleansing
– Colon Disease
– Detoxifying
– Digestive Disorders
– Eyesight Disorders
– Graves’ Disease
– Lung Disease
– Respiratory Diseases
– Stomach Disease
– Vascular Disorders
– Vitamin Deficiencies


Broccoli, Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis L. [Fam. Brassicaceae], is a variety of the cabbage species, closely related to cauliflower. Broccoli is a superior food medicine containing high levels of fiber, provitamin A carotenoids, vitamins C and K, antioxidants and anticancer constituents. Based on epidemiological studies, broccoli and other Brassicaceae vegetables prevent the development of cancer more effectively than any other common food. An Italian study showed “striking” protection from frequent consumption of dark green vegetables like broccoli against cancer risk, attributed to antioxidants including beta-carotene, folic acid and lutein. Broccoli and other crucifers also contain specific indoles that activate enzymes in the body that deactivate and dispose of dangerously reactive forms of estrogen thereby reducing the risk of cancer. Estrogen is a known promoter of breast cancer; thus, women should try to lower circulating estrogen by consuming cruciferous vegetables. Indole-3-carbinol accelerates the deactivation of dangerous estrogens in women and men by about 50% at 500mg per day (equivalent to approximately fourteen ounces of raw broccoli) and also stimulates enzymes that convert reactive estrogens to inert forms. Women with elevated estrogen metabolism have significantly lower risk of breast, uterine and endometrial cancer. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are also a rich source of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that induce detoxification enzymes, boost antioxidant status, and protect against chemically induced cancer. Sulforaphanes and other isothiocyanates powerfully induce quinone reductase and glutathione-S-transferase enzymes that detoxify carcinogens and flush them from the body. These compounds particularly protect the stomach, colon and lungs from cancer, and reduce the severity of tumors that do occur. Broccoli also contains glucaric acid. It has been shown that feeding rats dietary glucarate after treatment with a carcinogen inhibits tumor development by over 70%, attributed to the inhibition of tumor promotion by lowering endogenous levels of estradiol and precursors of 17-ketosteroids.

Active Ingredients:    

Broccoli contains: Mustard oil glycosides including 0.007-0.2% glucosinolates; acetone; allyl-isothiocyanate; alpha-amyrin; beta-amyrin; 0.1-.1.0% ascorbic acid; 0.3-10.2% ash; boron; bromine; cadmium; caffeic acid; 0.03-5.4% calcium; 5.2-56.3% carbohydrates; alpha and beta-carotene; chlorogenic acid; chlorophyll; chromium; cinnamic acid; citric acid; cobalt; copper; p-coumaric acid; 1-O-P-coumaroyl-beta-D-glucose; beta-cryptoxanthin; 3,3′-diindoyl-methane; dimethyl-disulfide; ethanol; 0.3-4.1% fat; ferulic acid; trans-ferulic acid; 1-O-feruloyl-beta-D-glucose; 1.1-12.3% fiber; fluorine; folacin; fumaric acid; 1.12-1.73 mg/100 g  glucaric acid; glucobrassicin; glucoerucin; glucoiberin; gluconapoleiferin; gluconasturtiin; glucoraphanin; hex-cis-3-en-1-ol; hex-cis-3-enol-acetate; hexyl-acetate; p-hydroxybenzoic acid; 4-hydroxyglucobrassicin; indole-3-acetonitrile; indole-3-carbinol; indole-3-carboxylic acid; kaempferol; lead; 0.04-0.4% linoleic acid; 0.1-1.4% alpha-linolenic acid; malic acid; mercury; methanol; Methionine; 1-, 4- and 5-methoxy-glucobrassicin; 4-methyl-indol-3-yl-methyl-glucosinolate; 24-methylene-cycloartenol;  N-methyl-beta-phenethylamine; 1-methoxy-indole-3-carbaldehyde; molybdenum; neoglucobrassicin; nickel; 0.7-7.2% nitrogen; niacin; oleic acid; 0.2-2.0 % oxalate; Palmitic acid; pantothenic acid; pentan-3-one; penten-1-ol; phenethyl-isothiocyanate; phytic acid; phytosterols; progoitrin; 2.9-33.1% protein; quercetin; quinic acid; rubidium; rutin; salicylic acid; sec-butyl-isothiocyanate; silicon; sinapic acid; 1-O-sinapoyl-beta-D-glucose; sinigrin; beta-sitosterol; squalene; stearic acid; stigmasterol; succinic acid; 0.1-1.2% sulphur; alpha-tocopherol; vanillic acid; 89-91% water. [Information from: Duke JA. 1992. Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 101-102].

Fresh broccoli contains: Water 90.7%; Protein 3.0%; Total lipid (fat) 0.35%; Carbohydrate, by difference 5.2%; Fiber, total dietary 3.0%; Ash 0.9%. Minerals: Calcium, 48mg/100g; Iron, 0.9mg/100g; Magnesium, 25mg/100g; Phosphorus, 66 mg/100g; Potassium, 325mg/100g; Sodium, 27mg/100g; Zinc, 0.4mg/100g; Copper, 0.04 mg/100g; Manganese, 0.2 mg/100g; Selenium, Se 3.0mcg/100g; Vitamin C, 93.2mg/100g; Thiamin 0.06 mg/100g; Riboflavin 0.12 mg/100g; Niacin 0.64 mg/100g; Pantothenic acid 0.54 mg/100g; Vitamin B-6 0.16 mg/100g; Folate, 71 mcg/100g; Vitamin A, 1542 IU; Vitamin A, RE 154mcg; Vitamin E (ate) 1.7mg/100g. Lipids: Fatty acids, total saturated 0.05g; Total monounsaturated 0.02g; Total polyunsaturated 0.17g. Amino acids: Tryptophan 0.03g; Threonine 0.09g; Isoleucine 0.11g; Leucine 0.13g; Lysine 0.14g; Methionine 0.03g; Cystine 0.02g; Phenylalanine 0.08g; Tyrosine 0.06g; Valine 0.13g; Arginine 0.14g; Histidine 0.05g; Alanine 0.12g; Aspartic acid 0.2g; Glutamic acid 0.38g; Glycine 0.10g; Proline 0.11g; Serine 0.10g. [USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 14 (July 2001)]

Suggested Amount:    

Broccoli is generally eaten liberally as a food and is included in the diet as needed according to nutritional requirements. In tests on women and men, indoles “turned up” the estrogen deactivation process by about 50% with 500mg per day, which can be taken using standardized extracts or by eating approximately fourteen ounces of raw or lightly cooked broccoli daily (levels of active ingredients may vary between crops and seasons). Taking 250mg of a 400:1 standardized extract containing 0.4mg/g sulforaphane is equivalent to one serving (100 grams) of fresh broccoli. Note: Studies show that glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinase (an enzyme found in plants and bowel microflora) to form isothiocyanates. These studies indicate that isothiocyanates are about six times more bioavailable than glucosinolates, which must first be hydrolyzed. In vivo, isothiocyanates are conjugated with glutathione and then sequentially metabolized to mercapturic acids. These metabolites are collectively designated dithiocarbamates. Thorough chewing of fresh broccoli exposes the glucosinolates to plant myrosinase and significantly increases dithiocarbamate excretion. These findings will assist in optimizing the benefits of broccoli for preventing disease.

Drug Interactions:    

None known.


None known.

Side Effects:    

None known.


Dwivedi C, Heck WJ, Downie AA, Larroya S, Webb TE. 1990. Effect of calcium glucarate on beta-glucuronidase activity and glucarate content of certain vegetables and fruits. Biochem Med Metab Biol. 1990 Apr; 43(2): 83-92.

Michnovicz, J. J. 1990. Induction of estradiol metabolism by dietary indole-3-carbinol in humans. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 82(11): 947-949.

Osborne MP. 1999. Chemoprevention of breast cancer. Surg Clin North Am 1999 Oct; 79(5): 1207-21.

Shapiro TA, Fahey JW, Wade KL, Stephenson KK, Talalay P. 2001. Chemoprotective glucosinolates and isothiocyanates of broccoli sprouts: metabolism and excretion in humans. Carcinogenesis 2001 Sep; 22(9): 1413-20; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2001 May; 10(5): 501-8.

Walaszek Z, Hanausek-Walaszek M, Minton JP, Webb TE. 1986. Dietary glucarate as anti-promoter of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced mammary tumorigenesis. Carcinogenesis 1986 Sep; 7(9): 1463-6.