Brassica rapa var. rapa L.

Brassica rapa var. rapa L.   

Botanical Name:        Brassica rapa var. rapa L.   Brassica rapa var. rapa L.

Kingdom:                     Plantae

Order:                           Brassicales

Family:                         Brassicaceae

Genus:                          Brassica

Local Name:                Shaljam

Sinshi Name:               Goghro

English Name:             Turnip

Parts Used:                    Roots


Brassica rapavar. rapaL. is white to purplish skinned plant. Root is globose or squircleand formed by thickening of primary root.Stems are short. Leaves are green, rosettelike, and have hairs. Flowers are bright yellow. Seed pod are beaked and elongated1,2.


B. rapa was originated in eastern and middle Asia, andgrows throughout northern temperate zoneand Mediterranean region3.

Ethanomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases


  1. Paste of Brassica rapa L. (Turnip) is mixed with oil and applied on the affected part of body for the treatment of scabies in District Nawabshah (Sindh).
  2. Paste of B. rapa is mixed with Brassica campestris L. (Mustard) oil and is used for curing scabies in District Badin (Sindh).


B. rapa is crushed and fried in Brassica campestris L. (Mustard) oil and this oil applied on the affected area for curing ringworm infection in District Badin (Sindh).

Chemical Constituents

Sulphury pungent odor is characteristic of Brassica family. Hydrolysates of glucosinolates are volatile isothiocyantes present in oil of B. rapa. Other chemical constituents from oil of B. rapaare furfural, benzaldehyde, 3-methylindole, 2-phenylethylisothiocyanate, and 3-phenylpropanenitrile4. B. rapaalso contain vitamin A and C, and riboflavin. Roots contain minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6 folate5. Isorhamnetin-3,7-O-di-β-D-glucopyranosidewas isolated from flowers. Quercetinglycosides, kaempferol, and isorhamnetinwere found in top while phenylpropanoid andmalate conjugated 5-hydroxyferulic acidwere isolated from leaves6.

Chemical Structure: 

Brassica rapa var. rapa

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies

Roots of B. rapais used against hypoxia, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and acute mountain sickness7. Leaves are good for cardiac health due to presences of vitamins.Plant is used traditionally for the treatment of hepatic disorders,stomach complain, and furuncle sore throats.It also acts as antiscorbutic, laxative,antiarthritic, resolvent, and stimulant.In Unani and Arab traditional medicine,itis prescribed in chronic gastritis, constipation, cholecystitis, and liver diseases8.

B. rapapossessed strong hepatoprotective, antineoplastic,antioxidant, antimutagenic, hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, cardiovascular, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory,and antiaging activities8,9,11. Turnips are helpful in preventing immune dysfunction, inflammation, prostate, and breast cancer10.


  3. Suwabe, K., Iketani, H., Nunome, T., Kage, T., and Hirai, M. (2002). Isolation and characterization of microsatellites in Brassica rapa Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 104(6-7), 1092-1098.
  4. Usami, A., Motooka, R., Takagi, A., Nakahashi, H., Okuno, Y., and Miyazawa, M. (2014). Chemical Composition, Aroma Evaluation, and Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of Volatile Oil Extracted from Brassica rapa“Yukina” Used in Japanese Traditional Food. Journal of Oleo Science, 63(7), 723-730.
  5. Herbst, S. T. (2001). The New Food Lover’s Companion: Comprehensive Definitions of Nearly 6,000 Food, Drink, and Culinary Terms. Barron’s Cooking Guide. Hauppauge, New York, Barron’s Educational Series. ISBN 0764112589.
  1. Abdel-Farid, I. B., Kim, H. K., Choi, Y. H., andVerpoorte, R. (2007). Metabolic characterization of Brassica rapa leaves by NMR spectroscopy. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55(19), 7936-7943.
  2. Xie, Y., Jiang, S., Su, D., Pi, N., Ma, C., andGao, P. (2010). Composition analysis and anti-hypoxia activity of polysaccharide from Brassica rapa International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 47(4), 528-533.
  4. Fu, R., Zhang, Y., Guo, Y., Peng, T., & Chen, F. (2016). Hepatoprotection using Brassica rapa rapa L. seeds and its bioactive compound, sinapinethiocyanate, for CCl 4-induced liver injury. Journal of Functional Foods, 22, 73-81.
  5. Jafarian-Dehkordi, A., Zolfaghari, B., andMirdamadi, M. (2013). The effects of chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanolic extracts of Brassica rapa on cell-mediated immune response in mice. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 8(3), 159.
  6. Mayilsamy, D., andKrishnaswamy, K. (2015). Antioxidant Status of Methanolic Extract of Brassica rapaChinensis Leaves using Mammalian Liver Slice Technique (In Vivo Simulated In Vitro Model).