Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, has been shown to be a valuable food for good health. One cup of raw cabbage contains 22 calories, zero fat and cholesterol, 32.6 mg vitamin C (54 percent of the recommended daily value), 67.6 mcg vitamin K (85 percent), and 38.3 mcg folate (10 percent). Cabbage, especially raw or short-cooked, also contains high amounts of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that are partly responsible for the vegetable’s cancer prevention benefits. Polyphenols, and other compounds found in cabbage are also responsible for treating stomach ulcers.
Raw Cabbage Juice and Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers, also called peptic ulcers, are usually the result of a breakdown in protective factors that line the stomach or small intestine.
Polyphenols, glucosinolates (and the anti-inflammatory isothiocyanates made from them), and glutamine (an amino acid-like substance) are the nutrients in cabbage juice that are believed to benefit the stomach and intestinal linings.
The isothiocyanates (ITCs) regulate the bacterial population of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This bacteria is a normal inhabitant in the stomach but when the population becomes too many, they can be a cause of stomach ulcers.
In one study involving raw cabbage juice and stomach ulcers, one liter of fresh juice per day in divided doses resulted in total healing in an average of ten days.In another study, glutamine supplementation showed impressive results. Twenty-four of fifty-seven participants took 1.6 grams of glutamine per day. The remaining participants used conventional therapy, including antacids, antispasmodics, and bland diet. Half of the glutamine participants showed complete healing within two weeks and twenty-two of the twenty-four showed complete healing within four weeks.
When buying cabbage, choose heads that are firm and dense. The leaves should be shiny, crisp, colorful, and free of bruises, blemishes, and cracks. Avoid buying precut cabbage because once it is cut, it begins to lose vitamin C content. Buying organic is best.
To prepare fresh cabbage juice, wash the cabbage under running water (even if it is organic), pat dry, and cut it into small enough pieces to fit down the juicer’s feeding chute.
Drinking large amounts of cabbage juice in one setting may cause gas and slight intestinal cramping due to the sulphur in cabbage reacting with the bacteria in the intestines.
Raw cabbage juice is a safe alternative to antacids and drugs such as Pepcid, Zantac, and Tagamet. However, stomach ulcers can lead to serious problems if not treated properly so it is important that you are monitored by a health care provider, even if you are following a natural approach.
Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (1998)
Nutrition Data: Cabbage, raw - https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2371/2
WH Foods: Cabbage - https://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=19
Image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cabbage_Estonia.jpg
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