After some hesitation, I’ve started to drink fermented cabbage juice. I know that may sound somewhat vile, but it actually tastes very good and is an incredibly powerful food. Vitamin U is the compound in cabbage juice that has tremendous healing properties. Much like Dr. Price’s X Factor (identified as vitamin K2), Vitamin U has since been identified as S methylmethionine (SMM). There are many reasons to drink fermented cabbage juice. It’s something to get excited about!
Reasons to Love Cabbage Juice
Some of these reasons include:
- Protection against cancer
- Effective against Candida Albicans
- Effective for ulcers
- Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties
Cabbage juice and cabbage leaves are folk remedies for all sorts of things. The leaves were used as poultices for reducing inflammation.
Nutrients in cabbage juice
Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C. It also contains significant amounts of glutamine, an amino acid found in great abundance in the intestine, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
It is a source of indole-3-carbinol, or I3C, which is converted to DIM in the intestine. Indole-3-carbinol is also a powerful antioxidant that supports liver detoxification and speeds up the breakdown of estrogen.
Fermented cabbage juice is a superlative healing food
Taking the healing properties of raw cabbage juice one step further, the process of fermenting the cabbage juice adds to it’s tremendous healing powers by adding billions of beneficial bacteria, enzymes, vitamins and minerals produced by the microflora.
It supports liver detoxification, so it’s very appropriate to use in this Detox Challenge. It is also used in the very beginning stages of the GAPS Intro. Fermented cabbage juice is loaded with beneficial bacteria and nutrients that are pre-digested. These nutrients are so easy to digest, people with very serious intestinal disorders can tolerate it.
It may seem intimidating at first but it really is as easy as making kefir or kombucha. Once you get the hang of it and know how it should taste — you’re good to go.
Fermented Cabbage Juice
- 3 cups of organic green cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 3/4 cups of filtered or distilled water (just be sure the water has no chlorine by boiling for 30 minutes or leaving it out for 24 hours)
- You may also add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon culture starter but this is optional — it will culture without these — however the salt does make it taste good
- A blender
- A quart jar and lid
- Fill the blender with chopped cabbage
- Add 1 3/4 cups of water
- Blend carefully by starting at low speed and then to high for 10 seconds or less — you don’t want puree, you want small pieces
- Pour blended mixture in the jar making sure it is at least 1 inch from the top for expansion
- Cover the jar securely with the lid
- Let mixture stand at room temperature for 3 days (around 72 degrees F)
- After 3 days strain to separate juice and pulp
- Place fermented cabbage juice in the refrigerator
- When the supply gets low, (or immediately after the first ferment is ready to drink) start a new batch by using the same procedure but adding ½ cup of the previous batch of fermented juice to 1 1/2 cups water and 3 cups of cabbage blended as above
- The second batch will only have to stand at room temperature for 24 hours before being ready, because of the starter added — then refrigerate
Drink 1/2 cup of this solution diluted with an equal part of water 2 or 3 times each day and you will realize the vitamin enriched, curative powers of fermented cabbage juice.
As with any fermented food, work your way up very slowly to the desired amount. You might start with just a tablespoon of the juice at each meal. This will help with digestion. Add one or two tablespoons of the juice to broth that has been cooled off. It adds nutrients and an interesting dimension to the flavor.
Note: Cruciferous vegetables (known as goitrogens) should never be eaten raw, because of the displacement of iodine and the potential effect on the thyroid. Cooking decreases the negative effects, but it is not clear how fermenting the juice affects it — some articles reference that fermenting soy actually increases the goitrogenic effects of that particular food.
If you suffer from any thyroid condition you would want to consult your health care provider before proceeding with regular use of fermented cabbage juice, especially in the amounts indicated above.
Note: You may actually ferment the cabbage for more than 3 days. I have left it (just forgot about it) for 2 weeks and it was fine — good actually. Although some companies ferment their cabbage and other vegetables for 2 weeks, others ferment for 2 months in order to achieve what they call a full ferment. There is a lot of microbiology involved in fermentation and many people have various opinions about how long to ferment.
Purchasing fermented juices
The key to good health is a healthy microbiome. You may be shocked (or surprised) to find out that there are 10 times that amount of bacterial DNA in each and every one of us.
That makes us more microbe than human. Perhaps we are just walking containers for the bacteria – many of whom are essential to human life.
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These recipes are suitable for Paleo, SCD, GAPS and all grain free eaters.
If you just can’t tolerate grains of any kind you may want to check out my online class: Go Grain Free!