Cabbage juice outperforms standard medical treatment for healing peptic ulcers, study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) In the United States, a whopping 4.5 million Americans (per year) are affected by peptic ulcers – lesions that develop in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. And, while Western medicine tends to treat peptic ulcers with an array of drugs – including antibiotics and antacids – these drugs can cause serious side effects. So, what does cabbage juice have to do with all of this?
You may be surprised to discover a natural therapy – from nearly 70 years ago – which can offer a drug-free solution for those suffering. In fact, as early as 1950, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine was conducting studies supporting the ability of cabbage juice to heal peptic ulcers naturally and safely.
The physician, Dr. Garnett Cheney, had discovered that fresh cabbage juice contains a potent anti-ulcer factor – which he dubbed “vitamin U” (for “ulcer”). Now, recent research has shed new light on the humble cabbage’s impressive arsenal of disease-fighting phytochemicals – and on the identity of “vitamin U.”
Interesting study: Cabbage juice helps to speed up the healing process
By 1950, Dr. Cheney was aware of research showing that cabbage juice could prevent the development of laboratory-induced ulcers in animals. But, he wondered, could it promote the healing of existing ulcers in humans?
He found that it could. In Dr. Cheney’s small but impressive study, cabbage juice emphatically outperformed the standard medical treatment of the time.
Thirteen peptic ulcer patients – seven with duodenal ulcers and six with gastric ulcers – were treated with a quart of fresh cabbage juice a day. Duodenal ulcers are located in the upper portion of the small intestine, while gastric ulcers form in the stomach.
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The healing time for duodenal ulcer craters in the cabbage juice group averaged ten days – while published literature on duodenal patients treated with standard therapy recorded healing time at an average of 37 days.
And the healing time for gastric ulcer patients in the cabbage juice group was seven days – compared to 42 days for patients treated with standard medical therapy (consisting of a bland diet, antispasmodics and sedation).
In other words, the cabbage juice promoted healing of ulcer lesions within a week to a week-and-a-half, while healing time in conventional treatment averaged five to six weeks. So, you can easily see why Dr. Cheney was so heartened by the results!
Important to note: A second clinical study involving 100 patients and published in Journal of the California Medical Association also showed accelerated healing of ulcers – as did a third, placebo-controlled study conducted at San Quentin Prison.
But why was this simple remedy so effective?
Cabbage compounds constitute a “dream team” of stomach-soothing, ulcer-healing compounds
One secret of cabbage juice’s healing powers is its content of a pair of amino acids, glutamine and methionine.
In fact, a form of methionine called methionine S-methyl sulfonium, or MMS, is believed to be the “vitamin U” of which Dr. Cheney spoke.
MMS has been shown to stimulate the production of protective mucous – and has potent antioxidant abilities that allow it to ward off tissue-damaging oxidative stress. And studies have shown that MMS supports stomach healing after exposure to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – which are notoriously damaging to stomach lining.
As for glutamine, it is a natural antacid that is strong enough to rival the effect of commercial acid-reducing medications. And allantoin, another cabbage constituent, has stomach-soothing effects as well.
But cabbage juice’s “master stroke” against ulcers is probably its high levels of compounds called glucosinolates – which have the effect of suppressing the H. pylori bacterium. Significantly, scientists report that this common bacterium is responsible for 70 to 90 percent of all ulcers.
The remainder of peptic ulcers is believed to be caused by exposure to medications – particularly NSAIDs.
Cabbage juice offers a wide range of important micronutrients and disease-fighting benefits
Cabbage, scientifically known as Brassica oleracea, is a true superfood – chock full of beneficial plant compounds. Its juice is rich in vitamin K, which is needed for both normal blood clotting and efficient wound healing.
Cabbage juice is also a good source of the essential minerals magnesium and potassium, and is surprisingly high in antioxidant vitamin C. In fact, a single cup of shredded cabbage provides up to a third of the RDA.
In addition, fresh cabbage and cabbage juice are also excellent sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, a pair of carotenoids which help to protect against macular degeneration.
And, cabbage juice is also high in manganese, a mineral needed for proper nervous system function. Yet a cup of cabbage juice contains a modest 22 calories – and virtually no fat.
Bonus benefit: Research is revealing an ever-growing roster of benefits from the phytochemicals in cabbage
In addition to its antibacterial effects, sulforaphane in cabbage has been shown to protect against cancer – and to help alleviate damage from radiation therapy.
And researchers at the University of Missouri recently found that apigenin – a cabbage flavonoid also found in celery – slowed the growth of breast cancer tumors.
To ramp up disease-fighting benefits even further, experts advise opting for juice from red cabbages. These contain anthocyanins, natural plant pigments with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to protect against cancer and heart disease.
Note: if you think cabbage juice is for you, check first with your integrative doctor before using it. And, naturally, don’t attempt to treat peptic ulcers – or any other medical condition – unless supervised by a doctor.
When it comes to implementing the cabbage juice remedy, things couldn’t be much simpler. Natural health experts advise sipping the fresh juice from one-half to one head of fresh, raw organic cabbage several times a day before meals.
Remember: you can “spike” your cabbage juice with carrot or apple juice to add flavor and color. Of course, if the taste is still a dealbreaker, cabbage supplements are available in tablet form.
Just remember: As Dr. Cheney demonstrated seven decades ago, cabbage juice is powerful (natural) therapy worth adding to your routine.
Sources for this article include: