Research conducted by Dr. Garnett Cheney of the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that treating peptic ulcers with cabbage juice promotes faster healing than conventional medical treatments.
As early as the 1950’s, Cheney was conducting studies on cabbage juice to explore its potential as a natural remedy for peptic ulcers. He discovered that a specific compound in cabbage, which he named “vitamin U,” promotes the natural healing of peptic ulcers.
Now, many studies support Cheney’s claims about the healing properties of cabbage. However, recent reports indicate that it is not just one, but several compounds found in the humble cabbage that make it and its juice an effective natural treatment for peptic ulcers.
Cabbage juice helps ulcers heal faster than modern drugs
A peptic ulcer refers to open sores that form in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. It usually develops due to a bacterial infection, although in some cases it is caused by too much painkillers and other medications.
There are three types of peptic ulcers: stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and esophageal ulcers. Gastric ulcers are located in the stomach, while duodenal and esophageal ulcers are located in the duodenum and esophagus, respectively. These ulcers are treated with prescription medications including antibiotics. However, these drugs have unwanted side effects.
In his study, Cheney looked at how patients with peptic ulcers responded to cabbage juice treatment. Previous studies on guinea pigs have shown that both fresh whole cabbage and cabbage juice are effective in preventing peptic ulcers from forming.
Cheney recruited 13 patients for his experiment. Seven of them had duodenal ulcers and five had stomach ulcers. Only one patient developed an ulcer in another part of the small intestine called the jejunum.
Cheney asked the patients to drink about a liter of cabbage juice each day. They also underwent X-ray examinations before treatment and after six and nine days of treatment. Cheney considered the absence of ulcers in the x-ray results after treatment as a sign of recovery.
Cheney reported that the average recovery time for duodenal ulcer sufferers who drank cabbage juice daily was 10 days. Meanwhile, the average recovery time for stomach ulcer sufferers was seven days.
In contrast, published results show that with conventional medications, the average healing time is 37 and 42 days for duodenal and gastric ulcers, respectively.
These results demonstrate the potential of cabbage juice as an alternative treatment for peptic ulcers. Not only does it speed up recovery, but cabbage juice also does not cause any adverse effects.
Compounds in cabbage juice useful for ulcers?
Researchers now know more about the compound that Cheney previously referred to as Vitamin U. But rather than being just one compound, recent studies suggest that vitamin U may actually be several different components found in cabbage.
For example, the amino acids, glutamine and methionine, have been identified as good for stomach health. Studies show that a form of methionine called S-methyl sulfonium methionine (MMS) stimulates the production of protective mucus. It is also equipped with powerful antioxidant capabilities that combat tissue-damaging oxidative stress.
According to experts, MMS can support stomach healing after exposure to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. NSAIDs are also a major contributor to peptic ulcers as these medications have been found to damage the lining of the stomach.
Glutamine, on the other hand, is a natural antacid that is powerful enough to counteract the effects of acid-reducing medications. Dr. William Schiff of the University of Texas at Austin has found that the high concentration of L-glutamine may partially explain why cabbage juice is able to heal ulcers.
Cabbage also contains a powerful group of compounds known as glucosinolates. These phytonutrients are said to have protective effects against Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for the majority of ulcer cases. In fact, studies link vegetables rich in glucosinolates with a lower risk of cancer of the colon, rectum, esophagus, mouth, and throat. (Related: Cabbage: A Natural Medicine for Cancer, Diabetes, and More.)
Thanks to these natural compounds, cabbage juice is an effective natural remedy that promotes safe and natural healing of peptic ulcers.