Better than meds: Study finds cabbage juice contains compounds that promote stomach health and treat peptic ulcers
08/10/2020 // Virgilio Marin // Views

Research by Dr. Garnett Cheney of Stanford University School of Medicine shows that treating peptic ulcers with cabbage juice promotes faster healing than conventional medical treatments.

As early as 1950, Cheney has been conducting studies on cabbage juice to explore its potential as a natural treatment for peptic ulcers. He discovered that a certain compound in cabbage, which he dubbed "vitamin U," promotes the natural healing of intestinal sores.

Now, numerous studies support Cheney's claims about the healing properties of cabbage. However, recent reports suggest that it's not just one, but rather several compounds in the humble cabbage that make it and its juice an effective natural remedy for peptic ulcers.

Cabbage juice helps ulcers heal more quickly than modern meds

Peptic ulcers refer to open sores that form in the stomach lining or the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. They usually develop due to bacterial infection, although in some cases, they are caused by frequent intake of pain relievers and other medications.

Three types of peptic ulcers exist, namely, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer and esophageal ulcer. Gastric ulcer is located in the stomach, while duodenal and esophageal ulcers are located in the duodenum and esophagus, respectively. These ulcers are treated with prescription medicines including antibiotics. However, these drugs come with unwanted side effects.

In his study, Cheney looked at how patients with peptic ulcers respond to cabbage juice treatment. Previous studies on guinea pigs have shown that both fresh whole cabbage and cabbage juice are effective at preventing peptic ulcers from forming.


Cheney recruited 13 patients for his experiment. Seven of them had duodenal ulcers, while five had gastric ulcers. Only one patient had ulcers 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 went through X-ray exams before treatment and six and nine days after the treatment. Cheney considered the absence of ulcers in the post-treatment X-ray results as a sign of healing.

Cheney reported that the average healing time for those with duodenal ulcers who drank cabbage juice daily was 10 days. Meanwhile, the average healing time for those with gastric ulcers was seven days.

In comparison, published findings show that with conventional medicines, healing time averages 37 and 42 days for duodenal and gastric ulcers, respectively.

These findings demonstrate the potential of cabbage juice as an alternative treatment for peptic ulcers. Not only does it accelerate healing, but cabbage juice also doesn't cause any adverse effects.

Compounds in cabbage juice are good for ulcers?

Researchers now know more about the compound Cheney previously referred to as vitamin U. But instead of being just one compound, recent studies suggest that vitamin U may actually be several different components present 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 methionine S-methyl sulfonium (MMS) stimulates the production of protective mucous. It's also equipped with potent antioxidant abilities 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 major contributors to peptic ulcers as these medications have been found to damage the stomach lining.

Glutamine, on the other hand, is a natural antacid that is strong enough to counter the effects of acid-reducing drugs. Dr. William Shive from The University of Texas at Austin found that a high concentration of L-glutamine may partly explain why cabbage juice is capable of healing ulcers.

Cabbage also contains a powerful group of compounds known as glucosinolates. These plant nutrients are said to have protective effects against the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for the majority of ulcer cases. In fact, studies link vegetables rich in glucosinolates to a reduced risk of colorectal, esophageal, mouth and throat cancers. (Related: Cabbage: natural medicine for cancer, diabetes and more.)

Thanks to these natural compounds, cabbage juice is an effective natural remedy that promotes the safe and natural healing of peptic ulcers.

Learn more about the medicinal properties of cabbage at

Sources include: [PDF]

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