Stomach ulcers are a painful open sores found in the digestive tract. Ulcers can be triggered by stress, and poor dieting, but the primary cause for an ulcer is an infection caused by the H. pylori bacteria. This bacterial organism weakens the protective coating of the stomach and duodenum and allows the damaging digestive juices to irritate the sensitive lining below. The bacteria has been found in the saliva of some infected people so it is believed to be spread through kissing, as well as possibly through food or water. Overuse of aspirin and ibuprofen is also documented as a common cause of ulcers. There are a number of risk factors that increase the chance of developing ulcers including increasing age, alcohol abuse, diabetes, and smoking. The pain experienced from ulcers comes from contact between the open sores and acidic digestive juices. Eating brings temporary relief as the acids are neutralized, but the pain returns once the food is digested. Using a control group consisting of 100 people with peptic ulcers, Dr. Cheney found that drinking 4 glasses of raw cabbage juice led to healing of peptic ulcers within 4 to 10 days, with no other changes in their diet.. X-ray exams confirmed more rapid healing from cabbage juice when compared to treatments given in hospitals that took an average of 30 days. Peptic ulcers are found on the stomach lining, while duodenal ulcers are found on the lining of the upper small intestine.
The healing properties found in cabbage come from two anti-ulcer compounds, glutamine (an amino acid that fuels the cells that line the stomach and intestine) and S-methyl-methionine (labeled as Vitamin U by Dr. Cheney). Glutamine is available in capsules for those who are too busy to juice cabbage, and is proven as a superior cure to antacids. Juicing cabbage is simple, and done by cutting the head into segments small enough to fit into your juicer's feeding chute. When using cabbage juice it is recommended not to drink more than 4 oz at a time to avoid over stimulating the gastric juices, which can lead to cramping of the intestine and gassiness due to the sulfur in the juice reacting with existing intestinal bacteria. Mixing cabbage juice with carrot juice can help cut the effect of sulfur and tone intestinal walls. Beyond its ability to heal stomach ulcers, cabbage is also recognized as a successful treatment for a number of other health conditions including colitis and constipation. It is also known to help clear up acne, and heal infected gums. It's important to choose heads of cabbage that are firm with no loose leave or discoloration, which means loss of nutritional value.