Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition of the digestive tract. Symptoms include abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and flatulence. The cause of IBS is not certain. Lifestyle factors such as stress and diet are probable common causes, as are food allergies. Consuming raw cabbage juice can be of benefit to IBS sufferers, particularly those who experience constipation. For others, it may trigger certain IBS symptoms, typically bloating and flatulence.
Raw cabbage, either consumed on its own or as a juice, can have a mild laxative effect, making it effective in reducing the constipation associated with IBS. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, or NDDIC, recommends drinking liquids on a daily basis to hydrate the body and make bowel movements softer and easier to pass. The service suggests that drinking fluids such as water or juice may provide constipation relief in some individuals.
Cleansing and Healing Effects
Raw cabbage juice has a cleansing and healing effect on the digestive system. It contains two valuable substances, sulphur and chlorine. Together they can deeply cleanse the mucus membranes of the stomach and intestinal tract. This cleansing effect only applies when the juice is taken in its raw state, without the addition of salt. The healing properties of raw cabbage juice can help treat stomach ulcers. Although these effects have a positive impact on the health of the digestive tract, it is unclear whether they are of any benefit in the treatment of IBS.
The amino acid glutamine is present in raw cabbage juice. Glutamine helps strengthen the intestinal tract so that nutrients are more efficiently absorbed. This may help reduce the risk of malnutrition, which is sometimes associated with IBS. According to an article written by Ron Lagerquist on the fasting resource website Freedomyou, cabbage juice should be consumed within 60 seconds of juicing; otherwise, glutamine will begin to break down.
Cabbage is a problem food for many people with IBS because it contains a complex sugar called raffinose. This substance can produce unwanted bloating and flatulence. Similarly, drinking too much cabbage juice in one go may also cause gas, due to the sulphur it contains reacting with bacteria in the gut. When juicing raw cabbage, avoid drinking more than 4 ounces of juice at a time. It is best mixed with other juices such as carrot, celery or apple juice. This may improve its palatability, as cabbage juice has a strong, bitter taste.