Cabbage Juice Tonic

by Cat, Dec 2013

Includes: 1. Fermented Cabbage Juice (2 methods). 2. Variation: Gargle & Sore Throat Remedy

See also: 1. Beet Kvass; 2. Kvass; 3. Pottenger’s Liver Tonic4. Raw Liver Drink

Perhaps one of the more well-known tonics for general health and cleansing is wheatgrass or barley grass juice. But fermented tonics such as cabbage juice tonic, or beet kvass have the added benefits provided by the fermentation.

Cabbage Juice Tonic is very similar to the juices from brined sauerkraut but is fairly bitter in flavor. You can make your juice tastier by juicing two carrots or an apple with cabbage.

Cabbage juice, fermented or not, is believed to exert a powerful cleansing action upon the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract; L-glutamine and gefarnate in cabbage juice provides this benefit. It has been used in treatment of arthritis, gastrointestinal ulceration, skin disorders, certain cancers, and obesity.

Warning: If you have a thyroid condition, consult with your doctor before adding fermented cabbage juice to your diet. All raw cruciferous vegetables can displace iodine which is essential to thyroid function.

Cabbage Juice Tonic

You can make this as a simple juice by blending the cabbage with water as in the second version, but without allowing it to ferment. However, fermenting greatly improves the benefits of the tonic by providing additional enzymes and probiotics.

I provide two methods. The first is much like making sauerkraut except it doesn’t take as long because the cabbage is chopped much more finely. The second involves blending chopped cabbage and water. It can be sequentially fermented (using part of one batch to jump-start the fermentation of another batch).

Version 1:

Fermenting the juice with whey, as in this recipe from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD. (1), improves on the effectiveness of this remedy (over unfermented cabbage juice).

Diluting your fermented juice with water (1 part water for every 4 parts cabbage juice) will help prevent gas. You can also make your juice tastier by juicing two carrots or an apple with cabbage.

This recipe makes 2 quarts.  You can drink just the juice, or eat juice and cabbage (similar to sauerkraut).  Best if taken in small amounts throughout the day to improve intestinal flora.

It’s important to use a stainless steel knife for this recipe.

  • ¼ large organic green cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp Unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ cup liquid whey
  • filtered water
  • sharp stainless steel knife
  • meat hammer or wooden pounder
  • 2-quart wide-mouth jar, with lid
  1. Method: Shred cabbage finely with knife (finer than for sauerkraut).  Pound cabbage briefly with meat hammer or pounder to release juices.
  2. Place in jar with salt, whey and enough water to fill the container.
  3. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.

Version 2:

This method is from WikiHow (2). See that site for photos of each step.

Introducing Fermented Cabbage Juice to your Daily Diet

The following is from the Wiki-How recipe (2):

  • Start with adding 1 – 2 Tbsp of the fermented juice to filtered water or broth as a daily dose, to avoid digestive upset. Best if you divide this dose between 2 times during the day.
  • Gradually increase over several days to the optimal dose.
  • Optimal dose: ½ cup (125 ml) cabbage juice diluted with ½ cup filtered water. Divide this between 2 – 3 times each day.
  • Only use fresh green cabbages for fermented cabbage juice. Green cabbages offer the most benefit. Spring and summer cabbages are especially nutritious.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 3 cups (675 g) chopped green cabbage
  • 1 ¾ cups (435 ml) water, preferably filtered or distilled
  • blender
  • quart mason jar


  1. Bring tap water to a boil and maintain boil for 30 minutes to purify – do not cover, or if using a whistling tea kettle, leave the whistle cover open. If using RO-filtered or distilled water, you don’t need to do this step.
  2. Add water and chopped cabbage to large blender, so that it is only about ⅔ full.
  3. Blend at low speed 1 – 2 minutes until water has a green tint, but chunks of cabbage are still present.
  4. Change to high speed and blend for only 10 seconds, so that there are still small pieces of cabbage floating in the juice.
  5. Pour into a 1-quart jar, leaving at least 1″ above the liquid to the rim of the jar. (add more water to achieve this if using a quart jar). Screw on lid. (Another method first covers the opening of the jar with plastic wrap, then screws on the lid to make a better seal, but I don’t like to use plastic even in the lid, as the acidic vapors from the brine could leach toxins from the plastic).
  6. Let jar sit on the counter, undisturbed, at room temperature (68° – 78°F; optimal temperature is 72°F) for 3 full days (72 hours) to ferment.
  7. Strain slowly through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into a clean, sterilized jar. Your strainer should be smaller than the mouth of the jar. If it gets clogged by cabbage bits, empty those into a bowl, then continue to strain. You can compost the cabbage bits caught in the strainer, or you can eat them.
  8. Cap the jar and store in the refrigerator.
  9. If you want to make another batch, reserve ½ cup of the old batch before it is used up to jump-start the new batch. Add the reserved ferment to the blended mixture before fermenting, then let it sit at room temperature at least 24 hours before straining as above. This sequential fermenting process can be repeated indefinitely.

Variation:  Gargle & Sore Throat Remedy

Add ¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper to 4 oz cabbage juice tonic (¼ cup).  Excellent for dental health.

Testing Version 2:

1/5/14: I started a batch on 1/1/14. Made as instructed, but my house gets cold at night (62°), so I found a spot near my pilot-lit range that will keep it about 78°F. If I moved it just a bit farther away, the temperature dropped to 68°F. AFter the first day, I decided to add water to the jar to leave about 1 ½” at the top, since the original amount only filled half the quart jar. This morning marked 72 hours so I took a taste. No bubbles, no fermented flavor, but I put it in the fridge anyway. I need to do another batch (from scratch, not a sequential batch), without diluting until I drink it, and find a way to keep the temp at 72°F. However, because I do have hypo-thyroid issues, I should not drink this because it’s raw.


  1. Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD.
  2. WikiHow recipe:


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