I adopted Jack when he was about six months old, and right from the beginning he had stomach issues.
I took him to a number of vets and they just kept saying it was colitis and suggesting rounds of antibiotics, things like Pepto Bismol, high fiber food, low fiber food, they even suggested steroids. We tried changes in his diet and natural cures like pumpkin and yogurt (which he still gets because they are good for him, but that’s a different post), and even antibiotics. We searched for an answer to Jack’s problem for over four years, and it became obvious to us that none of these things were working … if anything, some of the cures were making the problem worse.
Then during one vet visit, the vet suggested that Jack is put on steroids and a very limited diet, by which I mean absolutely no treats and no bones or chews. If you know Jack, you know that would be torture for him, and of course we wanted him healthy but there is also something to be said for quality of life. We weren’t sure where to go from there, but then … the vet casually mentioned that Jack probably had an inflamed gut. So, as soon as we got home I started researching “inflamed gut”.
Somehow I came across The Rottweiler Club of Canada page, and an article about a dog named Jessie that mirrored Jack’s issues exactly. The article, “Some Helpful Tips For Living With A Dog With IBD”, was written by Cassandra Levy, and I think it is definitely worth reading if you are interested. The article mentioned a book a called, Stomach Ailments and Digestive Disturbances, How you can benefit from Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise and other Natural Methods, by Michael T. Murray, ND. So obviously, I immediately got the book and we started Jack on a new regimen of cabbage juice and probiotics.
According to Michael T. Murray, ND, cabbage contains a compound called glutamine, which protects the lining of the digestive tract. Cabbage has phenomenal anti-inflammatory properties, promotes the healing of wounds and the regeneration of the cells in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies done at Stanford University’s School of Treatments showed restorative healing of ulcerative colitis begin within 7 days.
Jack got about 2 oz of cabbage juice with his breakfast and another 2 oz with dinner, along with probiotics to restore the bacteria in his gut. We did this for a couple of months, but he showed a great improvement within the first two weeks. I should also mention that CJ also tried cabbage juice for some stomach problems he had been dealing with for several years. You’ll be happy to know that, five years later, both Jack and CJ are now completely cured and it took nothing more than cabbage juice.
One warning, however. The cabbage juice tastes disgusting! CJ has yet to fully recover from doing cabbage shots, so learn from his mistakes and mix it with other flavors. Jack, by the way, loves cabbage juice, but that’s Jack, and he makes some interesting snacking choices which we will not go into right now.
The cabbage should be juiced, rather than eaten whole, so that the digestive system does not have to deal with all the extra fiber, which can be aggravating on an already inflamed system. If you are giving this to a pet I would suggest mixing it with their food. We were lucky and Jack is not very finicky, but I know some dogs might present more of a challenge.
If you are juicing the cabbage for yourself, I found that the best way to mask the taste is to mix it with other strong flavors like 100% pure tart cherry juice and some ginger root. This way you will also get the extra benefits of the tart cherry juice which is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been shown to help with muscle recovery, may increase strength, help with sleep and reduce arthritis symptoms. Ginger is no slouch, either. Another great anti-inflammatory, ginger can also help with muscle recovery and arthritis, and of course ginger is a fantastic cure for nausea.