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10 Reasons to Eat Raw Cabbage

  • Published on: 20 March, 2015
  • Last update: 10 August, 2017

Today I had a raw cabbage salad for breakfast and it woke me right up! You know that I’m not a big fan of overeating raw food, because almost all vegetables have a very cooling energy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I usually cook my vegetables (with ginger is best) to balance out the energetic state.



According to yin-yang philosophy, raw and cold foods are both yin. The nature of yin energy is relaxing but also expansive, which is a symptom of eating too many yin foods (an expanded/bloated stomach, swelling, water retention, etc). Another symptom of an expanded yin condition is the inability to focus.

You want to keep your Qi and digestive fire burning strong by eating yang foods that warm your body, especially in our chemical world. As you can see from the chart above, drugs and chemicals are the most yin substances on earth. I also advocate bioindividuality, meaning your diet should be different based on your climate, ancestry, and condition. Since I’m in New York where it’s cool a majority of the year, I cook almost all of my food. If you are in a hot climate like Hawaii, you can incorporate more raw food: cooling fruits and veg grow year round to balance the heat outside. Only eat what grows around you – nature is giving that specific food to you for a reason!

Cabbage is very special because it is ‘neutral’ (neither yin nor yang) energetically, and therefore beneficial for ALL people. (Same with carrots and beets!) Since it’s neutral, I eat it raw in moderation.

Note: If you have thyroid issues, you may want to cook your cabbage to deactivate the goitrogens that are part of the plant’s natural chemical makeup. You will still get several of the benefits listed below without the negative impact of the goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that suppress the function of the thyroid gland by interfering with iodine uptake. Even if you don’t have any thyroid issues, I recommend eating seaweed or taking nascent iodine after eating all goitrogenic foods.

10 Reasons to Eat Raw Cabbage

1) Uncooked Cabbage is high in glutamine, an amino acid that is essential for intestinal health.

2) It’s proven to be both antibacterial and antiviral. It is highly anti parasitic as well, and I recommend eating it during a parasite cleanse.

3) Cabbage contains quercetin, an antioxidant and natural antihistamine that can benefit allergy sufferers. Know why? Quercetin kills parasites! Parasites’ #1 waste product is histamines (see 13:07 in this video) that they dump into your blood. If you have high histamines (seen in allergies and autoimmune disease), there’s the culprit.

4) The Egyptians ate cabbage with vinegar before a night of drinking to prevent hangovers. Cabbage is still today considered one of the best remedies to cure hangovers!

5) Vitamin U is a healing enzyme found in cabbage. It soothes the inflamed stomach lining and corrects low stomach acid, and is phenomenal for quickly curing stomach ulcers. You can juice raw cabbage or drink the juice at the bottom of your salad to get concentrated Vitamin U.

6) The juice of cabbage is also used to relieve constipation because it breaks down putrefying matter in the intestines.

7) Cabbage improves circulation by removing toxins that block the Qi and blood from moving around the joints, thus strengthening and loosening painful joints.

8) Eating cabbage often can strengthen the kidneys (reproductive system) and brain. It is especially good for those with long term illness, or after a big operation or labor. People who suffer from lower back pain, shortness of breath, lack of energy, fatigue, and indigestion (these are all symptoms of kidney yang deficiency).

9) Cabbage is considered to be an excellent weight loss tool. Research has shown cabbage contains a chemical called tartaric acid, which inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Substituting a meal with cabbage salad once a day is a great way to reduce weight.

10) Try eating raw cabbage to cure a headache. The sulfur in the cabbage will open up liver detox phase II pathways and remove the toxins in your liver causing the headaches in the first place.

Enjoy some cabbage this weekend, and don’t forget to follow it with seaweed for your daily iodine. My favorite way to dress a cabbage salad is with lime, olive oil, cilantro, organic adobo seasoning, sea salt, and avocado.


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Love this article on cabbage, so much to know. I’m doing a fast/cleanse. Thank you for this info. I’m becoming a daily consumer of saurkraut.

Isabel Garcia

Hi Olivia, I’ve been reading through several of your previous posts and I noticed that you said you ate Paleo-style. I was wondering if you still do that or if you eat more based on what you have learned from TCM. Would you be able to do a blog on what you eat in a typical day? I get so confused on how to eat for optimal nutrition, because I think eating meat at every meal might be a little excessive for me (especially since it’s not in my price range!) and being Mexican living in sunny Southern California, we sure love our beans, rice, and cold drinks. There is so much information out there and I end up getting overwhelmed and confused. I’ve been eating more organic, drinking hot water when I can, taking herbal supplements and not turning to Western medicine and pharma drugs, but my eating habits need to change for optimal heath. I sure would love to read a post on something like this! I hope it’s something you would love to write about. And of course, thank you so much for all the knowledge you always share with us.

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