Redefining od(or)iferous…

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August 29, 2017 by unclespike218

Stinks to high heaven, but man, has it worked well for me in the past…

Let’s go back about, oh, eight years or so, to the summer of 2009, I think. I had begun experimenting with beet kvass – basically a fermented beet beverage consisting of chopped beets, water, salt, and liquid whey. And I was thrilled with the results. It really improved my energy, and brought on some pretty profound euphoria while at the same time grounding me. Seemed to have a great effect on my GI system too. I loved it – even if the taste was a bit strong. But I kept it up for a while. (Major hat tip to Mary Enig and Sally Fallon for that one, and for publishing Nourishing Traditions, the excellent cookbook that didn’t just have great recipes, but fascinating nutritional information, too. It has to be one of the most influential cookbooks of all time.)

Since I was so excited about kvass, I wanted to move on to other fermented, but non-alcoholic drinks. Just to see what other health benefits could come about. Next up in Nourishing Traditions was fermented cabbage juice. Upshot: it was even easier and less messy to make than beet kvass. Chop up a quarter of a cabbage. Put it in a large sun tea jar. Add a teaspoon or two of salt, a quarter cup of liquid whey (not even necessary, that one, but good if you have it), and water to fill the jar. Mix to dissolve the salt. And let it sit for three days on the counter at room temperature. Then store in the refrigerator, cabbage and all, and drink up to a quarter cup a few times a day.

If I remember correctly, this stuff caused some minor GI cramping for a few days, but that soon subsided. The other effects were pretty damned remarkable. My neck rash (which by now I’m convinced is ringworm) disappeared within a week. And once that happened, I noticed that soon after I drank this stuff each time, within a half hour, I would begin breathing incredibly deeply, like I never had before. And I felt AWAKE. WIDE AWAKE. It was almost as if this fermented cabbage juice was a powerful beta-agonist inhaler, like albuterol. But without the jitteriness that accompanied it. Instead, I felt tremendously calm and self-possessed, as if I could accomplish anything I wanted. This was heaven.

On the down side, I noticed soon that if I drank this concoction at night, it was more effective than coffee, and comparable to chocolate, at keeping me awake until all hours. So I had to limit my intake to mornings, when being wide awake was much more desirable and necessary. But it was still tremendously beneficial.

The energy boost kind of frightened me after a bit. It seemed to grow stronger and stronger the more I kept the cabbage in the juice, so I strained the cabbage and kept the remainder of the juice around. I decided to let the fermented cabbage juice habit go after a few months. (I seem to remember that weight loss also accompanied taking the fermented cabbage juice, which kinda makes sense.) And when I spoke with patients (in my health care heyday) who were dealing with GI issues or something similar to what I had experienced, I would recommend they make this stuff too.

Yes, it did smell pretty rank at first. But it had a surprisingly mild flavor to it, and was…well, if not the most palatable of things, still not bad, particularly for a tonic. And I think many of my patients enjoyed the health benefits they got from it.

Well, fast-forward back to this time last year. I took my garlic tincture to deal with the ringworm that had reared its ugly head again, and it died away within a week. Until this summer again. And no amount of garlic has helped. My guess: the garlic killed off most of what had been causing the ringworm, but it killed off much of the beneficial gut bacteria too, and now the bad guys have begun to take over where the good guys once were. My neck and chest rash has never been so red and itchy before. But somehow, I remembered that the fermented cabbage juice had helped with it all those years ago, and last night, I bought a head of cabbage for $3, and began to make my beloved tonic all over again. I can be a pretty impatient bastard sometimes, so I took some this morning, maybe two days before when it should really be ready. And it may have already begun to have its beneficial effects all over again. We’ll see what happens from this point forward.


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