A guide to using sauerkraut for crohn’s disease, UC and IBS

Today’s post is another of my gut health guides: today we’re going to talk about using sauerkraut for crohn’s disease, UC and IBS.Although I’m on medication, I still find my stomach is struggling the next day if I’ve fallen off the healthy eating wagon and to replenish it means a morning juice and an extra dose of sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut is a recent addition to my life and to be honest I can’t believe how beneficial I’ve found it. I have mentioned it several times before in my ‘Cabbage Superfood‘ post and my ‘Probiotics Foods’ post but I’d always been scared to try it; in case it made things worse (I’m superstitious about lots of things!). Since purchasing some a couple of weeks ago, I can’t believe how much it has helped!So I thought I’d share my tips in this helpful gut guide on sauerkraut for Crohn’s disease or any gut issue you might be suffering with.

sauerkrautforcrohns, sauerkraut for crohn's disease, sauerkraut for ibd, sauerkraut ibs, can sauerkraut help crohn's

So how can sauerkraut help IBD or IBS?

-Cabbage itself is great for the gut since as well as being rich in a whole host of vitamins and minerals, it is an amazing source of L-Glutamine. Most often discussed in terms of bodybuilding (for building muscle), this amino acid also has an amazing impact on the lining of the gut. This is why cabbage has long been recommended for the treatment of stomach ulcers: because it heals ulcerations in the digestive tract.  

–Cabbagesand l-glutamine can help repair permeable areas of the gut, making it stronger and able to digest food more effectively- unfortunately if we eat it in large amount it can cause stomach upsets; since it is quite fibrous.

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The best thing about cabbage is when we ferment it: sauerkraut becomes one of many powerful probiotic foods; teeming with rich gut bacteria. This bacteria is important whichever gut condition you have. Many theories about IBD are beginning to analyse gut bacteria; since it’s been proven that the bacteria of IBD Patients is remarkably different to healthy controls (whether this is cause or effect remains unknown). In turn, many IBS patients find they may have SIBO or bacterial issues.

How to use it

You have two choices: make raw sauerkraut or buy a raw, non-pasteurised version of sauerkraut in the health food shops. There are lots of guides out there on how to make it……

How to make Sauekraut.

I chose to buy it mainly because it was my first time using it and I wanted to make sure I’d done it exactly right (so if I had any issues, I knew it wasn’t me messing up the recipe! Again- superstitious!) I’ve used 2 types: Laurie’s Tummy Foods Original sauerkraut (as mentioned in my April Favourite’s post) and this Carrot and Fennel variety from the Cultured Food Company.


sauekrautforibd, sauerkraut for crohn's disease, uc and ibs

I prefer the carrot and fennel purely because it contains a lot more juice. I decided to introduce it very slowly as cabbage can aggravate the colon in larger doses so I relied on this juice. I introduced it like this:

Introduce Sauerkraut Slowly

Days 1-2: 1 teaspoon of the brine from the jar (no actual cabbage; just brine juice). As you can see in the image below, when you open the jar it should have quite a bit of fermented juice…

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Just scoop a teaspoon of the juice out, to begin with before you get on to the actual cabbage.

Day 3-4:1 teaspoon of sauerkraut.

Day 5 on beyond: 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut; gradually increasing if needed.


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By doing it this way, I had no problems at all digestion wise and straight away my gut felt calmer. Since the two weeks I’ve started taking it, I’ve had no gut issues at all; which for someone with Crohn’s is a pretty big statement. After overdoing it a bit last night, I didn’t feel quite right this morning- but it was still a massive improvement than before- when the after-effects would linger on for days!

I am aiming next time to make my own sauerkraut- which is really easy to do- it’s simply a case of adding salt to cabbage and leaving it to ferment for around a week (There’s a great guide by IBD Relief here)



  1. May 8, 2016 / 11:27 pm

    Such an interesting post. I love cabbage so I guess I would like Sauerkraut. Why do you only drink the juice and not eat the veg?

    • C
      August 25, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      They drank the juice the first 2 or so days as an introduction to the body. Then ate the veggies ☺

  2. May 9, 2016 / 1:43 am

    This is an interesting post. I’m grateful I dont have crohns and find it interesting. Thanks for sharing. Angela at Daysinbed

  3. Sarah Ella (Mumx3x)
    May 9, 2016 / 8:38 am

    Very helpful and interesting post! I haven’t heard of Sauerkraut before. I think I’d prefer the carrot and fennel to if I’m honest. xx

  4. May 9, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Wow – this is so interesting – my friend suffers with Crohns and my mum has diverticulitis – I wonder if it would help that? Kaz x

  5. October 14, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    Very interesting information. I have ulcerative colitis and have really been struggling lately. Going to try adding this to my diet.

  6. ali
    October 15, 2016 / 10:43 am

    i’m new here, nice blog! Quick question – I’m on immunosuppressants and my dr has recommended staying off any type of probiotics. Have you had this? thanks

    • Healthyglobetrotting
      October 15, 2016 / 2:08 pm

      Hi Ali, hopefully you’ll see this! Yes I have heard of some doctors saying this but I think they are talking about very potent sources that I guess could potentially interfere with the immune system . I have taken probiotics on and off when on aza and infliximab. However, because probiotics can be a bit hit and miss I have decided to focus on natural food sources like sauerkraut. I’d be very surprised if you couldn’t have these.

  7. Lee Hoy
    March 19, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    I have been making my own sauerkraut for years. And have recently started fermenting many types of food. It’s done amazing things for my gut! I heartily endorse it! You can do it too!

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