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Homemade Probiotics – Powerful Medicine from Your Garden

The Homely Cabbage Transforms into a Super Food

For pennies on the dollar, you can turn your garden cabbage into a virtual miracle medicine. This is a “medicine” that should be in every refrigerator. We’re big on prevention, and sauerkraut has top shelf in our health chest.

The bad news: most store bought sauerkrauts do not contain the beneficial sauerkraut probiotic strains our guts need for optimum health.

The good news: you can make your own, or find the few brands that are almost as good as homemade.

So don’t worry. If you simply can’t—or don’t want to—make your own, we’ll share below the very best brands of sauerkraut you can buy for the healthiest percentage of active probiotic cultures.

My husband, Coleman, started making sauerkraut for us last summer. Not being particularly fond of it, I mostly left it alone, but it seemed the more I tried to ignore it, the more I kept accidentally running into information on the amazing health benefits of sauerkraut.

Then Coleman said that after a serving of sauerkraut he feels noticeably better, almost ebullient, within minutes of consuming it. I knew sauerkraut was supposed to be good for gut health for the probiotic benefit, so I couldn’t ignore it any longer, and now I’m sold.

I am keen on healthy foods, so I gave in, tried it a few more times and now I like it! I suppose it’s a cheek puckering forehead scrunching acquired taste, but one that your body loves, even if your tongue protests.

Turns out, sauerkraut could make a super foods list for all its health benefits.

Health Benefits of Sauerkraut


Some of the health benefits of sauerkraut include its ability to increase your digestive health1), boost your circulation, protect your heart health, provide you with quick energy, stimulate your immune system2), strengthen your bones, reduce your overall cholesterol levels, eliminate inflammation, protect against certain cancer,3) and even improve your vision and skin health. 4)

Infographic on Health Benefits of Sauerkraut from

So get started making sauerkraut with your early summer cabbage crops to boost your immune system for fall. By the time the “winter cabbage” is ready, you can make more batches to boost your system against winter ills.5)

Of course, once one batch is ready, it’s time to start making the next so you’ll always have some on hand. In which case we buy organic heads if we need to make some in between garden harvests.

It was recently reported that sauerkraut topped the charts of probiotics, surpassing that of over-the-counter probiotics purchased. 6)

“Dr. Mercola sent his sauerkraut off to a lab and reported the findings of probiotics saying, “We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.”

That means 2 ounces of home fermented sauerkraut7) had more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. Translated this means one 16 ounce of sauerkraut is equal to 8 bottles of probiotics.”

Your homemade sauerkraut can be worth over $200 in probiotic capsules.

Probiotics typically cost around $25 per 30-count bottle for 35 billion CFUs (Less for lower CFUs – Colony Forming Unit in Microbiology). A head of cabbage from your garden is basically free, and just a portion of a serving of homemade sauerkraut would be worth over $200 in probiotics. WOW!!

Sauerkraut Probiotic Strains

By Aglaee Jacob on

Four main species of lactic acid bacteria are commonly present in sauerkraut: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus brevis, Pediococcus pentosaceus and Lactobacillus plantarum.

Sauerkraut also can contain other species, such as Weissella species, Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus sakei, Lactobacillus coryniformis, Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis, Leuconostoc fallax, Leuconostoc citreum and Leuconostoc argentinum, according to the December 2007 issue of “Applied and Environmental Microbiology.”

Each batch of sauerkraut can contain different species of gut-friendly probiotics in different proportions, making your sauerkraut a different combination of probiotics each time.8)

And… that store bought sauerkraut? Can’t compare to homemade. Most store-bought sauerkraut is pasteurized, and the heat kills the probiotics.9)

sauerkraut in a jar
Homemade sauerkraut

So, even if you don’t particularly care for sauerkraut, chances are it may be just the thing your body needs to heal and keep you healthy!

CAUTION: If you’re on a low-sodium diet you can significantly reduce the amount of salt used for curing your kraut.

OH! And by the way, cabbage and sauerkraut are beneficial for weight loss and all kinds of gut problems, and our gut is akin to the soil of our garden. Health body begins there in the same way that a healthy garden begins with the soil, so eat your veggies and kraut!

And lastly, the store bought brand that has the most probiotic content?

Bubbies is the one store-bought brand, sold refrigerated, that has the most probiotic value. So for when you don’t have time to make your own, or run out in between batches you might want to have Bubbies on hand for backup. Because here’s the thing…

Daily consumption of probiotic rich fermented foods is immensely beneficial to the digestive system and overall health.

For more on fermentation you may also enjoy this article featuring a GardensAll community member who healed some of her many health issues through the use of fermented foods.

If you’re really into this topic and want to learn more from fermentation expert Sandor Katz, you may enjoy this video conversation on the topic.

Let us know how it goes, and send pictures if you make it.

And… the top 3 highest probiotic foods? Yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. Oh… and #4…? Dark chocolate!! ? Happy dance! Only thing, for health, we just need to find ways to enjoy the chocolate without all the sugar!10)

The Homely Cabbage Transforms into a Super Food - For pennies on the dollar, you can turn your garden cabbage into a virtual miracle medicine. This is a "medicine" that should be in every refrigerator. We're big on prevention, and sauerkraut has top shelf in our health chest.

Keep on growing!

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