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by Sonja Bacus, Nutritionist, Paracelsus Clinic, Switzerland

Shred, slice or grate cabbage, carrots, beetroot, turnips, garlic, ginger, etc. as thin as possible. Then add a teaspoon full of unrefined salt, juniper berries and/or some caraway or aniseed. Stir and stomp this mix for at least ten minutes until the so-called “brine” forms.

Now thickly fill a suitable container (e.g. a pot made from ceramics or stone) with layers of the food. Cover the vegetables with a plate or any other cover that fits well to prevent air from getting through to the food. The plate or cover has to rest right on the vegetables!

Then put a well-cleaned weight (heavy stone or a closed jar filled with water) on top of the cover to ensure the vegetable mass is being pressed down and covered by the brine (which should also cover the plate/cover if possible). Cover the container with a clean cloth or a tight-knit screen to keep off dust and flies.

Depending on the temperature and your personal preference, the container should be kept at a place between 18 and 22 °C for 3 to 7 days (or longer). The longer the vegetables are fermented the more intensive the flavor will be.

In the meantime the useful bacteria will multiply and convert sugar and starch into lactic acid.

Check the container every day and remove all possible impurities.

Being covered by the brine and thus in anaerobic surroundings, the cabbage itself is safe.

Once the vegetables are of the flavor requested, they can be filled into screw cap or preserving jars, which are subsequently closed and stored in the fridge.

I personally use a so-called (“pickle-press”) instead of a pot, which can be ordered at our pharmacy.

If you would like more information or are interested in becoming a patient at the Paracelsus Clinic, please contact: Barbara Christian, Patient Coordinator, at

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