The Gerson Therapy

Named after its founder, Dr. Max B. Gerson (1881-1959), the Gerson therapy is an alternative dietary therapy, which is supposed to cure cancer and most chronic, degenerative diseases. Initially, the Gerson diet was used to treat migraine headaches and tuberculosis, but beginning with 1928, dr. M.B. Gerson started to use it as a treatment for cancer.

gerson miracleThe central idea of this therapy is that the illness is caused by too many unspecified toxins accumulated in the body. Dr. Gerson believed that that cancer develops because these buildups of toxic substances lead to an abnormal metabolism of the cells. He also sustained that people with cancer have too much sodium and too little potassium in the cells in their bodies, which causes tissue damage and weakened organs. When the patients succeed to eliminate the toxins and to balance their sodium/potassium levels, the disease is treated.

There are three key parts of the Gerson therapy: diet, dietary supplements and detoxification.

  • Diet:  All of the foods from the Gerson regimen must be fresh, organically or biologically grown, and consumed in their most natural form. The patients can eat organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Everything must be low in sodium (salt) and high in potassium. All manufactured (processed) foods: bottled, canned, frozen, preserved, refined, salted, smoked, and sulfured are strictly forbidden. Alcohol is prohibited because it is toxic and it limits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, making the detoxification process impossible.

Allowed foods: lettuce, asparagus, mangoes, apples, melons, apricots, oatmeal, artichoke, onions, arugula, beets and tops, oranges*, broccoli, parsley and parsley root, brown sugar, peaches, horseradish (grated, not bottled), pears, cabbage, green and red bell pepper, plums, carrot, potatoes, cauliflower, radishes, celery knob or stalks, chards, rhubarb, cherries, rice brown, chicory, romaine, chives, cilantro, rye bread (unsalted, non-fat), corn (only if allowed by physician), currants, coriander, dill, fennel, mace, marjoram, rosemary, sage, eggplant, saffron, tarragon, thyme, sorrel, summer savory, endives, spinach (cooked only), escarole, squash, flax oil (organic, not high lignan), sweet potatoes (once a week), Swiss chard, some dried fruits (raisins, peaches, dates, figs, apricots and prunes (stewed or pre-soaked only), fruits fresh (except all berries and pineapple), tomatoes, garlic, grapes, green beans, watercress, honey, yams (once a week), juices, freshly pressed, as prescribed; yogurt, non-fat, organic(as recommended by physician), kale, zucchini.

The patient should drink 13 glasses of juice a day. The juice must be freshly made from organic fruits and vegetables and be taken once every hour.

The food has to be cooked without salt, spices, or oils, and without using aluminum cookware or utensils.

The organic diet and the nutritional supplements are used to boost the immune system and support the body as the regimen cleans the body of toxins. Foods low in sodium and high in potassium are said to help correct the tissue damage caused by having too much sodium in the cells.

  • Dietary Supplements: These substances are supposed to help correct cell metabolism. They include: Potassium; Lugol’s Solution (potassium iodide, iodine, and water); coenzyme Q10 injected with vitamin B12; vitamins A, C, and B3 (niacin); flax seed oil; pancreatic enzymes; pepsin.
  • Detoxification:  The detox treatment includes enemas of coffee or chamomile, to remove toxic substances from the body. The enemas are said to widen the bile ducts of the liver so toxins can be released. According to Dr. Gerson, the liver is further overworked as the treatment regimen breaks down cancer cells and rids the body of toxins.

According to the Gerson Institute, the Gerson therapy is not recommended for people with the following conditions: bedridden or paraplegic or non-ambulatory; unable to eat or drink, or on a feeding tube; have been referred to hospice; blood clots (until they are resolved); greater than half of the colon removed; ileostomy; intestinal obstruction; kidney failure; on kidney dialysis; more than 75% of stomach removed; organ transplant; pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart; recurrent pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs); severe bleeding; acute leukemia; brain metastasis; heart stent or heart valve replacement; recurrent ascites, advanced ascites (fluid in abdomen); after a bone marrow transplant; pacemakers, stem cell transplant etc.

There are only a few, incomplete research studies of the Gerson therapy. In U.S. it is illegal for a clinic to offer the Gerson treatment as a cancer cure. This form of therapy can be followed in the Gerson Clinics from Mexico and Hungary.

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