Dr. Max Gerson operated by a simple mantra: “Stay close to nature and its eternal laws will protect you.”1
Dr. Gerson became a physician in Germany at the dawn of the 20th century. Around this time, he suffered from cluster migraines, and so drew upon his medical knowledge to experiment with treating his headaches by way of his diet.
What he discovered has since helped people around the world heal everything from diabetes to cancer.
What Dr. Gerson called his “migraine diet” healed not only his migraines but unexpectedly cured his own skin tuberculosis. This caught the attention of a well-known thoracic surgeon who then worked with him to put together a carefully monitored clinical trial with skin tuberculosis patients.
Dr. Gerson’s diet had a 99 percent success rate and quickly landed his research in a dozen of the world’s leading medical journals.2
Incidentally, these findings scored Dr. Gerson a lifelong friendship with Nobel prize winner Albert Schweitzer, as the Gerson Diet cured the Nobel winner’s wife of lung tuberculosis and later cured his own Type II diabetes. The Gerson Diet was soon successfully treating heart disease, kidney failure, and perhaps most well-known, cancer.3
Which begs the question, what on earth is in this miracle diet? The answer is simpler than you might think…
The four pillars of Gerson Therapy
The Gerson Diet starts with an all-encompassing approach and an end goal of helping the body heal itself. Most important is the focus to always treat the root cause of a disease, rather than the symptoms—an entirely different approach from standard Western medicine.
Imagine consuming an abundance of nutrients daily, taken primarily from fresh, organic juices loaded with health-creating enzymes and minerals. From there, add in both raw and cooked foods that err on the vegetarian side. Throw in after that a daily coffee enema to rid the liver of toxins, and you’ve got the basis for what’s known today as The Gerson TherapyTM.4
Proponents believe that following this approach can double the oxygenation rate in your body, which is a huge win since oxygen deficiency in the blood can contribute to many degenerative diseases, including cancer. Gerson’s diet is also believed to stimulate the metabolism thanks to the addition of supplements like potassium, and at the same time relieves the body of heavy animal fats, along with excess protein, high levels of sodium, and other toxins.5
More specifically, followers of The Gerson Diet are expected to eat three full plant-based meals a day, with emphasis on organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Snacks in between meals should include more fruits and vegetables, as well as juices.6
Note that the juices should be fresh-pressed from raw foods, as Dr. Gerson believed this is the most effective way to provide quick, high-quality nutrition to the body. His initial goal was to transmit the nutrients and enzymes from 15 pounds of produce into the bodies of his patients daily, which is doable only via juicing.
On the flipside of all that juicing is detoxification. Dr. Gerson favored daily coffee enemas as the primary way to detoxify both tissues and blood. He recommended these enemas be taken in-ratio with the daily volume of juice consumed. Gerson Therapy also calls for castor oil to help stimulate bile flow and ideally improve the ability of your liver to filter blood.7
These are the first two of the four pillars of Gerson Therapy, which include diet, juicing, detoxification, and supplementation. Supplementation often includes potassium, vitamin B12, pancreatic enzymes, and thyroid supplements.8
The payoff could be huge… though pricey
Of course, the Gerson Therapy is not a treatment typically covered by insurance. Your initial investment would include a juicer plus proper cookware and supplements, along with large quantities of organic produce. And in most cases, it’s a two-year commitment in terms of following this treatment plan long enough to see a difference in your health.9
So clearly, with a two-year commitment, this isn’t the type of diet you can undertake if you’re facing a fast-progressing disease. However, if you have an early diagnosis, or a strong reason to suspect a diagnosis, such as early warning signs or a family history of specific diseases, then it may be worth a try.
And while every situation is different, the Gerson Therapy has reportedly had repeated success helping people overcome myeloma, lymphoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, infertility, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).10
On the other hand, know that there are conditions that don’t respond well to Gerson Therapy, such as acute leukemia, brain cancers, or pancreatic cancer after treatment with chemotherapy.11
He predicted our plight 100 years ago
Dr. Gerson, like many of natural medicine’s pioneers, was among the first to address the negative effects of poor food quality and environmental toxins as the root cause of most severe illness.
Of course, there are plenty who question the efficacy of the Gerson Therapy. Their main complaint is the lack of documented scientific proof from when Dr. Gerson was actively administering this therapy. Most of his work took place in the early 1900s, before xerox machines and high-speed internet simplified the art of record keeping.
And yet, Dr. Gerson’s therapies were said to prevent and treat the top four killers of our modern world, then and now – heart attack, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. So, it’s interesting if you look into more contemporary research, like that of Dr. Michael Greger. He has extensively studied the effects of a plant-based diet on curbing those same health risks and found that, unequivocally and proven by science, eliminating animal products and focusing on nutrition does make a difference in preventing and treating these diseases.
Over the past 15 years I’ve spoken to or heard from dozens of people who have successfully used the Gerson Therapy to heal cancers in all stages. I believe that for some people with certain cancers Gerson Therapy is a cure. That said, following the Gerson Therapy takes a lot of work. Fortunately, there are two Gerson clinics that will help you start the therapy for a couple of weeks, and then send you home to continue the treatment. One clinic is in Mexico and the other is in Hungary.12 For years, the clinic in Mexico was overseen by Dr. Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte, until her death in 2019 at the age of 97.
If you plan to follow the Gerson Therapy recommendations because you want to improve your overall health or to treat non-malignant conditions, any juicer will work. If you’re using the therapy to treat cancer, you’ll want to get a two-step juicer that comes with a grinder and a hydraulic press. Juice produced with one of these machines can be as much as 50 times higher in certain essential nutrients. And the two-step juicer produces up to 50 percent more juice than other juicers.13
You can learn more about Gerson Therapy on the Gerson Institute website, gerson.org.