The Gerson Therapy
Source: Gerson Website
The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enema’s and natural supplements.
With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself – with no damaging side effects. This a powerful, natural treatment boosts the body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. Dr. Max Gerson developed the Gerson Therapy in the 1930s, initially as a treatment for his own debilitating migraines, and eventually as a treatment for degenerative diseases such as skin tuberculosis, diabetes and, most famously, cancer.
Questions and Answers About the Gerson Therapy
Source: The website of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov)
What is the Gerson therapy?
The Gerson therapy has been used by some people to treat cancer and other diseases. It is based on the role of minerals, enzymes, and other dietary factors. There are 3 key parts to the therapy:
- Diet: Organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to give the body plenty of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other nutrients. The fruits and vegetables are low in sodium (salt) and high in potassium.
- Supplementation: The addition of certain substances to the diet to help correct cell metabolism (the chemical changes that take place in a cell to make energy and basic materials needed for the body’s life processes).
- Detoxification: Treatments, including enemas, to remove toxic (harmful) substances from the body.
What is the history of the discovery and use of the Gerson therapy as a complementary or alternative treatment for cancer?
The Gerson therapy was named after Dr. Max B. Gerson (1881-1959), who first used it to treat his migraine headaches. In the 1930’s, Dr. Gerson’s therapy became known to the public as a treatment for a type of tuberculosis (TB). The Gerson therapy was later used to treat other conditions, including cancer.
What is the theory behind the claim that the Gerson therapy is useful in treating cancer?
The Gerson therapy is based on the idea that cancer develops when there are changes in cell metabolism because of the buildup of toxic substances in the body. Dr. Gerson said the disease process makes more toxins and the liver becomes overworked. According to Dr. Gerson, people with cancer also have too much sodium and too little potassium in the cells in their bodies, which causes tissue damage and weakened organs.
The goal of the Gerson therapy is to restore the body to health by repairing the liver and returning the metabolism to its normal state. According to Dr. Gerson, this can be done by removing toxins from the body and building up the immune system with diet and supplements. 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. Pancreatic enzymes are given to decrease the demands on the weakened liver and pancreas to make enzymes for digestion. An organic diet and 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.
Have any side effects or risks been reported from use of the Gerson therapy?
Reports of three deaths that may be related to coffee enema’s have been published. Taking too many enemas of any kind can cause changes in normal blood chemistry, chemicals that occur naturally in the body and keep the muscles, heart, and other organs working properly.
You can read the full article at The website of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov)
This study looked at the Gerson Therapy and concluded:
The 5-year survival rates reported here are considerably higher than those reported elsewhere. Stage IIIA/B males had exceptionally high survival rates compared with those reported by other centers (see review below)
This study concluded:
The 5-year survival rates reported here are considerably higher than those reported elsewhere. Stage IIIA/B males had exceptionally high survival rates compared with those reported by other centers.
This study says:
All 6 cases had a cancer diagnosis with poor prognosis. Despite the presence of some confounding variables, it seems that the Gerson regimen has supported patients to some extent both physically and psychologically.
Joyce’s Doctor Didn’t Think She’d Be Alive Today
Source: The Gerson Institute
Working for the Gerson Institute, I hear many remarkable stories of people who have used the Therapy to heal themselves. One of these remarkable people is Joyce Forsythe, who just enjoyed another holiday with her family – 7 ½ years after being diagnosed with stage IV mantle cell, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I want share Joyce’s story with you, because it is not only a remarkable testament to the healing power of the Therapy, it also shows how important it is that people know about the therapy before they become ill.
Since it is her story, I will let Joyce tell you about her healing journey, in her own words.
In July of 2005, at the age of 68, I found a mass in my abdomen. PET and CT scans showed my spleen had grown to the size of a football. I had my spleen removed and after a biopsy received a diagnosis of stage IV mantle cell, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My oncologist at Dana Farber recommended a cocktail of four different chemotherapy drugs. He hoped these drugs would put my cancer into remission for a couple of years.
I had learned about Dr. Max Gerson’s therapy 30 years earlier when we lived outside of New York City near his medical practice. As a long-time subscriber to the Gerson newsletter, I had always planned to start the Gerson Therapy if I got cancer. So, I turned down the chemotherapy and told my oncologist that I would do Gerson’s holistic cancer Therapy instead. He reminded me that my cancer was stage IV. Nutrition wouldn’t hurt, but it wouldn’t help. I had read Dr. Gerson’s book and the many patient cases in the newsletters over the years. The oncologist’s warnings were no deterrent for me.
Now retired, my husband Pete and I felt up to the task of rebuilding my body with hourly fresh vegetable juices and doing all that is required by the Therapy. Along with the hard work involved, there was some humor. Pete told me that one time the grocery clerk, ringing up the 20-pound bag of carrots, commented, “I know. You have a horse!”
We were both overjoyed as my lab results began showing the healing taking place. I had not been on the Gerson Therapy long when I took my latest lab reports with me to an appointment with my oncologist. My oncologist took a look at the lab results and exclaimed, “These are absolutely fantastic!” I soon received a letter from him saying “Keep doing what you are doing. The chemo would not have cured your cancer anyway.”
Although the lymphoma specialist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston was in charge of my case, CT scans, blood tests and cancer marker tests were done at our local cancer center and I met regularly with my local oncologist for interpretation of the results. The local oncologist told me at the end of five years that there was no need for me to keep coming to see her; however she said she didn’t want to lose touch with my case.
She said she thinks of me often as she prescribes for others the drugs that had been recommended for me. She said “Had you taken the recommended chemo, I doubt you’d be alive today.” She asked if I would be willing to send her a copy of the annual lab results ordered by my internist for my future physicals. I told her I’d welcome that. “Seriously,” she said, “we doctors need to know about your success.”
The following week, I went to my internist for my annual physical. After the exam, she commented, “You could be a poster girl for how a woman of 73 should be eating.” In my annual report, she wrote:
“Mrs. Forsythe has cured her own cancer following Gerson Therapy to the ‘T’.”
– Joyce Forsythe, December 2012
More video testimonials at Gerson.org
Where can I get this treatment and more information?
There are currently two licensed Gerson clinics where patients are treated, the Gerson Health Centre in Hungary and the Gerson Clinic in Mexico. There are also Certified Gerson Practitioners in Oregan, California and Georgia (USA).
Plaskett Therapy (similar to Gerson Therapy)
The following is an excerpt from an article written by Chris Woolams for CANCERactive
After a degree in biochemistry at Cambridge, a doctorate at London University and a number of years in food companies and Government agencies, Dr Plaskett turned his extensive knowledge to updating the Gerson Therapy. His argument was simple. Dr Gerson was brilliant but since his death over 40 years ago much more has been learned about nutrition and biochemistry.
It is Plaskett’s firmly held view that a nutritional approach to cancer should be nationally available. More fundamentally he argues that orthodox authorities are already in full acceptance that nutrients can protect against the inception of cancer. And that various sources indicated that up to 60 per cent of cancers appear to have nutritional cause.
This may or may not be the case. Indeed, cancer development is a multi-stop process and nutrition, or rather poor nutrition, may be a factor in virtually all cancers, even if other factors are more damaging.
As a biochemist he sites research showing, for example, that
•Flavenoids such as quercetin (onions) stop the proliferation of cancer cells in vitro, especially if vitamin C is present (Kandaswami)
•Quercetin and genistein (a soya isoflavone) are the most potent anti-proliferating flavenoids in colon cancer (Kno)
•Quercetin has potential in the treatment of leukaemia (Teofil)
•Catechins in green tea reduce size of human prostate and mammary tumours (Liao)
•Beta-carotene and vitamin C influence the survival of women with breast cancer (Ingram BJC 1994)
•Lycopene (tomatoes) inhibits prostate cell growth, as do beta-carotene, canthavanthin and retinoic acid. Coenzyme Q10 produces good results with breast cancers (Lockwood 1994).
Plasket argues that many recent scientific discoveries have proven that Gerson was, indeed, right and considerably “ahead of his time”. His research into the latest scientific studies has supported, for example, the importance of omega 3 (from fish oils and linseed oil) as an essential element in the good health of cells; the use of coffee enema’s to induce raised levels of glutathione S-transferases, the enzymes of liver detoxification; the use of high potassium and digestive enzymes.
Where he feels recent studies have added to Gerson is that there is no need for castor oil, iodine and iodide, dried thyroid, liver juices and liver injections. Instead he recommends a very detailed and precise list of supplements, some of which vary according to the cancer
Plaskett is very open and honest about what is still unknown about the particular ingredients of plants, vegetables and fruits that might be protective probably because he is such a precise man.
He sites carotenoids, flavanoids, indoles, thiocyanates, ellagic acid, commarins and limonaids as protective, but given that there are 4000 flavenoids known to science for starters he is honest enough to conclude that exactly which ones are the best, and how much should be taken of each is imprecise. With quercitin he adds that large quantities of onions might not be too good for the digestion or even breathe, but supplements (which are available) might lack important “assisting” micronutrients.
Plaskett included in his therapy:
•coffee enema’s (but less than Gerson)
•fruit and vegetables (but less than Gerson)
•potassium (as Gerson), plus magnesium in addition to ensure that the sodium pump worked effectively
- linseed oil (as Gerson) plus fish oil
- digestive enzymes (as Gerson) but supplemented by amino acids
- bowel flora bacteria (not used by Gerson)
- aloe vera (not used by Gerson) – it stimulates the immune system and is a glycoprotein (see later)
• high fruit and vegetables but concentrating on them with scientific evidence
- adjustment of therapy to certain different cancers – e.g. the use of soya for hormonal cancers
• the use of very specific levels of certain supplements.
His scientific studies have led him to seven areas for inclusion in his therapy.
1:Antioxidants – using vitamins E, C, curcuminoids from turmeric, Coenzyme Q10, and multiple carotenoids and flavenoids.
2:Anti-proliferating agents to slow down cancer proliferation e.g. flavenoids, carotenoids, vitamin A, curcuminoids.
3:Detoxifying – e.g. organic sulphides from garlic, thiocyanates from brassicas and magnesium to increase glutathione levels.
4:Differentiators – to induce cancer cells to become more “normal” e.g. bromelain (from pineapple), zinc, s-allyl cysteine (from garlic).
5:Inhibitors of metastatis – stopping cancer spreading, e.g. bromelain, soya.
6:Immune stimulation – e.g. aloe vera, bromelain, vitamins and minerals.
7:Angiogenesis inhibitors – inhibiting growth of new blood vessels needed by tumours, e.g. soya bean genistein, garlic.
The therapy is vigorously vegan. Dairy products, eggs, fish and meat are vigorously excluded. A low protein diet has been shown to be effective against cancer (Tannenbaum). All fried foods are avoided, as are processed foods.
Fresh vegetable intake is high, but uses only those with proven phytonutrients with anti-cancer properties e.g. garlic, cabbage, red-leaved lettuce, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, onions (red and green), tomato, aubergine, broccoli, cucumber, kale, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, radishes, Brussel sprouts, endive, watercress, capsicum peppers.
Herbs and spices are used: liquorice, ginger, turmeric, mint, horseradish, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, chives, basil, mustard and tarragon (all organic).
Plaskett even provides a list of daily requirements:
Garlic 10 gms
Fresh onion 100-150 gms
Fresh tomato 200 gms
Turmeric powder 5 gms
Pulses-fresh and dried peas, lentils, chickpeas and beans 40 gms
Soya (only included if the cancer is hormonal)
Nuts and seeds are avoided to minimize fat and protein intake
Oats 50 gms
Brown rice 125 gms
Fresh sweet corn
Occasionally potatoes – bake and boiled – freely used
No tea or coffee – but dandelion, organic Japanese green tea, rosibosch tea are allowed
Forbidden foods include:
Sugar of all kinds (including honey, syrup, jams)
Textured soya Confectionary
Chocolate Ice cream
Fizzy soft drinks
No fats (because it activates carcinogens) other than a limited amount of linseed oil and fish oil (both for omega 3)
Dried fruit (it contains sulphite)
Juices consist of six per day (all freshly squeezed)
1 glass of orange juice
2 glasses of leaf juice (endive, watercress, lettuce, green peppers, red cabbage)
3 glasses of apple and carrot (1:1)
Some beetroot juice is also used.
Of interest may be the nutritional developments in hand for the Plaskett Therapy.
Brassica vegetables possess a number of anti-cancer agents. Even higher levels of some of these are found in germinating broccoli seeds.
Some cultivations of garlic produce higher selenium levels and these bulbs have been linked with, for example, effective prevention of mammary tumours (Ip and Lisk). Garlic normally contains sulphide rather than selenium.
Saffron has anti-cancer components crocin, picrocin and saframal.
Shiitake mushrooms have 1:3 beta-glucan polysaccharide which has shown strong anti-cancer properties.
Curcuminoids seem to exhibit more anti-cancer properties, the more research is done!
Limonene-rich orange peel oil is also strong in anti-cancer properties although the oil may produce negatives too.
Clearly, here we are looking at a very detailed, disciplined and thoroughly prepared nutritional plan. The detail of supplements down to the exact number of milligrams is very different from the more casual juicing plan of Gerson.
Either way both Gerson and Plaskett fervently believe that nutrition if poor can cause cancer; and nutrition if perfected can restore health.
We would be wise to heed both men…