The Gerson Therapy

Gerson Therapy is named after Dr. Max Gerson, German physician. The essence of the Therapy is the body’s health-restoring function, which affects  the whole body with holistic way.

Dr. Max Gerson – Physician, developer of Gerson Therapy

Born on October 18,
1881 in Wongrowitz, Germany, Max Gerson studied medicine in three leading
German universities (Bresslau, Würzburg, and Berlin) and graduated from the
University of Freiburg. At a young age, he frequently suffered from
debilitating migraine headaches, which forced him to spend days bedridden in a
darkened room, unable to work. Since none of the medical experts he consulted
was able to help him, he began to experiment with various diets to see whether
his problem might have a nutritional cause. After several failures, he found
that a salt-free, low fat vegetarian diet freed him from his crippling
migraines and nausea.

He began to prescribe his “migraine diet” to fellow sufferers among his patients, all of whom reported great improvements. His views on the nature and cure of degenerative diseases changed dramatically when one of his patients, who followed Dr. Gerson’s diet told him that not only had his migraines ceased, but his lupus vulgaris – skin tuberculosis – was also beginning to heal. “Impossible,” Dr. Gerson replied, “lupus is incurable.” Yet, clearly, the patient’s lesions were healing. The young physician was baffled: how could a diet specifically designed as a cure for migraine also affect a totally different disease? This contradicted all that he had been taught by his eminentteachers. Eventually, he was forced to acknowledge that what his diet was curing was not a specific condition but the entire organism, which then became able to get rid of all its ills. He published his results in a dozen of the world’s leading medical journals and, and this insight was the foundation on which Dr. Gerson eventually built his nutrition-based therapy.

After successfully treating a large number of lung tuberculosis patients with his “migraine diet”, Dr. Gerson reluctantly agreed to treat an insistent female cancer patient by dietary means – and achieved a cure. Early successes were followed by some failures, which prompted him to explore the cancer problem with the scientific rigour and painstaking clinical observation that characterized his work. Before World War II, he and his family immigrated to the United States where he passed his board of health exams and was licensed to practice medicine in New York State.

Over the next twenty years, having developed and refined his therapy, he was able to cure a large number of cancer patients including many terminal cases who had been given up by doctors after all conventional treatment methods had failed. His success and the unusual nature of his treatment attracted great hostility from the American medical establishment, which hampered and frustrated his efforts to publish his results and make his method public. Although only a few peer-reviewed journals were willing to accept the “radical” idea of nutrition in the treatment and prevention of disease, Dr. Gerson continued to publish articles on his therapy in Europe. Eventually, he felt obliged to write a book entitled A Cancer Therapy – Results of Fifty Cases based on his 30 years of professional experience, in order to provide a lasting record of his life’s work. That book, first published in 1958 and kept in print ever since, including treatment plans and case studies, has become a classic publication, presenting a revolutionary alternative approach to cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

Dr. Gerson, a pioneer of holistic healing, saw the future. He was right when he predicted that a toxic environment combined with a diet lacking essential nutrients could lead to cancer and a host of other degenerative diseases. Although he was laughed at in his own time, research studies now confirm that nutrition is a powerful and effective tool in the treatment of diseases. 

Dr. Max Gerson died in 1959.

About the Therapy

The basic principle of the Therapy is to nourish and detoxify the body. The principle of the therapy is based on the important recognition that individuals suffering from chronic degenerative disease are always in a state of deficiency; therefore, on the one hand this needs to be helped and on the other hand, – precisely because of the insufficient energy supply – the detoxification  process it is adequate either and the accumulated toxins must be eliminated from the body.

Because of the toxic self-generating processes, the organism is not able to properly utilize the nutrients, so consecutive deficiency states occur until the equilibrium of the body is completely upset.

The Gerson Therapy is able to restore this disrupted balances by intervening on four different but closely connected levels:

  1. Special diet
  2. Fresh juices
  3. Medicines and medicinal preparations
  4. Detoxification

Our special diet and
medicinal juices nourish the organism and replenish  it with optimal enzymes, vitamins and trace elements.
Every hour, patients receive fresh organic juices (mainly carrot, apple,
lettuce, green pepper etc.) in a specific composition to be consumed
immediately. Solid foods including plenty of fresh salads, oatmeal, special
Hippocrates soup, jacket potatoes and fresh fruits are also an important part
of the diet.

The main rules of the diet

The most important criteria of the diet is to consume  chemical-free, organic  foods because the already toxic body should not be burdened with new toxins.  The diet is also strictly  salt-free. These salt-free meals help recover the
correct sodium-potassium ratio in the organism enhancing the healthy operations
of cells.  For this purpose, a separate potassium supplement is taken in addition to the otherwise potassium-rich diet.
Because Gerson patients are unable to digest fats, the diet is fat-free, and the only permissible source of fat is omega 3-rich, cold-pressed flaxseed oil.
During the first six weeks of therapy, the consumption of animal protein is strictly prohibited, and later it is allowed in the form of salt- and fat-free yogurt and cottage cheese unless there are contraindications.

Medicinal preparations & nutritional supplement

In order for the sick body to be able to properly utilize this abundant, nutrient-rich food, certain medicines and other medicinal and nutritional supplements must be used. On the one hand, these help the digestive processes (gastric acid, various pancreatic enzymes); on the other hand, they increase metabolism (thyroid extract). Some of them help the energy supply of the liver or help in capillary circulation (coenzyme Q10, niacin). Alsoincluded is the liver extract injection used in lieu of the previously used fresh, raw calf liver juice, with minimal B12, as well as capsules containing dried liver extract. One of the most important pillars of the therapy is the restoration of the cells’ Na-K balance. In order to achieve this, a large amount of potassium solution is added to the juices while the intake of Na, other than what vegetables and fruits originally contain, is completely prohibited. This, as well as the activation of the thyroid gland, is enhanced by the use of Lugol’s solution.


The regenerated immune system is able to expel the tumor cells and defecate the toxins from the body. Toxins are excreted by liver and other excretory organ. The procedure of coffee enema is help the immune system to expel the toxins  and disencumber the liver.

In the intensive session of the Gerson Therapy, patients are required to do coffee enemas for four hours five times a day. In the Therapy that is also very important to use castor oil for enemas every two days.

The essence of coffee enemas are based on the fact that the caffeine in it (and caffestol and casein) reaches the liver directly through the rectal veins through the portal system, increasing bile production and bile flow, which helps to flush out toxins. Toxins are excreted from the liver along with the bile into the horseshoe gut, and from there, due to the increased peristalsis, are soon excreted in the feces. Its positive effect is immediate.

When the immune system functions well again, it ensures that the tumor tissues are destroyed and that the toxins accumulated in the affected organ(s) are released from the cells and enter the bloodstream. From there, the excretory organs, the functioning of which we also need to stimulate, continuously clean these harmful substances and toxins from the body. This very strong detoxification process eliminates a particularly large amount of toxins, which is primarily the job of the liver, and without assistance, there is even a danger of liver intoxication. Dr. Gerson developed the theory and technique of coffee enemas, which must be done five times a day, every four hours during the initial intensive phase of the therapy in order to relieve the burden on the liver. Dr. Gerson also recommends incorporating a castor oil regimen, he created, every two days. The essence of the coffee enema is based on the fact that the caffeine it contains (and the since-recognized substances, such as cafestol and kahweol) goes directly to the liver through the veins of the rectum, through the portal system, as a result of which bile production and bile flow increase, which helps the elimination of the toxins. The toxins are excreted from the liver together with the bile into the horseshoe intestine, and from there, due to the increased peristalsis, they are excreted in the feces within a short time. Its positive effect can be seen immediately.