Nutrition Diet In the Gerson Therapy
Juicing and Detoxification is
important for cancer recovery
The Gerson Therapy of nutrition and diet
emphasizes the importance of raw juices, vegetable
juicing and detoxification and the sodium / potassium
requirements in cancer recovery diets.
What’s Different about the Gerson Nutrition and Diet
Consistency with the Gerson Therapy is important in the
recovery of cancer
Gerson Therapy of Diet and Nutrition along with
detoxification is necessary in reversing and killing cancer
The Role of
carbohydrates in the Gerson Nutrition and Diet protocol
of reversing cancer
The Role of
fats in the Gerson Nutrition and Diet protocol of
The Role of
protein in the Gerson Nutrition and Diet protocol of
Juicing is one of the most important aspects of the
Gerson Nutrition and Diet protocol in destroy cancer tumors
Food Preparation on the Gerson Nutrition and Diet
protocol can seem very restrictive, yet very important in
reversing cancer and giving health and vitality.
So Different About the Gerson Therapy Nutrition and Diet?
often comment that the Gerson diet is similar to many other
nutritional approaches. It may be similar, but it is not
of the other approaches that are similar and yet very
macrobiotic approach, for example, recommends cooked foods
almost exclusively and is high in sodium. (see
Another dietary approach recommends large quantities of nuts
and seeds. (nuts and seeds are very difficult to digest as
well as nuts are very high in fats. See
nuts and seeds)
another stresses the importance of pH balance in foods.
Ann Wigmore diet recommends raw foods exclusively.
the list continues.
these diets have their supporters, and they all have
successfully treated some individuals.
are many different schools of thought about how diet affects
health and many different paths to wholeness.
The approach you take to your own healing must be your own
but we encourage you to choose one approach and stick with
it, adding aspects from other approaches only when they are
known to be compatible.
Gerson Therapy usually is not effective if its dietary
guidelines are mixed with those from other treatments. While
the Gerson diet is similar to, and has served as the
foundation for many other nutritional healing programs, its
guidelines activate specific biochemical processes that
promote healing in a unique way.
Consistency with the
Gerson Therapy is important in the recovery of cancer
The foods and juices consumed on
the Gerson diet constitute its primary prescription for
healing, comparably to a drug in allopathic treatment.
Significant deviation from the diet can be as serious for a
Gerson individual as missing an insulin shot can be for a
diabetic, or as missing a chemotherapy or radiation
appointment can be for a cancer patient undergoing an
We have found that the best results are achieved by
following these guidelines to the letter. Of course, we
recognize that sometimes it will be impossible to meet
all of the guidelines, whether for logistical, financial
or other reasons, and many of those who must "cut corners"
will still achieve optimal healing with the Gerson method.
Rare, mild deviation from the therapy does not seem to
affect outcomes significantly.
For us we stayed as close as we could to the intent and
protocol of the Gerson Therapy as possible. We elected to
do some of the adjuvant cancer treatments described under
home cancer treatments.
Because I still needed to continue to work full time and had
other responsibilities I did not get the rest I needed. I
also had to prepare and seal 2-3 juices in 8 oz. jars to
drink at work.
By sealing the juice into the individual jars, I was able to
preserve most of the enzymes (enzymes are destroy when
exposed to air).
I knew by taking some of these steps it could jeopardize the
success rate. For me it took longer to accomplish the
An individual will not fail to heal simply because he misses
one glass of juice a couple of times in a month.
person will not fail if they must make use of commercial
produce occasionally, when organic produce is unavailable.
A person, will however, reduce his chances of success if he
cuts too many corners. How many corners can he cut? There is
no good answer to that question, because every person, every
diagnosis, responds differently to the Gerson Therapy.
individuals have followed the guidelines in Dr. Gerson's
book, A Cancer Therapy, without medical
assistance, and have healed themselves.
the Gerson Therapy must not be considered a "paint by
numbers" approach to healing. Care is optimal when
individually supervised by a trained (and experienced)
We contacted the Gerson Institute (www.gerson.org)
and requested a Gerson trained doctor to review our labs,
x-rays, and other reports and give us
Review of the
Gerson Therapy of Diet and Nutrition along with
detoxification is necessary in reversing and killing cancer
Much of degenerative diseases and cancer lies in the
inability of the gastro-intestinal tract and the cells to
absorb nutrients and eliminate toxicity at the cellular
allows the cells to easily absorb the necessary enzymes and
nutrients to break down toxins, chemicals and other foreign
material. Coffee enemas are necessary for detoxification of
the liver. It is the liver that often collects and stores
the toxins, chemicals and foreign material in our body. (see
Biological Basis of coffee
needs energy for healing and regeneration and carbohydrates
provide the major source of energy. The source of the
carbohydrates is in the fruits and vegetables.
Degeneration of cells and the formation of cancer tumors
tissues are mobilized and broken down by the gluco-corticoid
proteins and fats are used as the main energy source due to
is equivalent to burning "dirty fuels" in your vehicles.
The reason why the cell membrane deteriorates and is not
responsive is due to the prolonged use of damaged fats, such
as polyunsaturated fats and cooking oils that are rendered
biologically inert and may be toxic.
together with cholesterol and saturated fats, clog the cell
membrane, inhibiting signals and transfer, and disrupts the
whole energy system setting off a fermentation process.
membrane is composed of a double layer of fatty acids with
protein "gateways". It is reliant on adequate intake of
corrects fats for membrane integrity and efficiency.
membrane becomes increasingly inert due to the ingestion of
the incorrect types of dietary fats leading to uncontrolled
inflammatory mechanisms and a diminishing response to
As I studied types of fat
and their effects on the deterioration of cell membranes and
the mutation of cells causing cancer and my diet and
nutrition I was appalled at what I had done to my body.
Through many weight loss
diets plans I had starved my body of healthy fats and then
filled my diet with all the wrong fats when my body cried
out for fats. I had eaten way too many processed foods and
restaurant prepared foods.
It is amazing that I had
stayed healthy as long as I had.
As healing and regeneration take place slowly, the diet must
be applied rigidly over a long period of time. Within 18
months to 2 years one can notice a substantial difference as
a significant amount of body tissue (cells) have been
replaced and repaired.
compliance and an alternative or holistic approach are vital
to overcoming disease states.
We need to recognize that
what you eat today is your cells and tissue of tomorrow and
it take a considerable period to increase the vitality and
resistance of the body to overcome chronic degenerative
disease including cancer.
The Role of Carbohydrates in
the Gerson Nutrition and Diet protocol of reversing cancer
such as oatmeal, potatoes, vegetables and fruit provide the
chief source of clean fuel that will provide energy for a
recovering person but must be taken in larger quantities.
On the Gerson Therapy the
high vegetable content is taken mostly in juice form that
provides sufficient energy for daily energy requirements and
the higher energy demand of regeneration.
carbohydrates are oxidized they do not leave an acidic waste
in the body as do protein and fats.
The end products are carbon dioxide and
water that promote an alkaline environment.
This encourages the:
elimination of sodium from the tissues,
toxicity and acidity and
the passage of potassium into the cell.
It is essential that the cell respond to insulin for
digestion at cell level and healing of the body.
A therapy loaded with carbohydrates
will promote good insulin response. However, many people
with degenerative disease have degrees of carbohydrate
intolerance (diabetic) due to their weakened digestive
This will be evident in the gut and in
other systems such as symptoms of low blood sugar (lethargy,
fatigue, poor concentration, mood swings, panic attacks, hot
and cold sweats, etc) and 'fuzzy' head after ingesting
Improvements from these symptoms can
take days to months to occur, particularly in Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome. A person may feel unwell initially on this
type of diet but the all important uptake of potassium will
slowly improve at the cellular level.
The Role of Fats in the Gerson
Nutrition and Diet protocol of reversing cancer
The diet must contain no fats
except for flaxseed oil.
Flaxseed oil contains both fatty acids
linolenic and linoleic acid, but is richer in the former
omega 3 series.
The biologically active, unsaturated
oils belong to either the w6 series (linoleic) or w3 series
When these molecules are transformed
through heating, refining and oxidation they:
their electrical potential,
incorporated instructural lipids, and
only as fuel.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) will become part of the
membrane of new cells and will also dislodge the cholesterol
from arteries and old cell membranes causing initial rise in
blood levels of cholesterol.
Dr. Gerson initially eliminated all fat
with cancer patients as he found that it encouraged tumor
growth. Later he found that cold-pressed and organic
flaxseed oil at the dose of 2 tablespoons (20 mls) daily in
the first month and then reduced to 1 tablespoon was the
The outer membrane of the cell and the membranes of the
organelles within the cells cover a huge surface area where:
the enzyme activity,
of the cell takes place.
A healthy membrane with EFA's present
can store energy and attract oxygen into the cell. This is a
crucial factor in cell metabolism, particularly to the
brain, and a deficiency of EFA's leads to oxygen starvation
by the cell (Budwig 1992). (See
The Role of Protein in the Gerson
Nutrition and Diet protocol of reversing cancer
Protein is required for growth and
tissue maintenance but ingesting excess to our requirements
creates acidity and strains the kidney that eventually
affects the heart.
The reason for this is the body does not lay down excess
protein but converts it to carbohydrate or fat by the liver.
The nitrogenous portion (amine) becomes
urea and is eliminated by the kidneys.
Urea is not only a poison, but also a
diuretic, increasing calcium loss and contributing to
osteoporosis. This progressive dehydration:
accelerates the ageing process,
capacity for hydration.
With that comes hardening which
ultimately leads to decrease in functional capacity seen in
wrinkled skin, brittle spinal discs, hardened arteries,
brittle bones, stiff joints, cancer, and other debilitating
Protein metabolism is controlled by various hormones, and
after the growth hormone drops off at around age 30, high
protein intake will not increase body muscle mass.
Exercising increases the muscles
capacity to store carbohydrates, as muscles do not use
protein for energy.
Dr. Gerson found that inclusion of protein in the nutrition
and diet reduced sodium elimination and slowed the process
of detoxification down.
The more acidity you produce from a
high protein intake, the greater the amount of sodium
absorbed by the kidneys.
He also observed that dietary protein stimulated tumor
growth, but that when restricted for a short period (6-12
weeks), the immune profile changed and the white T-cell
This information was enough to make me want to give up all
the meats. My question to myself was “which was more
important to my and my family – meat or health”?
I now eat meat occasionally and in smaller quantity. I feel
better and am healthy.
Dietary protein reinforced the immune
response to tumors, fungi and viruses (Gerson 1999).
An adverse effect on the immune system
is noted after this period so a form of soured milk product
The maximum amount allowed is 8 oz/200
g (1 cup) yogurt or cottage cheese or 4 oz/ 100g pot
Raw, soured milk products are
pre-digested by the bacterial conversion of lactose to
lactic acid but it is increasingly difficult to find raw
The pasteurization process distorts the protein and kills
the natural enzymes (Fallon 1995).
Dr. Gerson used the juice of fresh, raw veal liver and
patients responded very well to the therapy. Due to
cross-contamination with campylobacter at abattoirs today,
it is generally unsafe for immune-compromised patients to do
liver juicing. Dr. Gerson substituted liver tablets
formulated by the Gerson Institute. See
Nutrients recommended by Dr. Gerson
Small amounts of protein taken in its raw form may not be a
burden on the system.
Cooked protein, however, changes its
structure from a globular to a straightened form that is not
recognizable to the body's digestive enzymes for example,
the change in the white of egg.
The impaired digestive system of an
older or sick person will show symptoms of bloating,
flatulence, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome
Partially broken-down proteins enter
the systemic circulation as toxic and foreign, and if the
liver cannot cope in mopping them up, inflammatory reactions
in the tissues and joints will arise.
In the initial 6-12 weeks on the
Gerson Therapy potatoes, oatmeal and carrots are the primary
source of protein.
The protein molecule is less damaged
due to slow cooking of vegetables which also shortens the
long carbohydrate chains and makes digestion easier, thus
vegetables generally taste sweeter in their cooked state.
Cooking at low temperatures also
ensures maximum breakdown of indigestible fibers, maintains
the integrity of the enzymes as well as the conversion of
starches to easily digestible sugars. (See
Cooking water for food reaches a maximum of 100ºC; fried
food can reach 215ºC and some processing methods such as
puffed rice and cereals use high temperatures and 1500
pounds/square inch pressure.
The more damaged the protein, the more toxic it becomes in
Recent research in Sweden revealed that
starch-based foods that have been cooked or processed at
high temperatures contain high levels of acrylamide, a
chemical used in water and waste treatment, which is toxic
and a potential carcinogen.
of foods includes:
fries/potato crisps and
Protein is found in most foods in different quantities. The
following are approximate amounts:
When grains and legumes are swollen with water when cooked,
the protein content is reduced by two-thirds.
in the therapy as the juices decrease and as the digestion
strengthens, other foods can be included with discretion and
understanding, starting with the lowest protein foods and
moving up to grains (eg., brown rice and legumes).
high in fat so are added much later and need to be soaked
overnight, which enables the protein and fat to chemically
combine, making the fat water-soluble and easier to digest.
Many of these products need to be
pre-digested if they are to be of nutrition benefit, even to
those with a strong digestion.
traditional indigenous cultures understand the need to
prepare foods to make it more digestible and ensure that the
nutrients become available.
souring, for instance, also contributes additional enzymes
from the bacteria and their action on the sugars increases
their food value.
Salting, pickling and
chemical preservatives, processed and refined foods are NOT
healthy options for food preservation, and although they are
used by the food industry in mass production, they should be
Grains, legumes, and pulses are all seeds with the potential
to sprout and produce.
factor inhibits this process until conditions are favorable
and allows for storage for long periods. This factor will
also oppose human pancreatic enzymes and interfere with
be prevented by semi-germinating the seeds in the following
grains and legumes for 12 hours in pure water.
drain and leave in a glass dish at room temperature covered
with a damp cloth for 12 hours.
humid climates, rinse again - do not let seeds go moldy.
Another problem with
legumes, grains and seeds is the amount of phytate they
is found in the outer covering (bran) of the seed and binds
magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc, stripping it from the
are high in phytate. Soaking neutralizes the phytates in
applies to the soaking of oats overnight as the enzyme
phytase is produced which neutralizes the phytic acid and in
the leavening of bread by the natural fermentation of flour
in buttermilk or yogurt (we prefer the sour dough method as
yeast is not easily digested in cancer patients).
Soybeans and soy products are
forbidden on the detoxification diet as phytosterols inhibit
thyroid function and are high in anti-trypsin. Phytates are
associated with brain atrophy (Fallon 1995).
Juicing is one of the most
important aspects of the Gerson Nutrition and Diet protocol
in destroy cancer tumors
detoxification therapy from the combination of juicing and
coffee enemas is predominant and if done incorrectly could
be too much for a weakened digestion to cope with.
It is not
only essential that the individual ingest and digest the
correct nutrients, but that they absorb them.
Fresh, live juices, free of
fiber, which taxes the digestive system and inhibits
absorption, are taken in large volume.
rich in enzymes (amylase, protease and lipase), which are
destroyed when heated at wet temperatures higher than
45ºC/117ºF and 85ºC/150ºF with dry heat.
All natural foods contain
living enzymes (amylase, protease and lipase), but the fresh
juices ensure absorption and do not tax the pancreas to
release greater amounts of digestive enzymes.
masticating action to produce the pulp that is then pressed
results in twice the nutrient value. See
This is vital to the weak individual who needs these enzymes
to support their digestive processes otherwise gas and
bloating will ensue. An inefficient juicer wastes a large
quantity of the vegetables and increases costs.
to provide the huge amounts of nutrients required by the
nutritionally depleted cancer person for healing, a large
amount of organic food needs to be consumed on a daily
digestive system is usually impaired and of small capacity,
some of this is juiced to promote maximum absorption with
minimum effort. The volume of produce consumed daily amounts
to about 20 lbs.
When I first looked at the
amount of food I would be consuming I felt overwhelmed.
But as I began the juicing
I realized that I not only needed to drink enough juices to
maintain, but I need to increase the amount of nutrients and
enzymes to begin the healing process.
I had depleted my body of
important enzymes, nutrients, etc. Now I need to replace
and strengthen my immune system and body tissues.
Bloating has been
attributed to food combining, however it is essential on the
Gerson Therapy to pulp the apples and vegetables together.
acid from apples enhances the uptake of nutrients from the
vegetables. Apples are cored but not peeled, as the enzyme
inhibitor in seeds impedes digestion. Pectin, which is high
in green apples, stimulates the immune system.
food has significantly higher nutritional values and is
Food Preparation on the Gerson
Nutrition and Diet protocol can seem very restrictive, yet
very important in reversing cancer and giving health and
methods and enzyme supplements increase the complete
digestion of starches and sugars, and ensure maximum
absorption for the cancer person.
Undigested sugars will
start to ferment and cause gas and bloating. The best way to
prepare vegetables is to cook them slowly for 1 1/2 to 2
hours without water.
preserves the natural flavor and keeps them easily
digestible. The cells burst, lose their minerals and go out
of their colloidal or 'gluey' state and become difficult to
absorb when cooked at high temperatures.
prevent burning, place a stainless steel heat diffuser plate
under the sauce pan. Soup stock may be added (Hippocrates),
or else sliced tomatoes, onions, leaks or apples added to
give more fluid and improve the taste.
water is too bitter for use and contains too much oxalic
Vegetables are washed and scrubbed but not peeled or
scraped. The reason for this is that important salts and
minerals are deposited directly under the skin.
and potatoes are cooked in their skins (jackets) and with
water. The soft bulk of cooked vegetables counteracts the
effects of all the juices and raw salads, and provides
plenty of nutrients.
fruits and vegetables may be kept in a refrigerator
overnight and warmed slowly with a little soup or tomato
juice. Use grated, peeled or shredded food as soon as
possible as it deteriorates rapidly, as do the green juices.
Baked vegetables are cooked slowly in a moderate oven (Gas
4, Electric 180ºC/350ºF) for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, in a covered
casserole with a tightly fitting lid.
vegetables are cooked in a heavy pot, preferably waterless,
with a tight fitting lid, over a low heat. Simmered
vegetables may be cooked with a small amount of liquid over
a low heat.
vegetables (sweetcorn, beetroot, artichoke) are placed in 1
inch of water, brought to the boil and then the heat lowered
as much as possible, just keeping the liquid boiling.
It is not advisable to make casseroles too often as the
dishes all taste the same.
stimulate appetite a variety of taste, color and consistency
stainless steel, glass, Pyrex, enamel, earthenware, cast
iron and tin ware cooking utensils.
Do not use aluminum, Teflon
or copper, pressure cookers, steam cookers or microwaves.
Radiation and microwaves
change the composition of food, making it difficult to
assimilate and affection the immune system.
Individuals who cannot chew and benefit from the digestive
juices in the mouth do not do very well.
Hippocrates soup is passed through a food mill to break down
any fibers and make the food more digestible. This may be
kept in the refrigerator for 2 days and retains nutrient, if
not enzyme, value.
cooked vegetable could be prepared in mashed form for the
very ill patient.
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