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The Gerson Therapy

for Those Dying of Cancer






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The Gerson Therapy

For Those Dying of Cancer

by Vance Ferrell

Published by Pilgrims Books

Beersheba Springs, TN 37305 USA

Printed in the United States of America

Cover and Text Copyright © 1999

by Pilgrims Books

“The physician . . hesitates to take risks for his patients by

applying a not-recognized treatment . . I was in a more favorable

position. Ninety to ninety-five percent of my patients

were far advanced (terminal) cases without any risk to take;

either all recognized treatments had failed or the patients

were inoperable from the beginning.”

—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. xiv

“I should like to tell you what we do to prove that this treatment

really does work on cancer. Number one, the results. I

think I can claim [stated in 1956] that I have, even in these far

advanced cases, 50% results.”

—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 411

This book is only written for those whom the physicians

have given up on. It can provide you with information you

need as you consult with a Gerson-trained physician at the

Gerson Institute.

Caution: Consult with your physician and do not,

without his guidance, attempt self-help therapy. The

author and publisher are not responsible for any

attempt to do so. This information is provided as an

educational tool concerning certain aspects of cancer.


The Physiology of Coffee 4

Preface 6

The Story of Max Gerson 8


The reasoning behind this therapy

Four Special Problems 12

Solving the Four Problems 13

Better in Seven Ways 13

Five Dangers 14

Why Did Gerson Succeed? 14

Gerson Explains His Method 14


What is included in the program

How to Begin 17

Do this First 17

Special Needs 18


Forbidden Foods 18

Forbidden Non-food Substances 19


Foods to Use 20

More on Foods to Use 20

Foods to Eat Each Day 21

Sample Menu 21

Sodium-Potassium Ratios 21

Medications - 1 22

Foods Temporarily Forbidden 23


Purchase of Food 23

Kitchen Equipment to Use 24

Kitchen Equipment Not to Use 24

Juices 24

Preparation of Carrot and Apple Juice 24

Chart: Using the Norwalk Juicer 25

Preparation of Citrus Juices 26

Preparation of Green Leaf Juice 26

Preparation of Cooked Vegetables 26

Preparation of Special Soup

(Hippocrates’ Soup) 26

Preparation of Peppermint Tea 27

Medications - 2 27


Physiology of Coffee Enemas 28

Preparing the Enema Mixture 29

Taking the Enema 29

Taking Castor Oil by Mouth 30

Taking Castor Oil By Enema 30


Pain Triad 30

Castor Oil Pack for Pain 30

Hydrotherapy for Pain 31

Heat above the Abdomen for Upset Intestinal

Tract 31

Chamomile Tea Enema for Upset Intestinal

Tract 31

Potassium Added to Enema Water 31

Flare-ups and Reactions 31

Clay Poultice 32


Green Leaf Tea Enema 32

Massage 32

The Will to Live and Push Through 32

Instructions for Giving Injections 32

Why Do Some Cancer Patients Do Better

after Surgery? 35

How to Prevent Cancer 35


Putting it all together


Charts: Two Schedules 34

Initial House Preparation 35

Sample Enema Schedule 35

Daily Schedule 35


Kitchen Supplies 36

Three Months’ Supply 37

Gerson Supply Sources 38

Locating Organic Food 40

Supply Order Form 39

Lab Tests 40

Improving Your Water Supply 40

Gerson Therapy Recipies 41


Milder measures for non-malignancy

The Gerson Therapy in the Treatment of

Non-Cancerous Disorders 41


4 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

The Physiology of Coffee

Just what does coffee do in the human body?

It is a remarkable fact that, according to the

manner in which it is taken, it has two entirely

different effects.

If a diluted mixture of coffee is taken in an

enema, it opens up the bile ducts so toxic substances

can be emptied out of the liver. For about

54 years, Dr. Max Gerson used coffee enemas to

do this—and found no other side effects. Instead,

he found that diluted coffee enemas would save

lives, when nothing else would.

“Where do we begin? The most important first

step is the detoxification. So let us go into that.

First we gave some different enemas. I found out

that the best enema is the coffee enema as it was

first used by Prof. O.A. Meyer in Goettingen. This

idea occurred to him when, together with Prof.

Heubner, he gave caffeine solution into the rectum

of animals. He observed that the bile ducts were

opened and more bile could flow . .

“These patients who absorb the big tumor

masses [from the tumor into the blood stream into

the liver] are awakened with an alarm clock every

night because they are otherwise poisoned by the

absorption of these masses. If I give them only one

or two or three enemas, they die of poisoning. I did

not have the right as a physician to cause the body

to absorb all the cancer masses and then not to

detoxify enough. With two or three enemas they

were not detoxified enough! They went into a coma

hepaticum (liver coma).

“Autopsies showed that the liver was poisoned. I

learned from these disasters that you can’t give

these patients too much detoxification . . When I

didn’t give these patients the night enemas, they

were drowsy and almost semi-conscious in the

morning. The nurses confirmed this and told me

that it takes a couple of enemas till they are free of

this toxic state again. I cannot stress the detoxification

enough. Even so with all these enemas, this

was not enough! I had to also give them castor oil

by mouth and by enema every other day, at least

for the first week or so.

“After these two weeks you wouldn’t recognize

these patients any more! They had arrived on a

stretcher, and now they walked around! They had

appetite. They gained weight and the tumors went

down.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, pp. 407-


In strong contrast, if a cup of coffee is swallowed,

it has entirely different effects—and all

of those effects are extremely negative:

“A cup of coffee taken by mouth has an entirely

different effect . . It heightens the reflex response,

lowers the blood pressure, increases heart rate, perspiration,

causes insomnia and heart palpitation.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 191.

Checking a standard 1,450-page textbook (pp.

374-377 of Mosby’s Pharmacology in Nursing)

which deals with the subject, the effects of drinking

coffee or other caffeine products are well-known.

“More frequent side effects include increased

nervousness or jittery feelings and irritation of GI

tract resulting in nausea. More frequent adverse

reactions in neonates abdominal swelling or distension,

vomiting, body tremors, tachycardia, jitters,

or nervousness.”—Mosby’s Pharmacology in

Nursing, p. 375.

It is an intriguing fact that not one of these

terrible side effects occurs when a coffee enema

is given! Max Gerson said that “a cup of coffee taken

by mouth has an entirely different effect.” That was

his observation from about 1925, onward to his

death in 1959.

A diluted coffee enema has one, different, and

powerful effect: the strong dilation of the bile

ducts. This never occurs when coffee is drunk

by mouth.

It is clear that drinking coffee by mouth and

taking a diluted mixture of it, temporarily into

the lower bowel, have totally different effects.

Why is this?

Here are four reasons why:

First, God made the stomach and small intestines

to be the normal means of absorbing

substances from the food. This includes carbohydrates,

amino acids, fats, and other nutrients.

Apparently, the lower bowel was not designed

to absorb substances as well. It does not have the

lacteals, found in the small intestine, which absorb

nutrients into the blood stream.

Second, coffee drunk by mouth, passes

through the entire gastro-intestinal system. In

contrast, a diluted coffee enema only enters the

lower part of the large bowel.

Max Gerson’s consistent practice (continued


today by the Gerson Institute and all patients) is

never to give high colonics, but only low enemas.

The fluid enters and is retained only in the lower


Third, coffee, when drunk, remains in the

body for up to 5-6 hours, until it is entirely absorbed

by the lacteals and has passed into the blood

stream, thence to be carried throughout the body

and into every organ, wreaking havoc on the entire


But, in accordance with consistent Gerson directives,

a diluted coffee enema only remains in the

lower bowel 12 to 15 minutes—and then it is expelled.

Fourth, in order to produce so many different

effects, coffee taken by mouth would have to

enter the bloodstream,

Yet it is quite obvious that a diluted coffee enema

does not enter the bloodstream—for if it did, it

would produce the very same effects,—which it does

not. Instead it produces a single, entirely different

effect: the powerful opening of the bile ducts, so

poisons stored in the liver can be released.

What is the mechanism by which this occurs?

Max Gerson has stated that the diluted coffee in

the enema, instead of actually traveling to the liver

in the bloodstream, may only send a signal to it.

The present author suggests that it would have

to be the latter. If the coffee entered the blood stream

and was carried to the liver,—that same coffee would

also travel throughout the body and produce all

those negative effects which coffee taken by mouth

does (heart palpitations, body tremors, etc.).

But since a coffee enema produces none of these

bad effects, it must be that coffee only sends a signal,

via the nerves, to the liver.

Thus we are confronted by the fact that coffee

enemas apparently are not harmful to the

system. This conclusion may be incorrect. But that

is where the observable facts lead us.

However, let us take this matter one step further:

I know any number of people who would never

drink a cup of coffee, yet who are quick to take

an antibiotic when they are sick. Yet drinking a

cup of coffee is far less dangerous!

I have never drunk coffee nor taken a coffee

enema, yet it is clear to me that we are here dealing

with saving human lives.

If taking diluted coffee enemas will help save

the life of a cancer patient who is dying, then I

for one will not be the one to tell him he should

not take them.

And I do not believe I am wrong in making this


The Physiology of Coffee

Are there other problematic substances used

in the Gerson Therapy?

There are several other Gerson “medications”

which are not needed by those who are healthy,

but which are given to help the sick recover health.

The Gerson therapy is focused on but two objectives:

filling the body with nutrients and expelling

toxic substances from the body. In the

process of doing these two things, the cancer is

totally eliminated. Everything is done to achieve

these two goals.

1 - Liver extract is given because of the continually

lowered quality of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Gerson began using such a product in 1950, because

he found that lab reports revealed that, by

the late 1940s, fresh fruits and vegetables no longer

had as much nutrients as they had in the early


If you think you can obtain enough nourishment

from fruit and vegetables, then skip the liver.

2 - Pancreatin tablets are given. These help to

reduce digestive problems during the heavy detoxification


But if you do not need it, do not take it.

3 - In addition to iodine (Lugol’s solution), thyroid

is also given. The purpose of this is to ensure

that enough iodine is obtained by the cells. (It is the

potassium and iodine which starve the sodium out

of the cancer cell, killing it.)

If you think you are likely to obtain enough iodine

from the Lugol’s, then do not use the thyroid.

4 - Castor oil is given to help flush the poisons

out of the intestinal tract, which have been poured

into it from the liver through the bile ducts. The

effect of castor bean oil is similar to the laxative

herbs, except that it is more efficient.

You would be very wise not to skip it.

In all these matters, you are the boss. But know

that Gerson worked out a formula which produces

terrific results—but primarily in those who carefully

remain on the full program for 18 to 24 months.

6 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

This book is written for all those on

the other side of hope, for the weary,

and for those who despair of holding

on to life—yet want to cling to it.

There is hope in this book. There is

a way out of the dark tunnel, back into

the land of the living.

But it will take dedication and work.

If you are not living in the shadow of

death, then this book is not for you.

Pass it on to someone who will value


Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the missionary physician

to Africa, wrote this about his friend of many years,

Dr. Max Gerson:

“ . . I see in Gerson one of the most eminent

medical geniuses in the history of medicine. He possessed

something elemental. Out of deepest thought

about the nature of disease and the process of healing,

he came to walk along new paths with great

success. Unfortunately, he could not engage in scientific

research or teach; and he was greatly impeded

by adverse political conditions. In ordinary

times he would have been able to expound his ideas

for many years as professor at one of the important

German universities; would have taught pupils

who could carry on his research and teachings;

would have found recognition and encouragement

. . All this was denied him.

“His was the hard lot of searching and working

as an uprooted immigrant, to be challenged and to

stand as a fighter. We who knew and understood

him admired him for working his way out of discouragement

again and again, and for undertaking

to conquer the obstacles.”—Dr. Albert

Schweitzer, quoted in Journal of the Gerson Institute,

Fall 1981, p. 14.

The following two statements will provide researchers

with a better idea of the success rate of

the Gerson therapy—and the difficulties:

“By application of these principles, the Gerson

therapy is able to achieve almost routine recovery—

90% or better—from early to intermediate cancer.

When cancer becomes incurable by orthodox methods

(i.e., involves the liver or pancreas or is metastasized

inside the body), about 50% recoveries can

be achieved by the Gerson method.

“Norman Fritz gives laetrile as an example of

other good nontoxic therapies. It has a good shortterm

response—relief from pain, remission of malignancy,

improvement in appetite and sense of wellbeing

or increase in strength—in 70% or 80% of

cancer cases. The long-term recovery rate, however,

is about 15% or less. In most cases degeneration

progresses to where the laetrile is no longer sufficient.

In some cases other nontoxic therapies may

be constructively combined with the Gerson


“The other big advantage of the Gerson therapy

is that it usually heals the body of all the degenerative

diseases rather than just healing cancer. Many

cancer patients are suffering from other degenerative

conditions also—arthritis, heart conditions,

diabetes, etc.”—Cancer News Journal, 1983 Update.

Of the many, many cases which could be described,

here was one among several where the

patient had do everything by himself:

“Fifteen years ago, at age 70, Earl Taylor of Cairo,

Illinois, was sent home to die by his doctor. Earl

had prostate cancer which was spreading extensively

as a large mass in the groin, in spite of the

harmones his doctor had been giving him. His doctor

told him to get his affairs in order, as there was

nothing that could be done to save him.

“Earl had read about Dr. Gerson and the Gerson

Therapy in Prevention magazine. He contacted Dr.

Gerson’s daughter in New York. She sent him Dr.

Gerson’s book, A Cancer Therapy — results of 50

cases. Earl had completed the sixth grade as a boy

and spent all of his life working in a junk yard. He

called Dr. Gerson’s daughter again and told her that

he couldn’t understand the book. She suggested

that he just follow the treatment outlined on page

235 in the book (page 236 in the latest edition, now

gives an hourly schedule).

“Earl said it was the hardest thing he ever did in

his life. His wife had died years before, so he was

all alone. (The institute tells people they should

have help with the therapy, to have the best chance

of winning.)

“Earl was in pain, and the easiest thing to do

was to stay in bed; but, he thought, ‘If I do that, I’ll



just die.’ So he forced himself out of bed, to grind

and press the hourly raw juices and to do the rest

of the therapy. Soon the pain was gone. In a month

his doctor could no longer feel any of the large mass.

“In a few months he felt well enough to go each

day to help his friend, Gwinn Dunbar, who was

dying of cancer spread through both lungs. Both

patients recovered on the Gerson therapy and are

still alive 15 years after being hopeless.”—Journal

of the Gerson Institute and the Gerson Therapy,

Fall, 1981, 5.

Here is a second comment on Earl, which clarifies

his case still more:

“Earl Taylor, 85, metastasized prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer diagnosed by biopsy, 1963. Treated

with female hormones. In 1966, mass spreading

to groin, much pain, told to go home and get his


affairs in order. At age 70, started Gerson therapy.

In one month, mass no longer palpable by physician.

In 1980, accident caused rib fracture. Bone

scan showed no sign of cancer. Remains in good

condition, still working part time at 85.”—Op. cit.,


Birger Jansson, Ph.D., of the University of

Texas, found that patients with a higher sodium to

potassium ratio in their diets were the ones most

likely to have cancer. Stephen Thompson, Ph.D., at

the University of California, San Diego, found that increasing

the sodium content of the diet—would accelerate

the rate at which metastasis of colon cancer

in animals occurred.

“Cancer is now the only major killing disease in the industrialized

world whose rates are sharply rising. Just by way of quantitative

contrast, mortality from AIDS, another eminently preventable disease,

although highly alarming if not catastrophic, is relatively low.

About 30,000 cases, more than half already fatal, have been reported

since 1981 when the disease was first detected; additionally,

it is estimated that 2-3 times as many Americans suffer from advanced

symptoms of the AIDS-related complex which often

progresses to frank AIDS. Rapidly increasing numbers of cases,

totaling some 270,000 are projected by 1991. In contrast, there have

been major reductions in deaths from cardiovascular disease, still

the number one killer in the U.S., probably because of a recent decline

in smoking and attention to diet and exercise.

“With over 900,000 new cases and 450,000 U.S. deaths last year,

cancer has now reached epidemic proportions, with an incidence of

one in three and a mortality of one in four. Analysis of overall cancer

rates, standardized for age, sex and ethnicity, has demonstrated

steady increases since the 1930s, with more recent sharp annual

increases in incidence rates by some 2% and in mortality rates by

some 1%.

“Cancer is an age-old and ubiquitous group of diseases. Its recognized

causes and influences are multifactorial and include natural

environmental carcinogens (such as aflatoxins and sunlight),

lifestyle factors, genetic susceptibility, and more recently industrial

chemicals. Apart from modern lifestyle factors, particularly smoking,

increasing cancer rates reflect exposure to industrial chemicals

and runaway modern technologies.”—Samuel Epstein, M.D., professor

of occupational and environmental medicine, University of Illinois

Medical Center of Chicago, quoted in 1987 Congressional

Record, 133(135):E3452-3453.

8 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

Max Gerson, M.D., was born in Germany on October

18, 1881. For his graduation tests, at the age

of 19, Max wrote a totally new approach to a mathematics

problem. His teacher could not figure it out,

so sent it to the University of Berlin. They wrote

back, that it was the work of a brilliant mathematician

and that Gerson should be directed into higher

mathematical studies. But Gerson had other plans.

He wanted to become a medical doctor. Max wanted

to help people.

Graduating from the University of Freiburg in

1907 as a physician, he received advanced training

under five of the leading medical experts in Germany.

Shortly after completing medical school, Gerson

began experiencing severe migraine headaches.

He was only 25, yet he would have to lie in a darkened

room for two or three days in pain.

The doctors had no answer. One told him, “You

will feel better when you are 55.” But that was not

much of a solution.

Then Max read about a woman in Italy who had

changed her diet, and her migraines lessened. This

gave him an idea, so he began tinkering with his diet.

In his case, he had excellent feedback: If he made a

beneficial change, the migraines reduced in intensity

and frequency; if he made a mistake, one would begin

within 20 minutes.

First, he tried a milk diet, but that was useless.

Then he went off all milk, and that helped a little.

Then he tried eating apples only—raw, cooked,

baked—and that was a great help. Slowly he added

other things, till eventually he had totally eliminated

his migraines.

So he told his migraine patients about his diet.

He called it his “migraine diet.” When they returned,

they would tell him theirs was gone too. But one said

it had also eliminated his lupus (lupus vulgaris, or

tuberculosis of the skin). Gerson knew the man could

not have had lupus since it is incurable, but the patient

showed him his medical records. The year was


It was obvious to Gerson that the medical theory,

that there is but one medicine for each disease, was

incorrect. As he later stated it, the great truth was

this: “Nourish the body and it will do the healing.”

So Max treated some other lupus patients, and

their problem vanished also. But patients came back

with the news that their other problems had disappeared

as well. The careful dietary program he devised

was successful in treating asthma and other allergies;

diseases of the intestinal tract, liver, and pancreas;

tuberculosis; arthritis; heart disease, skin conditions,

and on and on! Some of his most striking

successes were in liver and gallbladder diseases.

In Germany at that time, trains often had private

compartments, each one seating six. One day,

as a train was about to pull out from the station, a

man entered one of the compartments. The only

other person there was a distinguished-appearing

gentleman who said nothing. As the train got underway,

the man started chattering to no one in particular.

The gentleman tried to ignore him.

Soon the man jovially got on the subject of health,

and the gentleman wished he could get to his destination

a little quicker.

Then, opening his shirt slightly, the man said, “And

you know, I had this lupus, right here on my chest.

And this doctor, he cured it. Now it’s gone!”

At this, the gentleman jumped up, lunged at the

man, reached for his shirt and said, “Let me see that!”

The gentleman was Ferdinand Sauerbruch, M.D.,

one of Europe’s leading skin and tuberculosis doctors.

He well-knew that lupus cannot be cured!

Obtaining Gerson’s name and address from the

man, Sauerbruch contacted Gerson as soon as he

reached his office. A friendship was started, and

Sauerbruch, impressed with his humility and sincerity,

arranged a test using Gerson’s remarkable diet

on 450 “incurable” lupus patients.

But after a week or so, it was obviously a failure.

Sauerbruch did not think it would come to this; he

had hoped against hope. So he penned a letter to his

friend Gerson and, then, slowly walked back across

the hospital grounds after posting the note.

He was on his way to cancel the test; but, on the

way, met a woman carrying two large trays full of meat,

gravy, sugary foods, and all the trimmings. Asking her

what she was doing, she replied airily: “Oh, the people

over in this building are starving, so we’re sneaking

food in to make them happy. They have a crazy doctor!”

Sauerbruch quickly set guards to keep the diet

the way Gerson had prescribed it, and then wrote a

second letter informing Gerson the test was still in


Result: 446 of 450 incurable patients (99%) recovered.

Lupus had been shown to be curable by diet

The Story of Max Gerson



But Gerson still had not tried his therapy on

cancer patients. Even in Germany, physicians were

careful about trying out new cancer remedies. When

a couple of cancer victims came to him, he turned

them down. But one day, a lady called him to her

home, but would not tell him what was wrong with

her. Arriving, she told him she had cancer and pled

for him to help her. She was in bed, weakened, and

in terrible condition. He told her he could not do

so. “Please, she said, just write out your dietary formula,

and I will sign a paper not holding you responsible

for what happens.” Gerson did so and

left. It was obvious she was too weak to even follow

the directions.

All alone, the sick woman struggled to follow the

program—and recovered totally from cancer.

Learning of this, Gerson began treating other cancer

patients. The year was 1928. Of his first 12 cases,

7 responded favorably, remaining symptom free for

seven and a half years.

(Some of these facts we know because of testimony

presented by him and others at the July 1-3,

1946, senate hearings, conducted by Claude Pepper

of Florida.)

Gerson also treated Dr. Albert Schweitzer, his wife,

and daughter for various health problems. Gerson

saved Mrs. Helene Schweitzer from hopeless lung tuberculosis

in 1931; and, several years later, he healed

their daughter of a rare, serious “incurable” erupting

skin condition that defied diagnosis.

Dr. Schweitzer himself came to Gerson at the age

of 75, depressed and weary with advanced diabetes.

In five weeks, Dr. Schweitzer had cut his insulin dosage

in half, and in ten was completely off of it. Healed,

and with new energy, he returned to Africa where he

worked past the age of 90. In response, the worldfamed

Schweitzer declared, “I see in him one of the

most eminent medical geniuses in the history of medicine.”

Schweitzer afterward required that his physicians

in Lambarene, Africa, study Gerson’s book,

Therapy of Lung Tuberculosis, before they started

to treat the patients in his hospital.

Gerson was remarkable. Geniuses tend to focus

their thoughts, whereas most people scatter theirs.

Because of this trait, Gerson could not ride a bicycle.

He would be so deep in thought that he would smash

it. After having destroyed four of them, his family forbade

more of that. For the same reason, he could not

drive a car. His mind was continually at work, devising

ways to help his patients.

One day while walking in the woods in the Harz

Mountains near Bielefeld (before moving to Kassel),

Max met a man who raised foxes. The rancher told

him that he ran a very successful fox farm. He would

buy sick, tubercular foxes for almost no cost, and

later sell them. He said his foxes had the finest coats

and their pelts brought the highest prices. Gerson

asked him how he could do this. Mentioning that it

was a secret which must not be shared with the other

fox farmers, he said there was a doctor, somewhere

in Germany, named Max Gerson who had a nutritional

cure for disease. The farmer bought sick foxes

which had lung tuberculosis, healed them with

Gerson’s diet of organic vegetables and fruits, and then

sold them at a good profit because they produced such

high-quality fox furs. Both men were happy when

Gerson introduced himself.

At the age of 51, Gerson was asked to present

his findings, by appointment, at a meeting of the

German Medical Association. At last he would have

an opportunity for the world to learn of his work to

save people. On April 1, 1933, as he sat in the railroad

car, on his way to Berlin, the train stopped at

a station and Hitler’s SS troups entered.

When a young, inexperienced SS officer asked

Gerson where he was going, Gerson, not knowing

there was any danger, enthusiastically showed him

X-rays and told him about his work. Impressed, the

young man replied that he hoped Gerson would succeed,

forgot to ask the question, and passed on to the

next man just behind Gerson. For the first time,

Gerson heard the question the troops were asking

each passenger on the train: “Are you a Jew?”

Immediately, Max sensed the terrible danger. All

the passengers except Gerson were asked that question,

and Max saw one young man, a Jew, led outside,

where he was gunned down as Gerson watched

through the window. He had just seen the first largescale

action to collect 6,000,000 Jews for extermination

in the Nazi concentration camps.

As the train continued on, Max completely changed

his plans. Instead of getting off at Berlin, he continued

on the train to Vienna, Austria. From there, he

contacted his wife and told her to immediately come

with their three girls, which she did. He also contacted

all their brothers, sisters, and relatives, and offered

to send money for them to leave. But they laughed at

his concerns. They had their homes, their businesses,

and there was nothing to fear from Hitler.

Max Gerson, his wife, and their relatives were

Jews. All of those relatives (15, plus children) later

perished. From Vienna, Gerson later went to Paris.

In 1936, he emigrated to America, and went to

school to learn English. In January 1938 he received

his medical license and began practicing in New York

City. By this time, Gerson could enlarge or shrink

surface cancers at will. He knew exactly what was

needed to help his patients. The only question generally

was whether they were in earnest enough to fully

follow his program when they went home.

His first contact with medicine in America was

The Story of Max Gerson

10 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

enlightening. Called as a consultant to physicians

treating a wealthy industrialist for arthritis, Gerson

outlined what he would do to bring a fairly quick recovery.

There was an awkward pause, and then one

of the doctors said, “Dr. Gerson, you are new here.

You don’t understand. This man is a wealthy member

of the W.R. Grace family. They own steamship lines,

banks, chemical companies, and so on. You don’t cure

a patient like this. You treat him.”

In New York, he treated 90% of his cancer patients

without charge and financed his own researches

in chronic diseases. From 1946 to 1948 he saw patients

at the Gotham Hospital.

At the Senate hearings, he testified that he believed

the liver held the key to the cure of cancer—

and that if the liver was too far gone, treatment was

useless. This would be understandable, since the liver,

an astounding chemical laboratory, is the primary

detoxifying agency in the body.

Appearing with him on July 3, 1946, at the threeday

Senate hearings were five of his patients, each of

whom had fully recovered from some of the most common

forms of cancer in America. He also came with

X-ray photographs, pathology reports from leading

hospitals, and testimonials from many other patients

and relatives of cancer victims.

In reaction, on November 16, 1946, in its “Frauds

and Fables” category, the Journal of the AMA hopefully

dismissed the Gerson’s unprecedented Senate

presentation with the words, “Fortunately for the

American people this presentation received little, if

any, newspaper publicity.”

In its January 8, 1949, issue, the Journal wrote,

“There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to indicate

that modifications in the dietary intake of food

or other nutritional essentials are of any specific value

in the control of cancer.”

During his lifetime, Gerson wrote 51 articles,

published in medical journals. (All of his publications

are listed at the back of S.J. Haught’s book,

Has Dr. Max Gerson a True Cancer Cure?) But, for

the most part, Gerson worked alone. Other physicians

generally feared to help him or duplicate his

work, for fear of reprisal.

Eventually, Gerson’s medical privileges at Gotham

Hospital were revoked, and he was unable to find an

affiliation with any other hospital in the city. In 1953

his malpractice insurance was discontinued. One

$100,000 malpractice lawsuit would have wiped him

out. Because the larger number of those who sought

him had advanced cancers, some of them died. Yet

their relatives knew that they died with dignity, free

from pain and brain-numbing narcotics.

Gerson’s needs were simple. Patients were

shocked to learn that he would generally charge $25

for the first visit and $5 or $10 for subsequent visits.

(They had earlier been told he charged high fees,

$1,000 or $2,000 for each visit.)

Refusing to stop his work, Gerson treated patients

at his own facilities. In October 1954 at the

age of 73, he wrote his former patient and close

friend, Albert Schweitzer,

“Those who say they would like to help, often

tell me they cannot. They regret not being able to

assist me for fear of losing their position in hospitals

and laboratories. I have long abandoned

thoughts of attaining any kind of recognition, nonetheless

I continue on my way.”—Journal of the

Gerson Institute, Fall 1981, 16.

Some of his best-documented, recovered patients

died, when they were urged back by their former physicians

for examination, and then told they must have

surgery or radiation—when they were totally free of

cancer symptoms or evidence.

On two occasions Gerson became violently ill after

being served coffee by a group supposedly supporting

him. Later laboratory tests showed unusually

high levels of arsenic in his urine.

Some of Gerson’s best case histories mysteriously

disappeared from his files. In 1956, the manuscript

and all of its copies for Gerson’s almost completed

book (A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases) were

stolen and never recovered.

Separating himself from that group, Gerson, now

quite aged, raced against time to completely rewrite

the book. In 1958, the book was published.

On March 4 of that same year, he was finally

suspended for two years from the New York Medical

Society. At a meeting of the New York Academy

of Medicine, the surgeons, radiologists, and physicians

condemned a colleague who was living by

Hippocrates’ dictum: “Above all, do no harm.”

Gerson died a year later (March 8, 1959), shortly

after he fell down the stairs in his house. He was 78

years old.

Upon Gerson’s death, Albert Schweitzer, the Nobel

prize-winning physician and missionary, and a patient

of Gerson’s, made this statement:

“I see in him one of the most eminent medical

geniuses in the history of medicine . . Many of his

basic ideas have been adopted without having his

name connected with them. Yet he has achieved

more than seemed possible under adverse conditions.

He leaves a legacy which commands attention

and which will assure him his due place. Those

whom he cured will now attest to the truth of his

ideas.”—Albert Schweitzer, M.D., Ph.D., quoted in

S.J. Haught, Has Max Gerson a True Cancer Cure?


That prediction was to prove true.

At the urging of many individuals who recognized

that a revival of Gerson’s therapy was urgently needed,

Charlotte Gerson Strauss (the youngest of Gerson’s

three daughters; born March 27, 1922), headed up a


new venture, called the Gerson Institute, in a clinic/

hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. The Gerson Institute was

incorporated on June 27, 1978, twenty years after

the publication of Gerson’s book, A Cancer Therapy,

and nineteen years after his death.

The Gerson Institute headquarters is located in

Bonita, California, near San Diego. The hospital, is

in a suburb of Tijuana, Mexico.

Charlotte continues to travel around the world,

speaking at conventions, meetings, and on talk shows.

Although elderly herself, she is in good health, for

she carefully remains on the nutrition and juice program

her father developed.


Gerson Therapy—The U.S. address and phone

number will, for most people, be easier to work with:

Gerson Institute, P.O. Box 430, Bonita, California

91908. Phone: 619-585-7600 or 619-267-1150. Fax:

619-585-7610. Automated voice information 24 hrs/

day: 1-888-4-GERSON.



The primary Gerson treatment center is Hospital

Meridien, Lava #2971, Secc. Costa Hermosa, Playas

de Tijuana, B.C., Mexico, CP22240. Phone: 011-52-

66-801358. Fax: 011-52-66-801831. Web:

Hospital Meridien is 30 minutes south of downtown

San Diego.

A recently opened U.S. treatment center is the

Gerson Center at Sedona, 78 Canyon Diablo, Sedona,

AZ 86351. Phone or write the Bonita, California, office,

above. GCS, the Sedona facility, is located 100

miles north of Phoenix and 28 miles south of Flagstaff,

near Sedona, a small town of 8,000.

The Story of Max Gerson

“I see in him one of the most eminent

medical geniuses in the history of medicine

. . Many of his basic ideas have been

adopted without having his name connected

with them. Yet he has achieved

more than seemed possible under adverse

conditions. He leaves a legacy which commands

attention and which will assure him

his due place. Those whom he cured will

now attest to the truth of his ideas.”

—Albert Schweitzer, M.D., Ph.D., quoted

in S.J. Haught, Has Max Gerson a True

Cancer Cure? 1962.

12 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

Here is the Gerson Formula

We should settle one thing here at the beginning:

The purpose of the Gerson therapy is to save

life. People who go on this program are frequently

close to death. Unlike some other “cancer remedies,”


does not like the program, or wish to go on the program,

that is his choice. But he should not reprove

those who do, so they can continue living.

They need encouragement, not reproof.

There are medicines used in this therapy to

help recover the sick. You and I do not take those

medicines. They are not for us. We are well. But,

for the greater part of a century, Dr. Gerson and

associates found that these special substances

brought people back from the brink of death—for

those substances provided the ill with a combination

of abundant tissue nourishment and intense

tissue cleansing. Like all medicines, they are used

for a time by sick people to help make them well.

After that, they can be set aside.

To friends and loved ones of the sufferer with

advanced cancer, we would say: This person is battling

for his or her life, and needs your help. He

or she may die without earnest efforts. Let’s pitch

in and help. If the situation were to be reversed, is

not this what you would want others to do for you?


The reasoning behind this therapy

Although this book was written for researchers

and historians, it is able to make many other people

better informed on these issues.

Since there are over fifty cancer treatment methods

surveyed in this complete book of over 200

pages, in searching for the best ones to work with—

what are the essential points we should keep in

mind, in order to find the best remedial program

for cancer?

(In the following overview, we will frequently refer

to the cancer as a “tumor,” knowing that not all

types of cancer are in that form.)


cancer, what are the areas which need correcting?

1 - Wasting away: Medical experts know that

cancer victims starve to death. Their systems become

so disorganized, due to poisons thrown into

the system by the malignancy, that they cannot properly

assimilate the food they eat. This problem must

be dealt with.

2 - Reduce the tumor: The tumor must be

downsized or shrunk. In the medical route, this is

done by applying surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation

to the tumor. In the process, severe damage is

done to surrounding tissue and, generally, to the

entire body. Natural remedies accomplish this task

by gradually dissolving the tumor, so that it is carried

off in the blood stream.

3 - Clean the liver: As the tumor breaks up, it

is carried by the blood to the liver, which is the primary

blood-cleaning organ. But this results in a

pileup of toxic substances in the liver. So much waste

is being carried to it, from the tumor, that the liver

cannot eliminate it fast enough. So shrinkage of the

tumor requires an urgent, ongoing cleansing of the

liver. The poisons in it must be removed. If this is

not done, the person will become drowsy and go

into a hepatic coma. He will slip into unconsciousness,

and die from liver poisoning.

4 - Clean the bowel. As the poisons are expelled

from the liver, they must be rapidly taken out of the

body through the intestines and large bowel. It is

vital that the body be aided in this function. Just

because toxins have passed from the tumor to the

liver, and into the intestinal tract—does not mean

they are out of the body. We know, from how the

body works in other disorders, that when the bowel

is overloaded, toxic substances are reabsorbed from

it—and carried to the liver and kidneys for removal.

To summarize the above: Good nutrition cleans

the tumor, gradually emptying it into the bloodstream,

where it travels to the liver, which cleans

the blood. Help is needed to clean the liver, which

then empties the poisons through the gall bladder

into the small intestine. That waste must be quickly

hurried out of the body.

Reading through the more than fifty cancer treatment

methods in this book, we find that all of them

claim to reduce the tumor tissue.

But very few of them deal with all five factors;

indeed, most appear to not be aware that all five


must be dealt with.

In order to have the highest rate of success, all

five factors must be dealt with, and on an ongoing

basis, every day!


now consider each of these five factors more


1 - Wasting away: Part One of this present book

provides a wealth of information on nutrition needed

to prevent cancer and aid in eliminating it. Of the

several dozen treatments described in Part Two,

some strongly emphasize nutrition. These include

Bulkley (47), Bell (48), Ozias (50) Hindhede (55),

Chase (59), Kloss (66), Drosnes and Lazenby (71)

Evers (82), Wigmore (84), Kelley (85), Knekt (89),

Livingston (95), Schrauzer (99), Issels (102), Asai

(106), Karmali (107) Krebs (118), and Gerson


But, of these, most provide us with only vague

data on nutritional changes needed or focus on the

use of a single vitamin or nutrient.

Here are the few which actually had a nutritional

program which was highly organized: Chase (59),

Kloss (66), Drosnes and Lazenby (71), Kelley (85),

Krebs (especially see 126-129), and Gerson (142


Of these, the Krebs and Gerson nutritional programs

are to be noted. But the Gerson nutritional

program is the most carefully structured and

adapted to the needs of the cancer sufferer.

2. Reduce the tumor: All of the more than fifty

remedial programs discussed in this book claim to

reduce the tumor mass.

A number of them use special chemicals, herbs,

serums, vitamins, or oxygen to do it. An excellent,

brief survey of what each uses to reduce the tumor

will be found on pp. 167-168.

Of the various methods used, one of the best is

nutrition. Good food can not only reverse the wasting

away problem; but, in addition, it is the primary

way the tumor is dissolved!

Because the Gerson therapy provides the best

nutrition, it is, in this respect, the best of more than

forty programs for reducing the tumor.

3. Clean the liver: Surprisingly, although many

methods have been devised to dissolve the tumor,

very little attention has generally been paid to the

need to come to the rescue of the overworked liver,—

and remove the toxic buildup developing there as it

cleans dissolving cancer tissue from the blood


To our knowledge, only the Gerson program

systematically deals with this problem.

4. Clean the bowel: Once again, the Gerson

program is one of only a few which give careful attention

to this need. As an important added benefit,

as the liver and bowel are cleansed, pain is

found to be reduced, and the person feels much


BETTER IN SEVEN WAYS—One might imagine

that the present writer is prejudiced in favor of

the Gerson program. Yet he wants you to know that

he came to this conclusion after having written the

present 200-page survey of all the better-known alternative

cancer therapies and their results.

Why is the Gerson therapy superior? Here are

several very important reasons:

Number of people helped: This is the outstanding

factor: the pragmatic test. Does it really work?

How many people has it helped? The Gerson program

has helped more people recover from cancer

than any other method that we know of.

Length of time it has been used: In the twentieth

century, the Gerson therapy has been used

longer than any other. Max Gerson first began using

the method about the year 1910, and continued

doing so until his death in 1959. In 1978 his

daughter, Charlotte, teamed up with a medical

group and opened a clinic in Tijana, Mexico, which

has continued on down to the present. That is a

span of 70 years!

Continual improvement for 70 years: As

Gerson and those who followed him have tried to

help cancer patients, they have gradually improved

on the method. They were not satisfied to stop with

one or two discoveries. They have considered every

approach used by others and have found a few

which are useful (many which were not).

Not a single substance: A large number of the

forty alternative cancer remedies discussed elsewhere

in this large book are single-item preparations.

Yet it requires a broad nourishment and

cleansing approach to both remove the cancer and

rebuild the body. The Gerson program is broader

than any other the present writer has, to date,


No strange chemicals: Other than potassium

and iodine, both elements which the body needs,

the Gerson therapy does not use chemicals. There

are no laboratory-prepared extracts, no horse serums.

Nearly all the foodstuffs can be purchased

in a grocery store.

No pain opiates needed: Daily cleansing of the

liver and bowel removes the pain. This enables the

person to be much more cheerful and positive, and

1 - Introduction

14 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

obtain better rest during sleep, during the recovery

process. A cancer therapy is moving in the right direction

when it reduces the accompanying pain. The

removal of pain shows that the buildup of toxins in

the body is being lowered.

Willingness to share: Gerson and his associates

have been willing to share all they know, so

folk can use it at home. That is a quality one does

not find very often. We do not have here a secret

formula, which is kept hidden for personal profit.

FIVE DANGERS—Yet, not even the Gerson

therapy can heal every cancer sufferer. It should be

kept in mind that certain factors reduce the likelihood

of healing:

1 - Progression: How far the cancer has advanced.

If a person begins on a nutritional/cleansing

program early, he is far more likely to achieve a

full recovery. (However, much of Gerson’s successful

work was with patients which the other physicians

had given up on.)

2 - Location: The cancer site. Some types of

carcinomas are more difficult to heal than others.

Therefore, as soon as one recognizes that he has

cancer, it is best to begin a full healing program.

3 - Chemotherapy and/or radiation: Has the

individual received any chemotherapy or radiation

for cancer? If so, his body has been heavily poisoned

and weakened. Chemotherapy and radiation operate

on the principle of trying to kill more cancer

cells than the other cells. In the process, all kinds

of cells are damaged or destroyed. But even if all

the cancer cells were to be eliminated by chemo or

radiation,—if the body has been greatly weakened

in the attempt, and if nothing has particularly been

done to cleanse the system of impurities or rebuild

it with the best of food, the person would probably

relapse into cancer again.

4 - Fully on the program: If the person does

not fully go on the Gerson program (the choice of

many), he/she is so delighted with the early relief

that they only do the program partially or quit after

a few months.

5. After a relapse: If the person goes on a cancer-

reduction program (Gerson, Laetrile, Essiac,

etc.), then reduces or terminates it before the cancer

is fully gone, and later tries to go on the program

again after the cancer returns—he can find

himself in very real trouble. Frequently, after a relapse,

the cancer can not be controlled as it earlier

had been.


succeeded where many have failed because he spent

decades trying to improve his clinical work and

watched closely to see what worked instead of what

the researchers, working with rats, had concluded.

“The physician . . hesitates to take risks for his

patients by applying a not-recognized treatment . .

I was in a more favorable position. Ninety to ninetyfive

percent of my patients were far advanced (terminal)

cases without any risk to take; either all

recognized treatments had failed or the patents

were inoperable from the beginning.”—Max Gerson,

A Cancer Therapy, p. xiv.

“Retrospectively, I think the results were arrived

at because I did not follow most of the scientific

literature nor the laboratory findings, as far as they

did not accord with the clinical confirmations. ‘Der

Erfolg am Krankenbett ist entscheidend,’ Professor

Kussmaul said. (‘The result at the sick-bed is

decisive.’) I do not want to make the mistake Winston

Churchill expressed so clearly: ‘Men occasionally

stumble over Truth, but most pick themselves

up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.’ ”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 212 [cf. p. 207]

“The scientifically accepted method is that these

[cancer] symptoms alone will be treated locally

wherever they appear. [If there is cancer of the

mouth, treat the mouth, etc.] That is what we physicians

learn and how we are trained in university

clinics. All research work adheres mostly to these

local symptoms. This is, in my opinion, the reason

why decisive progress in cancer treatment has been

impeded.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 37.

“ ‘Symptomatic treatment is harmful wherever

in nature it is applied to the soil, plants, animals

or human beings, or in medicine. Each part is important,

but the whole in its infinitely fine order is

more important.’ ”—Dr. Werner Kollath, quoted in

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 5.

“As Dr. Gerson expresses it, cancer is not specific.

It is a degenerative condition of the total metabolism,

including damage to the liver and all essential

organs, which then makes it possible for

cancer to develop. Similar damage also precedes

other chronic diseases.”—Charlotte Gerson Straus,

Appendix 1, A Cancer Therapy, p. 391 [Gerson’s

youngest daughter].

Max Gerson recognized that God’s plan was for

man to eat wholesome food. In order to provide food

for the plants, God gave us the soil, and then He

gave us a gardener to till it!

“In Readers Digest, Dr. Thomas Barrett referred

to the earthworm and soil. A French peasant told

Dr. Barrett, ‘Le Bon Dieu knows how to build good

earth and He has given the secret to the earthworms.’

”—Thomas Barrett, Readers Digest, May

1948, quoted in Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 184.


statements will help you understand Max

Gerson’s work:

“The experimental causation of cancer, first ac15

complished by Yamagiva and Itchikawa, through

rubbing tar substance on the ears of rabbits for

about nine months, is of importance insofar as they

found that before the cancer started to appear, the

liver was damaged and showed pathological

changes, together with the kidneys, spleen and the

lymphatic apparatus. The long period was required

to poison the liver, before the damaged cells could

perform the ‘mutation’ into cancer.”—Max Gerson,

A Cancer Therapy, p. 40.

“Cancer means: (1) Slow intoxication and alteration

of the whole body, especially the liver. (2) Invasion

of the Na-group [sodium and chloride], loss

of the K-group [potassium and iodine], followed by

tissue edema. (3) Lower electrical potentials in vital

organs, more edema, accumulation of poisons,

loss of tension, tonus, reduced reactivation and oxidation

power, dedifferentiation [lack of differentiation]

of some cells. (4) Cancer starts: general poisoning

increases, vital functions and energies decrease.

Cancer increases. (5) Further destruction

of the metabolism and liver parenchym [the distinguishing

or unique cells of the liver are destroyed].

Cancer rules, is acting, spreading. (6) Loss of last

defense [the liver]. Hepatic coma. Death.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 102.

“The cancerous body is anergic, which means

that it cannot prevent cancerous growth nor respond

and defend itself against it. The treatment,

therefore, has the task of restoring these normal

functions, . . and finally, the conditions are restored

for production, activation and reactivation of oxidizing

enzymes.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 124.

“From the beginning, I felt that the tumor had to

be killed while some scientists were satisfied to arrest

the growths for as long a time as possible. In

one of my articles I enumerated eleven points of

difference between normal and cancer cells.

“The most important points are: cancer cells

have more Na (ionized) [Cancer cells have more

ionized sodium], live on fermentation (not on the

normal oxidation), are negatively charged electrically,

do not have the normal exchange with blood

and serum, and grow and spread uncontrolled.

“Studying these, I felt there must be a way to

prevent the fermentation, that is, to eliminate the

basic facts upon which fermentation is built and

can function. The fermentation is vital for the life

of the cancer cell. That is the object upon which we

could base further tests and explorations. How

could this be done? The most Na-free [sodium free]

diet has to be applied to extract Na from cancer

cells through the blood and lymph stream. Instead

of Na, potassium and the oxidizing enzymes have

to be brought in with the help of an allergic inflammation.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 195.

“According to Dr. Gerson’s research, the beginning

of all chronic disease is the loss of potassium

(K) from the cells and invasion of sodium (Na) into

the cells, and with it water. This causes edema and

the resulting malfunctions—loss of electrical potentials

in the cells, improper enzyme formation,

reduced cell oxidation, etc. The building of almost

all enzymes requires K as a catalyst (activating

agent) and is inhibited (slowed or stopped) by Na . .

“In order to initiate healing then, it is essential

to remove excess Na from the cells, reintroduce

large amounts of K, and detoxify the system of accumulated

intermediary substances and other toxins.

This is best accomplished by large amounts of

K from fresh fruit and juices, detoxification through

the kidneys and by enemas, and reactivation of the

liver by special liver therapy.

“If this were only a theoretical assumption, it

would not be worth mentioning. However, in Dr.

Gerson’s many years of experience with all types of

chronic disease, this process worked in practice.

Degenerative disease could be reversed, eliminated,

and the body healed.”—Charlotte Gerson, Appendix

1, A Cancer Therapy, pp. 392-393.

“A precancerous development [in the body] . .

does mean the pre-stage of any kind of skin cancer,

but it does mean a gradual intoxication with a

loss of the normal content of the potassium group

and the iodine from the tissues of vital organs. That

chronic loss opens the door for the invasion of sodium,

chloride and water into the cells, producing

a kind of edema.

“In my opinion, it must be assumed, as a rule,

that sodium and iodine favor undifferentiated,

quicker growth, seen in embryos and cancer; while

potassium and iodine assure a more differentiated,

slower growth with normal cell division.

“Here sodium and potassium are the exponents

of two minerals groups with opposite electrical

potentials, keeping the body in a controlled equilibrium

. .

“Iodine is necessary for higher differentiation and

increased oxidation and could be used for that reason

against cancer development, but not alone.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 197.

So starving the cancer cells of their sodium was

an important factor in killing the cancer cell. Another

was abundant, good nutrition—which would

fill the body with potassium.

“Reading all the [medical] literature, I saw that

all the scientists treat the symptoms. These, I

thought, are only symptoms. There must be something

basic behind them . . Through my work with

tuberculosis, I learned that in tuberculosis and in

all other degenerative diseases, one must not treat

the symptoms. The body—the whole body—has to

be treated . . I came to the conclusion that the most

important part of our body is the digestive tract . .

And at the same time eliminate all the waste products

. . The liver plays an important role. It eliminates

the toxins from the body, prepares them so

they can enter into the bile ducts, and can thus be

1 - Introduction

16 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

eliminated with the bile;—that is not an easy job . .

“The digestive tract is very much poisoned in

cancer. How can we handle that? Detoxification is

an easy word, but it is very difficult to do in cancer

patients. These cases, when they are far advanced,

can hardly eat. They have no stomach juice, the

liver doesn’t function, the pancreas doesn’t function,

nothing is active.

“Where do we begin? The most important first

step is the detoxification. So let us go into that.

First we gave some different enemas. I found out

that the best enema is the coffee enema as it was

first used by Prof. O.A. Meyer in Goettingen. This

idea occurred to him when, together with Prof.

Heubner, he gave caffeine solution into the rectum

of animals. He observed that the bile ducts were

opened and more bile could flow . .

“The patients [I worked with] reported that this

was doing them good. The pain disappeared even

though in order to carry through the detoxification,

we had to take away all sedation. I realized that it

is impossible to detoxify the body on the one hand

and put in drugs and poisons on the other . . One

patient told me that he had one grain of codeine

every two hours and he got morphine injections—

how can you take these away? I told him that the

best sedation is a coffee enema. After a very short

time he had to agree with that , , [Gerson then

mentions that his treatments cause the tumors, as

they dissolved away, to begin shrinking] . .

“These patients who absorb the big tumor

masses [from the tumor into the blood stream into

the liver] are awakened with an alarm clock every

night because they are otherwise poisoned by the

absorption of these masses. If I give them only one

or two or three enemas, they die of poisoning. I did

not have the right as a physician to cause the body

to absorb all the cancer masses and then not to

detoxify enough. With two or three enemas they

were not detoxified enough! They went into a coma

hepaticum (liver coma).

“Autopsies showed that the liver was poisoned. I

learned from these disasters that you can’t give

these patients too much detoxification . . When I

didn’t give these patients the night enemas, they

were drowsy and almost semi-conscious in the

morning. The nurses confirmed this and told me

that it takes a couple of enemas till they are free of

this toxic state again. I cannot stress the detoxification

enough. Even so with all these enemas, this

was not enough! I had to also give them castor oil

by mouth and by enema every other day, at least

for the first week or so.

“After these two weeks you wouldn’t recognize

these patients any more! They had arrived on a

stretcher, and now they walked around! They had

appetite. They gained weight and the tumors went

down.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, pp. 406-


“In former periods when there was not enough

detoxification in my treatment, after the tumor was

killed, the patient did not die of cancer—but of a

serious intoxication with coma hepaticum caused

by absorption of necrotic [dead] cancer tissue, as

several autopsies have shown.

“The solution is that all these former failures

can no longer occur if there is an intensive detoxification

[through enemas] maintained long enough

and a potassium plus iodine predominance

[through nutrition] kept present . . Only a detoxified

body has both power of resistance and healing.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, pp. 197-


Gradually, the tumor shrinks and dissolves. But

more is required than merely killing the tumor cells.

Next must come the task of cleaning those dead cells

out of the system, and killing cancer cells elsewhere

in the body.

“But now we have to deal with a mass of dead

cells in the body, in the blood stream—and they

have to be eliminated wherever they may be. And

that is not so easy! The ripe [cancer] cells, the

mature cells, are very abnormal. They are much

more easily killed than the other cells which are

unripe, not yet mature, and not so well developed.

“And there are other cancer cells in lymph vessels.

These are clogged at both ends by cancer cells.

No blood and no lymph can reach them. There are

cancer cells in the glands. They are hidden there,

protected from regular circulation. So it isn’t easy

to reach these.

“At first it is only the big [tumor] mass which is

killed. But this dead mass now has to be absorbed

wherever it is . . This absorption is only possible

through the blood steam. I call this ‘parenteral digestion.’

[In contrast,] Enteral digestion is in the

intestinal tract. Parenteral digestion takes place outside

the digestive tract, through the blood stream.

It becomes important then to continually carry on

detoxification day and night in order to bring the

parenteral digestion to the highest point . . How

can this be done?

“ . . [Gerson says the key is in building good soil

and only eating good food.] . . But our modern food,

the ‘normal’ food people eat is bottled, poisoned,

canned, color added, powdered, frozen, dipped in

acids, sprayed—no longer normal. We no longer

have living, normal food . . One cannot cure very

sick people by adding poisons to their systems. We

cannot detoxify our bodies when we add poisons

through our food, which is one of the reasons why

cancer is so much on the increase.” Max Gerson, A

Cancer Therapy, p. 410.

But an important key is whether the liver can

be saved.

“I should like to tell you what we do to prove

that this treatment really does work on cancer.

Number one, the results. I think I can claim [in

1956] that I have, even in these far advanced cases,


50% results. The real problem arises when we cannot

restore the liver. Then there is no hope. The

liver—the restoration of the liver and its functions—

are so important that some of the patients whose

livers cannot be restored die some six months to

2½ years later from cirrhosis. Autopsies show no

cancer cells in the body. They did not die from cancer.

They died from a shrunken liver.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 411.

But can we not use drugs and hormones to

stimulate the liver?

“We have to separate the state of pre-cancerous

condition form the state where the cancer appears.

In the pre-cancerous condition, all is prepared.

“The liver is sufficiently damaged and the other

organs of the intestinal tract are damaged enough

and then later the symptoms appear. Until then we

have the pre-cancerous condition—and this condition

cannot be cured with hormones and enzymes,


“We can to a certain degree stimulate the liver

with hormones. We can stimulate the liver with cortisone.

We can stimulate the liver with adrenalin,

etc., but then we take out the last reserves. We empty

the liver instead of refilling it. What we have to do

in cancer—a degenerative, deficiency disease—is

to refill the organs which are empty and poisoned.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 414.

“Q. [Question from audience] Your treatment

worked in advanced cases of cancer of the liver? A.

[Dr. Gerson’s reply] If more than half to three-quarters

of the liver is gone, you can’t restore its function

enough to save the patient. You may save them

for half a year to a year, but then the liver may

shrink and the patients die of a shrunken liver,

cirrhosis of the liver.

“The liver is such an important organ that when

it has to eliminate its own cancer, this has to be

done by the healthy liver tissue. Yet the process of

elimination can damage the healthy liver tissue, if

we don’t detoxify constantly day and night, especially

in these cases . . [He then tells of a woman

who was brought to him with an apparently hopeless

liver in terrible shape,—but he was able to save

her because she kept taking the coffee enemas, every

hour or two, and castor oil enemas twice a day—

instead of the normal regime of 5 coffee enemas

every 24 hours, and one castor oil enema every

two days.]”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p.


“The Damacles Sword of cirrhosis hangs over

all cancer patients who have far advanced malignancies

in their abdominal organs. We know that

all these organs send their blood through the portal

veins into the liver where tumor cells settle very

frequently as soon as the liver, working as a filter,

has lost its defense power.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 68.


What is included in the program

The present writer could find the full Gerson

program, clearly presented, only in the middle and

back of the two Gerson books. Yet people with cancer

are frequently too weary to search through all

those pages to find the complete program.

Therefore a distillation of this data has been

gathered here. This may be the only place the entire

program is available in a single location. Doubtless,

the Gerson Institute will eventually publish a

book with all of the following information in one


Our sources are as follows:

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, pp. 187-248,

391-422, and scattered portions of pp. 3-185.

The Gerson Institute, The Gerson Primer, pp.

3-18, 36-46, 101-102.

Charlotte Gerson, several explanatory lectures

and demonstration videos.

HOW TO BEGIN—If you decide to go on the

Gerson program, it is best that you make an appointment

and go to the Gerson Institute. ( Gerson

Institute 888-4-GERSON (888-443-7766) / 619-

267-1150 / P.O. Box 430, Bonita, CA 92002.)

Life is short enough, and you are in a crisis.

Time could be very short. You and your helper will

learn what to do, and your special needs will be

ascertained. The costs are nothing compared with

what you would pay for an equivalent amount of

time in a regular hospital. However, if you cannot

do this, the folk at Gerson are very willing for you

to care for yourself at home.

For more pre-preparation ideas, read Initial

House Preparation, under Schedules, near the back

of this book.

DO THIS FIRST—If you plan to go to the Gerson

Institute, it would be well to first read this section

very carefully. If you plan to go on the program at

home, you will find here a brief overview of all aspects

of the therapy.

1 - Thoughtfully read through the following formula.

Keep in mind that every part is important,

and that it is the result of 70 years of research, field

testing on human beings (not rats), multiplied thousands

of healings, with continual modifications and

improvements in formula.

2 - Order the mail-order supplies (flax oil, potassium,

etc.). They are listed at the back.

3 - Purchase several-days worth of local supplies

(carrots, apples, etc.)

4 - Borrow or purchase a Norwalk juicer. It will

combine the pulping and pressing operations. Or

2 - The Basic Therapy

18 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

obtain a lower-cost juicer (such as a Champion),

which will make the pulp, and a separate manual

press. (Norwalk juicers have electrically operated

presses, which are very nice!)

5 - Begin taking the juices and enemas while

you wait for the other supplies.

6 - Add on the other features of the program as

additional supplies arrive.

It is vital that you keep in mind that there is

danger in not remaining on the program. The

Gerson Institute finds that some drop out when,

several months later, they begin feeling so much better.

Yet the underlying problem has not yet been

corrected. Later, when they experience a relapse, a

return to the therapy is frequently not as successfully


Therefore it is urgent that you stay with the program

for a year and a half to two years.

SPECIAL NEEDS—Here are two very special

needs, which could be overlooked:

Rest: A cancer patient needs a lot of rest. Do

not try to do much exercise or work in the early

stages of the program. Do not overdo. As energy

returns, you can start on some very mild exercise,

such as a five-minute walk—but not in extreme heat

or cold. This can later be extended to 8-10 minute

walks. When tired, stop, and return to shorter walks.

Do not do strenuous exercise (tennis, etc.) for a year

or two. Avoid swimming pools, which are chlorinated.

Ocean water is too salty. Only swim in a clear

mountain stream or lake, with no pollutant runoff

into it or above it.

Danger of infections: Beware of taking cold

and getting sick! Cancer patients have greatly weakened

immune systems. Be very careful in this respect.


FORBIDDEN FOODS—Read the labels of everything

you put in your body or on your body.

Junk foods: Do not use sharp spices (fresh or

dried herbs are permitted), tea, coffee, instant coffee,

cocoa, chocolate, tobacco, alcohol, refined sugar,

white flour, refined flour, candies, ice cream, cream,

or cake.

More junk foods: Do not use foods that are

bottled, canned, frozen, preserved, refined, salted,

smoked, or sulphured. Do not use commercial beverages.

Heavy foods: Do not use nuts, mushrooms, soy

beans and soy products, pickles, cucumbers.

Oil, meat, dairy products: Do not use fats, oils,

or grease. Do not use meat, fish, eggs, milk, butter,

cream, cheese. Do not use avocados or nuts (too

much fatty acid).

Lecithin: Because of its fat content, lecithin

should not be used while on the program.

“Q. Soy products and soy beans are forbidden.

But is lecithin forbidden, which is made from soybeans?

A. Since soy beans contain fats, I had to

forbid them. Cancer patients are not able for a long

time to digest fats to the end product. When some

intermediate substances are left in the body, they

work as carcinogenic substances. Therefore we had

to cut out fats, oils, and goods containing them . .

Q. Is fat-free lecithin okay? A. Yes, but not in the

beginning. After six weeks, fat-free lecithin is

okay.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 411.

[Note: Gerson made that statement in 1956; in

1959, he discovered that flaxseed oil greatly

helped cancer patients, so he began prescribing


Certain fruits: Do not use berries or pineapple.

Their aromatic acids cause unfavorable reactions.

(Red currents are all right.) Do not use sulphured

dried fruits.

“Q. Why are all berries prohibited? A. Some of

the patients are hypersensitive, especially in the

beginning, against berries which are a little difficult

to digest. Therefore I cut them out.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 411.

Salt products: Do not use salt products, such

as table salt, sodium bicarbonate, soda, and all salt

substitutes. Salt is now added to many different

types of food.

Spices: Do not use spices (paprika, all types of


Alfalfa seeds and sprouts: Never use alfalfa

seeds and sprouts. They contain canavanine, which

may cause flare-ups (reactions) in rheumatoid conditions.

Certain leaves: Do not use leaves of carrots,

radishes and mustard greens.

Water: While on the full program, drink no water.

The full capacity of the stomach is needed for

juices and soup. (However, do not imagine that this

applies if you are not fully on the program. If you

are only taking, say, 4 cups a juices a day, and do

not want to bother making more—you had better

drink additional water! Of course, if you are not on

the full program, you are far less likely to solve your

cancer problem.)

Fasting: In most cases, fasting is also forbidden.

Cancer is a chronic disease and serious nutritional

deficiencies exist. Good food is urgently


“Q. What is your conception of a prolonged [food]

fast or periodical three-day fast? A. You can’t let

the cancer patient fast. In the cancer patient the

body is so depleted if you let them fast they go downhill

terribly.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p.



Vitamin and mineral supplements: Here is

what Dr. Gerson had to say about taking supplementary

vitamins and minerals while on the Gerson


“Q. Are vitamin and mineral supplements okay

[when a person has cancer]? A. No, they are wrong

because calcium and many other minerals cannot

be added so easily. They bring the system out of

harmony. With calcium you can produce cancer . .

No calcium, no magnesium, no other minerals. I

tried it . . One should not change the mineral metabolism,

especially in cancer. Only the two most

important minerals potassium and sodium must

be balanced. This is the need of the cancer patient.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 415.

“On the basis of my treatment . . hormones, some

vitamins [A, D, and E named], calcium phosphate

compositions and caridin [a type of synthetic iodine]

had a carcinogenic effect.”—Max Gerson, A

Cancer Therapy, p. 220.

Dr. Gerson accidently overlooked the above

question on vitamins; so additional questions were

later asked about them:

“Q. Is folic acid treatment contraindicated during

treatment of cancer? A. Yes, folic acid did damage.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 417.

“Q. What vitamins are okay to take with your

treatment? A. With the vitamins we have a similar

situation as we saw with the hormones. It damaged

patients with vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B

and B6. Patients get really damaged. Vitamin A and

D is picked up by the cancer cells immediately. Niacin

we can use.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 418 [more about niacin on page 23].

“Several times I observed that vitamins in good

combinations, with or without minerals, produced

a regrowth of cancer or new spreadings in a few

days. The patient felt better for a shorter or longer

period through what may be regarded as the stimulation

of the entire metabolism. However, the cancer

regrew, caused by what some other authors

explained as the greater attraction power of the cancerous

tissue.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 210.

“[In young boys and girls] Ten to fourteen days

after the administration of calcium compound, the

cancers started a rapid regrowth and were beyond

cure. I had the impression that calcium-composition

worked in the cancer body like Na. [sodium].”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 210.

“Other failures [in saving cancer patients] resulted

from a substitution of so-called caridin for

Lugol’s and thyroid, as well as from the application

of some other harmones and vitamins, ovarian

substance, vitamin E, A, D, etc. . . I administered

calcium and phosphate compositions in a

number of cases where the X-rays showed far advanced

decalcification and in three cases of hemophilia,

complicated by osteosarcoma tumors. The

bleedings had been stopped with this medication,

but the tumors started to grow immensely. Several

of these cases were lost.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 220.

In summary, when malignant tumor growth is

occurring, do not take single vitamins, with the exception

of the above-mentioned niacin, vitamin C

and B12. Be guarded about taking calcium.


not take hormones, especially opposite-sex hormones!

For more on this, see Gerson’s A Cancer

Therapy, p. 210. Do not take raw liver juice, because

it may be infected with bacteria (see pp. 421-

422 in the 5th edition of A Cancer Therapy.) The

Gerson Institute now uses desiccated liver tablets.

Skin: Do not use cosmetics. They clog the pores,

and keep the skin from breathing and eliminating

toxins. While on any intensive therapy, use no skin

lotions, creams, etc. of any kind, nor nail polish.

Do not use lipstick.

Deodorants: Do not use any deodorant or antiperspirant.

They are harmful, block lymph passages,

and are absorbed and poison the system. To

block the lymph passages is to force the toxins back

into the body. Do not use perfumes or perfumed


Salt products: Do not use salt products, such

as sodium bicarbonate (in food, toothpaste, gargles,

etc.), soda, epsom salts, and all salt substitutes. Do

not brush your teeth with baking soda. Do not gargle

with it. Do not use toothpaste which has it. Salt is

now added to many different types of food.

Fluorine: Do not use fluoridated toothpaste. Do

not use fluorine gargle, hair dying, and permanents.

Do not use any other hair dyes.

Hair: Do not use hair sprays, including lacquers.

Do not use hair dyes or permanents.

Sprays: Get all aerosol sprays, air fresheners,

perfumed items, insecticides, paint fumes, and similar

materials out of the house.

TV: Avoid television radiation.

Other toxic substances: Eliminate from your

home the following: asbestos, cigarette smoke, pesticides

and herbicides, fluoride in the water, new

carpeting, urea formaldehyde insulation (insulation

boards). Also get rid of synthetic materials in rugs,

draperies, bedding, and clothing.

Teeth: It is best that you care for all dental root

problems. It is possible for tooth infections to not

be noticed, yet be gradually sending poison throughout

the body. Solve dental root canal and abscess


Tooth fillings: Mercury (amalgam) dental fillings

are another source of poisoning. Mercury is a

2 - The Basic Therapy: Forbidden Foods

20 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

highly toxic heavy metal. However, removing amalgam

fillings can cause temporary mercury poisoning.

So it is best not to eliminate those filings until

6-12 months after going on the program. Beware of

gold crowns, which have been placed on top of

amalgam fillings! Have them removed later.

Sunscreens: Do not use sunscreens. When exposed

to the sunlight, it is now known that the sunscreen

becomes a carcinogen!

Sunlight: Do not take too much sunlight.


The Gerson diet is remarkably different than

that given to cancer patients in the hospitals of the

land. For example, medical experts advise that cancer

patients can eat most anything and do just fine—

as long as they have the operation and/or take the


“Once the patient has survived the operation and

the convalescence has followed, the diet is very liberal

and practically without restrictions. Patients

who have suffered partial resections of the stomach

can manage practically the same diet as normal

persons.”—Dietotherapy Clinical Application

of Modern Nutrition, quoted in Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 57.

“Auler (1937-1941) recommended [for cancer] a

non-sparing diet, rich in salt and spices, raw meat

several times weekly . . Bruenings, Frankfurt a/Main

(1930s) recommended a diet poor in carbohydrates

and rich in proteins, aided by insulin; he believed

in improvement by an acidifying effect.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 55.

FOODS TO USE—The Gerson diet is filled with

good food!

Larger amounts: Because the Gerson diet has

fewer calories and digests better, therefore larger

and more frequent meals must be served. Cancer

has starved the body, and additional food is needed

in order for proper rebuilding to occur. Some even

eat at night.

The primary objective of this diet is to detoxify

the entire system, and restore the functions of the

liver and the metabolism. In the beginning, some

patients may find it difficult to consume all the prescribed

food and juices. But, in about 2 weeks, after

a good detoxification is beginning to take effect,

the metabolism should improve and the appetite


Individually adapted: So the treatment has to

be adapted to how far advanced the malignancy, the

flare-ups, and other complications and interferences


Limited diet: The Gerson diet is limited to certain

things. The primary foods are these:

• Fresh juices: Juices of fruits, leaves, and vegetables.

• Raw fruit and vegetables: Large quantities

either in their natural form, finely grated, or salads

of fresh leaves and vegetables.

• Stewed fruits and vegetables: Vegetables

stewed in their own juice, stewed fruit, potatoes and

oatmeal, the special (Hippocrates’) soup, saltless rye

bread, oatmeal.

Saltless: All must be prepared fresh and without

added salt.

After the first 6-12 weeks, some who feel they

need it may wish to add the following dairy products:

cottage cheese (saltless and creamless), yogurt

from skimmed milk, buttermilk. (Charlotte

Gerson says it is now extremely difficult to find cottage

cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk which does not

have added salt; foods with added salt must not be


[Our note: Although the above paragraph contains

the recommendation of the Gerson Institute,

the reader should be reminded of the danger of returning

to cancer-causing dairy products.]

The restricted Gerson diet provides fresh, natural

foods, with no sodium and the highest amount

of potassium. It stimulates the elimination of toxic

substances from the body.

MORE ON FOODS TO USE—Here is additional

information on the foods to be used while on the

Gerson program:

Fresh fruit: Fresh (never canned) apples,

grapes, cherries, mangoes, peaches, oranges, apricots,

grapefruit, bananas, tangerines, pears, plums,

melons, papayas, persimmons, etc.

Stewed fruit: Pears and plums are more easily

digested when stewed. Other freshly stewed fruit

may also be used.

Dried fruit: All types of dried fruit (apricots,

peaches, raisins, prunes, mixed fruit) are acceptable—

but never sulphured! Wash, soak, and then

stew dried fruit before eating it.

Flax Oil: Flaxseed oil is very beneficial. —But

you must not use any other kind of oil!

Flavorings: To vary the flavors, you may also

use very small quantities of the following (but no


Allspice, anise, bay leaves, coriander, dill, fennel,

mace, marjoram, rosemary, sage, saffron, tarragon,

thyme, sorrel, summer savory.

Spices must be used sparingly, since they may

counteract the healing reaction.

In larger amounts, chives, onions, garlic and

parsley can be used. They often help flavor the food.

Raw vegetables: The following raw vegetables


may be included in salads. They can be chopped,

mixed, finely grated, or eaten separately:

Mix raw into salads: apples with carrots, lettuce,

chicory, tomatoes, escarole, cauliflower, romaine,

radishes, scallions, endive, knob celery, chives,

green peppers.

Tomatoes are acceptable.

“Q. Are tomatoes okay? A. Tomatoes are okay.”

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 414.

Salad dressing: Here is an optional salad dressing:

Mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons

water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, a little diced onion,

grated horseradish (not bottled).

You will find 35 pages of recipes at the back of

the Gerson Primer, published by the Gerson Institute.

Organic foods: Max Gerson and the Gerson Institute

urge that all fruits and vegetables be organic.

“Cancer is not a local but a general disease,

caused chiefly by the poisoning of foodstuffs prepared

by modern farming and food industry.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 199.

“Have vegetables and fruit for the diet and juices

been organically grown? Nutrient content of organic

produce is often several times that of non-organic

produce. Insecticides can stop healing.”—Norman

Fritz, added note in 3rd ed., A Cancer Therapy,

p. 218.

FOODS TO EAT EACH DAY—Here is additional

helpful information:

Fruit and vegetable juices: Fruit and vegetable

juices (in their raw form and in the soups) must be

eaten each day—at least in the quantities ordered

by the physician. Sometimes doing so may present

some difficulties during the reaction period.

When reactions occur: When these reactions

occur, the patients sometimes ask for raw, uncooked

foods or apple juice and raw, grated apples without

peel, mixed with finely mashed bananas (whipped

with a fork into a light puree).

Because of the hypersensitivity of the intestinal

tract, even the raw juices must sometimes be mixed

with a thin, filtered oatmeal—sometimes mixed half

and half. Later, only 2 tablespoons of the liquid

oatmeal should be added, until the reaction period

is overcome.

Apples: Raw, grated apples should be taken in

large quantities. When eaten raw, it is best to peel

them to ease digestion and reduce gas formation.

Apples should be eaten in every form: raw, finely

grated, baked, apple sauce, or stewed with raisins.

Carrots: Carrots should be used raw, finely

grated (best with the same amount of raw grated

apple). They should also be cooked, lightly baked,

and sprinkled with honey or bread crumbs.

Potatoes: Potatoes should be baked in the oven,

with their skins on, until they are soft or mashed.

The baked potatoes can also be put in a potato salad,

with celery salad and lemon juice dressing. They

may be eaten with apple sauce or yogurt (when it is

all right to eat yogurt).

Potato salad: Peel; slice; and, while hot, add

dressing to freshly baked potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are permitted

once a week (no color added).

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a very good food, and a

large portion can be eaten daily. Use old-fashioned

oats: Scotch, Irish, or plain Quaker Oats. Use ½ cup

oatmeal to 1 cup water. Cook slowly in water until

done (about 5 minutes).

Eat oatmeal (no milk) with any of following: raw

grated apples, brown sugar or honey, blackstrap

molasses, stewed prunes, apricots, bananas, apple

sauce, raisins, peaches, etc.

Bread and flour products: Use some saltless

rye bread each day. The following can occasionally

be used: brown or wild rice, potato flour, corn

starch, barley, lentils, bread crumbs (grate unsalted

pumpernickel leftovers).

Sugar and sweetening: raw sugar, brown sugar

(be careful: not the kind which is white sugar plus

added molasses), maple sugar, syrup, light honey,

unsulphured molasses.

SAMPLE MENU—Here is a sample one-day

menu. You may wish to adapt it to your personal



1 glass juice

Large portion oatmeal

Bread, dark rye, toasted or plain, with prescribed

honey or stewed fruit (no preservatives)


Salad (raw food)

1 glass warm soup

1 glass juice

Large baked potato

Vegetables, cooked

Dessert: fruit, stewed or raw


Salad (raw food)

1 glass warm soup

1 glass juice

Large baked potato

2 vegetables, cooked

Dessert: fruit, stewed or raw


sodium-potassium chart in Gerson’s book (A Cancer

Therapy, pp. 225-229) which is worth studying.

You will discover that the good food has more

2 - The Basic Therapy: Foods

22 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

potassium than sodium and all the junk food has

more sodium than potassium! It is quite obvious

that God’s plan was that we eat more potassium

than sodium.

Here are but a few at the top of the list (from A

to C), which are low in sodium and high in potassium.

Each of them is a natural product from the


Dried apricot 11s / 1,700p

Banana 5s / 420p

Dried navy beans 1s / 1,300p

Fresh green beans 0.9s / 300p

Frozen green beans 2s / 110p

Fresh lima beans 1s / 680p

Raw beets 110s / 350p

Low sodium

commercial bread 76s / 200p

Fresh broccoli 16s / 400p

Frozen broccoli 13s / 250p

Fresh brussels sprouts 11s / 450p

Frozen brussels sprouts 9s / 300p

Cabbage 5s / 230p

Cantaloupe 12s / 230p

Caraway seed 17s / 1,400p

Dry rolled oats cereal 2s / 340p

Here are a few at the top of the list, which are

high in sodium. They all are processed in some way:

Anchovy paste 9,800s / 200p

Baking powder 10,000s / 150p

Heinz baked navy beans

with tomato sauce 400s / 140p

Canned green beans 410s / 120p

Canned lima beans 310s / 210p

Frozen lima beans 310s / 580p

Corned beef 1,30s / 60p

Dried beef 4,300s / 200p

Raw lean, koshered beef 1,600s / 290p

Cultured buttermilk 130s / 140p

Candy bars 220s / 150p

Canned carrots 280s / 110p

Tomato catchup 1,300s / 800p

Salt celery 28,000s / 380p

All-Bran cereal 1,400s / 1,200p

Corn flakes cereal 660s / 160p

Wheat flakes cereal 1,300s / 320p

Here are a few other samples of processed foods.

You may have thought that some of them were safe:

Ry-Krisp (probably salted) 1,500s / 600p

Cottage cheese 290s / 72s

Popped, oiled,

salted popcorn 2,000s / 240p

Graham crackers 710s / 330p

Jell-O 330s / 210p

Mayonnaise 5,90s / 25p

Meat extract 11,000s / 6,000

Canned mushrooms 400s / 150p

Mustard paste 1,300s / 130p

Oleomargarine 1,100s / 58p

Green, pickled olives 2,400s / 55p

Dill pickles 1,400s / 200p

Pretzel (one) 1,700s / 130p

Rice flakes 720s / 180p

For your information, table salt (pure NaCl) is

39,342s, and baking soda (pure NaHCO3) is

27,373s. As with the entire chart, these figures are

based on mg./100 gm. (milligram of the element per

100 grams of the substance being tested).

It is of interest that processed breakfast cereals

are very high in sodium. Yet people value them; no

preparation, pour on the sugar, add some milk,

swallow them down quick, rush off to work.

“Throughout the survey, it was noted that variations

in sodium content were much wider than in

potassium content. This was true not only for different

products, but for different samples of the

same product.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 229.

So sodium content of junk foods can be much

higher than indicated on the food charts! It is easy

at the processing plant to dump in more salt—and

sell more of the product. The consumers love it.

MEDICATIONS - 1—The following special substances

(called “medications” by the Gerson Institute)

are taken to help the nourishing, cleansing,

and healing process. (Medications - 2 is to be found

on pages 27-28.)

Flax oil: Dosage: During the first month of

therapy, take 2 tablespoons a day; thereafter take 1


Store the Barlean’s Flax Oil bottle in the freezer.

When taking it out, set it on the table for about 20

minutes. Then shake it, and pour off about 1 cupful

into a 1 pint wide-mouth glass jar. Put the

Barlean’s bottle back in the freezer, and keep the

pint jar in the refrigerator until it is used up.

Make sure your source of supply keeps their

flaxseed oil refrigerated. If necessary, order it by


Barlean’s Flax Oil is the best brand, and is coldpressed

(address given later in Gerson Supply

Sources.) It is the very best dietary oil there is, and

is sometimes referred to as linseed oil. However,

the linseed oil available in a paint store is not what

you want to eat! (Although made from flax seed, it

is a crude, dirty, oxidized product, with added poisonous

chemicals.) Flaxseed oil is the best source

of lenolenic acid, and helps the body lower cholesterol

and utilize vitamin A.


Potassium: This is a 10% solution of potassium.

Dosage: First 3-4 weeks: 4 tsp. solution in each of

10 orange, carrot/apple, and green-juice cups daily.

(10 x 4 tsp. daily [=10 times a day, 2 tsp. each time]).

Thereafter: 10 x 2 tsp. for 20 weeks, then 8 x 2

for 12 weeks; then 6 x 2 for the duration of treatment.

Here is how to work with it at home: Place one

100-gm. container of potassium compound salts

into a one-quart glass jar, and fill to the top with

distilled water. Store the bottle in a dark place. It

does not need refrigeration.

Patients with chronic illnesses showed a marked

decrease of potassium, one of the substances important

in muscle contraction. Gerson found that

increasing the potassium in the body was extremely

important in dissolving tumors. Those who are seriously

ill need many months, sometimes as much

as two years, to restore normal potassium content

to the vital organs. For more on this, see Gerson’s A

Cancer Therapy, pp. 207-208.

“Then we gave the patients large amounts of

potassium. It took about 300 experiments until I

found the right potassium combination. It is a 10%

solution of potassium gluconate, potassium phosphate

(monobasic), and potassium acetate. From

that solution the patient is given four teaspoons10

times a day in juices. That large amount of potassium

is introduced into the body.”—Max Gerson,

A Cancer Therapy, p. 409.

Niacin: Dosage: 50 mg. at least 6 times daily

for 6 months. In advanced cases, Gerson used 50

mg. every hour around the clock.

It is very important that niacin be taken from

the beginning in sufficient amounts, without too

much interruption, and only slowly diminished (not

before 5-6 months). It helps restore glycogen into

the liver cells, aids protein metabolism, and opens

small arteries and capillaries. It also increases the

electrical potentials in the cells.

This is a B vitamin, and very important in the

elimination of cancer. Do not substitute niacinamide

for it! Niacinamide does not accomplish the needed

results. Reactions (flushing, hot, red skin for a

couple minutes, caused by the niacin) are temporary

and harmless. Possible minor bleeding is no

cause for concern,—but it should be discontinued

during menses or in case of hemorrhage. (To avoid

heat reactions, dissolve the tablet on the tongue after

a meal or take in a glass of juice.)

“The results can be further improved by adding

niacin which dilates the capillaries and in that way

is helpful in the exchange between serum and cells.

Niacin is also necessary for the function of the oxidation

system.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 32.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): This is used in the

Gerson therapy during infections. A crystalline (powdered)

form such as Bronson’s is preferred. Supplemental

vitamin C should not normally be necessary,

since there is so much in the Gerson diet. A daily

dose of 1 to 1½ grams are permissible.

Royal Jelly: This is optional. Dosage: 100 mg.

in capsules or honey, ½ hour before breakfast. Do

not take with hot food.

Bee Pollen: Initial dosage: ½ tsp. per day. This

can be used in treating cancer from about the 10th

to 12th week. Non-cancer patients may start earlier.

Some may have allergies to bee pollen.


to the Gerson Institute, the following should

be added at (but not before) the 6th to 8th week of

full treatment: milk, cheese, butter, fish, meat, eggs.

[Our comment: It would be better to avoid meat

and dairy products entirely, since livestock and

chickens frequently have cancerous masses in their

bodies. As he concurred in the above view about

animal proteins, in his lengthy research work, Max

Gerson recognized that meat and dairy products

can intensify and even cause a regrowth of cancer.

Consider these three statements:]

“As for nutrition, it is necessary to keep away all

substances from the sick body which can produce

allergic and other biologically stronger reactions

(such as fats, animal proteins, vitamins—except

vitamin C and niacin—and hormones, because they

counteract the normal allergic healing reaction

which is so necessary in the beginning to kill the

tumor tissue.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

pp. 136-137.

“Further experiments showed that cod liver oil

and other oils and fats, including egg yolks and

cream also had a carcinogenic capacity—in these

advanced cases.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 220.

“She had cancer of the breast which regrew. Every

time the family insisted that she was ‘so much

down’ [in weight]. She weighed only 78 pounds. She

was skin and bones and they wanted me to give

her egg yolks. I gave her small amounts of egg

yolks—the cancer regrew. Then they insisted that I

give her meat, raw chopped meat. I gave her this

and the cancer regrew. The third time, they wanted

me to give her some oil. I gave her the oil and the

third time the cancer regrew. But, anyway, three

times I could eliminate the cancer again and

cure.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 405.


PURCHASE OF FOOD—Do not buy carrots,

fruits, or vegetables which are in plastic bags. Food-

2 - The Basic Therapy: Food Preparation

24 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

grade plastics often have added preservative chemicals

to keep the food “looking fresher.” You will find

this in items in plastic that are prepacked in small

quantities. Do not buy potatoes or oranges to which

color has been added.

Try to buy “organic” produce. Sprayed insecticides

(poisons) cannot be removed by washing, as

they have been taken up by the roots, from the soil,

and absorbed into the plant and fruit.


steel, glass, enamel, earthenware, cast iron, and tinware

is acceptable.

Use the Norwalk juicer or two other machines

which do the same task: a grinder (triturator) which

grinds the vegetables and fruit, and a press (preferably

stainless steel) which presses juice from the

ground pulp. (A detailed list of sources will be found

later under Gerson Supply Sources.)


use pressure cookers or steam cookers, aluminum

pots or pans. Avoid anything else made of aluminum.

Do not use a centrifugal juicer (the kind which

whirl in a circle, throwing the juice outward). Do

not use one-piece juicers such as liquifiers, centrifuges,

juice mixers, or juice masters. These cause

the juice to be oxidized, and render it unfit for the

remedial treatment of cancer. (But centrifugal juicers

are permitted by Gerson Institute for non-cancerous


“They had to drink orange juice, grapefruit juice,

and apple and carrot juice. This had to be produced

in a special machine—a grinder and a separate

press—because I found that in centrifugal juicers

or liquefiers, I couldn’t obtain the kind of juice

which cured patients.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, pp. 405-406.

“At first, I had thought that liquefiers would be

the most wonderful thing. All the material was there,

nothing was lost. But it didn’t work. Then I found

out through a physicist that in the liquefier, in the

center, there is positive electricity and in the fluid

there is negative electricity. This electricity kills the

oxidizing enzymes. And that is also true for the

centrifugal juicer and the other apparatus. The juice

must therefore be made by a grinder and a separate

press—if possible, made of stainless steel.”—

Op. cit., p. 406.

“Centrifugal machines in which air has insufficient

access to the grinding process, cannot be used.

When the grinding wheel rotates against a resistance

with insufficient access of air, positive electricity

is produced and induces negative electricity

on the surrounding wall. The exchange of the positive

and negative electricity kills the oxidizing enzymes

and renders the juice deficient.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 217.

JUICES—Juices must be prepared fresh. It is

best if they are drunk the same day. If not drunk

immediately, the juices must be quickly refrigerated.

Place the refrigerated juices in 8-oz. screw-on

glasses. This reduces oxidation to the minimum.

Start with smaller amounts of juices, and gradually

increase the quantity.

Here are the types of juices which can be used,

and always in 8-oz. servings: Apple and carrot /

green leaf / orange / grape / grapefruit / tomato /

apple. Never place Lugol’s solution in green leaf


How fresh must the juice be? Some Gerson

sources say it can be stored in the refrigerator in

pint jars for three days. However, for terminal cases

which are being treated, the situation is far different:

“We often find that patients are helped by persons

who have to leave the house to go to work at a

certain time and, therefore, prepare most of the

day’s juice supply in advance and the evening supply

upon their return home. This renders the juices

largely ineffective, for the following reasons:

“(1) Juices consist of living matter with active

ferments, fast neutralizing oxidizing enzymes,

which are most necessary for the sick body.

“(2) The body needs an equilibrium of active

oxidizing enzymes, supplied throughout the day.

These cannot be maintained active except by freshly

pressed juices, given at hourly intervals.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 216.

“Q. Can too much vegetable juice cause alkalinity?

A. No.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p.



JUICE—Use apples and carrots in equal portions.

Wash apples, without peeling them. Cut and remove

core with seeds. Wash carrots, but do not scrape


Then run them through a grinder and, after that,

through the press. (More information on how to

make carrot juice, using a Norwalk juicer, is given

on page 25.)

If the patient has to go back to work, apple and

carrot juice only may be taken and kept in a thermos

no longer than 2 to 3 hours (when the juice

cannot be kept in a refrigerator).

Certain types of apples juice better and produce

better results:

“Tart applies (McIntosh, pippin, Granny Smith,

winesap, etc.) [should be] used for juices when possible,

rather than ‘delicious’ apples.”—Norman

Fritz, 3rd ed., A Cancer Therapy, p. 218.



In addition to Norwalk equipment:

2 or 3 1 qt pyrex cups

(1 for pulp and 1-2 for juice [if

not working rapidly at multiple

duties, will only need 2

cups, total]), baking tray to

lay cloths in, carrot tray, wet

rag or two for spills, washed

vegetables (assuming here

only carrots), juice jars, 2 ziplock


ASSEMBLY (pp 6-8) —

1 - Install and arrange everything

• Install grid on top and push

to back of grid slide

2 - Plug in / Turn on switch


1 - Fill 1 qt (4-cup) pyrex cup

with pulp (will make about 3

cups of juice). As push carrots


• Keep top covered with hand

or pusher (especially on

first item in!)

• Do not push too fast

• Push only halfway down

(otherwise next item

pushed in will splash out)

When done, leave pusher in tube.

Keep top covered till motor is

turned off! (Can also place

plastic shower cap over tube


PRESSING (pp 9-16) —

• Put pulp into cloth (much

easier to work with than bag,

although bag provides better

protection from aeration)

• Put 1 cupful of pulp from pyrex

cup into center of 1 cloth (It is

equivalent to 2 large carrots, 2

apples, or 6 celery stalks)

1 - Open two clean cloths in

clean baking tray, one on

top of the other

2 - Pour in about 1 cupful

pulp, from pyrex cup, into

center section of cloth

3 - Fold over left third

4 - Fold over right third

5 - Fold up bottom third

6 - Fold down top third

7 - Turn folded cloth upside

down: Flip back and over

(Flip front edge up and


• Always press two cloths at a

time (not 1 or 3)

• Lay cloths in center of press

base (on bottom press plate),

never to the side (or base

plate will jam tight to top)

8 - Place folded cloth on press

base (“press plate”).

• Pour second cupful into second


• Press both cloths

1- Lift up press lever (machine

must be turned on

to do this) Pressing begins

2 - Count to 10 seconds (never

more than 10 seconds!)

3 - Lower lever a couple


4 - Raise it second time,

count, lower partway

5 - Remove cloths from press,

open them and lay in tray

6 - If planning to store juice:

Immediately pour 1 qt

pyrex cup of juice into

small 8-oz jars (each

equals one serving). For

cancer patients, not over 2

hours. For non-patient

use: refrigerate for up to 3

days (not over 2 days

better) or put into freezer

for several months (leave

ample room at top for


• Repeat folding and pressing of

two more cloths

• Repeat till juicing and pressing

is finished, and have desired

amount of juice

CLEAN UP (pp 21-23) —

1 - Turn off motor ! ! Then unplug


2 - Top priority is to clean pusher,

cloths, and cutter first (If

work rapidly, can clean anything


1 - Remove pusher, rinse

rather quickly in COOL

water, dry it immediately

(Do not leave it in water!)

2 - Empty, rinse cloths, then

put in hot (not boiling)

water, add little soap,

place cloths in and let

soak for 30-60 minutes

3 - Then clean machine parts

1 - Remove parts:

• Remove juice tray, feed

pan, grid holder, and grid

• Loosen wing nuts and

remove housing

• Remove cutter by grasping

firmly with cloth

2 - Clean parts (p. 21) with

hot water and soap

• Clean cutter first,

thoroughly inside and out

• Wash other parts and


3 - Conclude with cold or

warm water rinse

4 - Store parts

• Cutter in zip-lock bag

• Grid and holder in ziplock


• Put rest onto machine

(or store some loose parts


The procedure is finished


• Every week or so (or whenever

it feels dry), oil the wooden


1 - Place 2 tbsps. olive oil into

bowl (Olive oil is best because

less likely to later become

rancid on pusher)

2 - With fingers, place oil all over


3 - Set pusher upright in bowl,

and leave for a day or two (oil

will soak into pusher)

4 - Wipe oil off bottom, and store


To return a swollen pusher to

normal size: Contact Norwalk


Use ¼" hex (allen) key wrench

(clockwise to tighten)

Oil inside if difficult to remove

1 2






26 Summary of the Gerson Therapy


use a reamer type juicer of glass, plastic, porcelain,

or an electric machine to squeeze juice. Do not use

any juicer into which the half orange is inserted with

the skin. This is because the skin is also pressed

out, it emits harmful fatty acids and aromatic substances

from its surface. Do not use an aluminum



as many of the various kinds of green leaves,

listed below, as possible. But do not use any other


Lettuce, red cabbage leaves (2-3 leaves), beet

tops (young inner leaves), swiss chard, escarole,

endive, romaine, green pepper (1/4 of small one).

[Our note: Beet greens and swiss chard have a lot

of oxalic acid, whereas kale and collards are both

very nutritious—have less oxalic acid. For some reason,

unknown to us, the Gerson Institute favors the

first two and not the second two. Kale and collards

are especially nutritious garden greens.]

When grinding, add 1 medium apple for each

glass of green juice.

The grinding process: Grind twice (unless

grinder has a fine grind, able to grind fine and almost

liquify the pulp), press, and drink immediately.

(The Norwalk has the correct grid, so grinding

needs be done only once.)

The pressing process: Take 1 or 2 coarsely woven

cloths—nylon, about 12" square. Place a cupful

of pulp into center of the moistened cloth and fold

in thirds in both directions; then turn it upside

down, lay in press, and let it squeeze out the juice.

Rinse the cloths after each juice preparation.

Each night boil the cloths in soapy water, and rinse

thoroughly. Keep the machine clean.

On page 25, the present writer, who has a

Norwalk juicer and regularly uses it, presents his

own findings on how to use this valuable machine.

Even better: Contact the Gerson Institute and purchase

their video (by Charlotte Gerson) on how,

in the kitchen, to prepare the vegetables and make

salad, special soup, and the juices in a Norwalk.


Vegetables must be cooked slowly, over an open

flame, and without the addition of water. This slow

cooking process is important. It preserves the most

nutrients and flavors, and makes them more digestible.

Fast cooking bursts the cells and causes the

minerals to leave their colloidal composition and

become more difficult for the intestines to absorb.

A steel mat may be placed over the fire to reduce

the heat still more, and prevent the pan from

burning. (Asbestos mats are toxic and are best not


If more fluid is needed in the pan, add a little of

the special Hippocrates’ soup, tomatoes, or apple

slices. Do not use spinach water, for it has too much

oxalic acid. Stew tomatoes, leeks, and onions in their

own juices because they have so much residual fluid.

Cook potatoes in their jackets in water; do the same

with red beets.

Carefully wash and clean all vegetables. Do not

peel or scrap them, for important mineral salts are

just beneath the surface.

The cooking pot must not be aluminum, must

close tightly, have heavy, well-fitting lids, and be

tightly covered—to prevent the escape of steam.

When raw fruit or vegetables are shredded or

finely grated, they must be used fresh and as quickly

as possible. Do not store raw food after it has had

any kind of preparation done to it.

Patients should only have freshly cooked foods.

(But we are also told that, if the food has been

cooked (soup and fruit), it may be kept in the refrigerator

for up to 48 hours.)

“Cooked vegetables must be prepared in an appetizing

manner. It must be borne in mind that a

complete change in the accustomed taste is involved;

therefore, vegetables must be prepared with

much care and imagination. It is not possible just

to omit water, salt, fat, condiments, etc. Vegetables

can be made tasty by means of fresh and dried

herbs and different fruits.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 217.


SOUP)—For one person, use a 2-quart

pot and the following vegetables, then cover with


1 medium celery knob (If not in season, use 3-4

stalks of branch celery; pascal celery is preferable.)

1 medium parsley root

2 small leeks (substitute 2 small onions)

2 medium onions

Little parsley

1½ lbs. tomatoes or more

1 lb. potatoes

Garlic may be used at liberty for cooking or

squeezed fresh into hot soup.

Do not peel any of these vegetables, but wash

and scrub them well, cut them coarsely, cook slowly

for 3 hours, then put through a food mill in small

portions; scarcely any fibers should be left. Vary

the amount of water used for cooking according to

taste and desired consistency.

Let the soup cool before storing. Keep it wellcovered

in the refrigerator for no longer than 2 days.

Warm up as much as needed each time.

“Hippocrates . . gave these patients a special


soup. I should like to tell you, we use that soup at

the present time! That soup from that book, out of

the practice of Hippocrates—550 years before

Christ! . . He [Hippocrates] had the idea that the

patient has to be detoxified with the soup and with

some enemas and so on.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 404.

The Gerson Institute recommends purchasing

a Foley Food Mill, obtainable from the houseware

department at a store, for making the special soup.


one tablespoon dried peppermint leaves to 2 cups

(1 pint) boiling water. Let it boil for 5 minutes, then

strain. Add brown sugar or honey and/or a little

lemon juice, to taste.

This should be used when food is not well-tolerated,

in case of indigestion or during reaction period

(flare-ups), nausea, or gas.

MEDICATIONS - 2—Here are the other special

substances (called “medications” by the Gerson Institute)

which are taken to help the nourishing,

cleansing, and healing process. (Medications - 1 is

listed on pages 22-23.)

Lugol’s Solution: Dosage: First 3-4 weeks only:

3 drops in each of 6 orange and carrot/apple juices

(6 x 3 daily). Never put Lugol in green juice!

This is the way that an additional intake of iodine

is obtained by the body. Lugol’s is always used

in half-strength, and only during the first weeks of

therapy. Lugol’s solution contains 5% iodine and

10% potassium iodide in water.

In order to fight cancer, it is vital that both iodine

and potassium be increased in the body. Iodine

(its chemical name is “I”) is part of the positive

minerals traveling to the negative pole, or negative

tissues, while potassium (K) is the leading mineral

of the negative group traveling to the positive pole

or tissues. To help the cells function, the minerals

must be activated or ionized.

In the Gerson therapy, iodine is administered

in two forms: Lugol’s solution and thyroid. A larger

dose (as described above) of Lugol’s is favorable in

inhibiting any excessive cancer growth. For more

information on this, see pp. 205-206 of Cancer

Therapy, by Gerson.

Read this remarkable testimony:

“At the same time [we gave] 5 times [a day] of

one grain of thyroid and 6 times three drops of

Lugol’s solution, ½ strength. That’s 18 drops of

Lugol’s which is a large dose. Nobody was observed

to develop heart palpitations from that, even if some

patients told me that they could previously not take

thyroid because they would develop heart palpitation.

And all allergies disappeared! Some patients

claimed that they could previously not take one

teaspoonful of lemon juice or orange juice—they

were allergic. But when they are well detoxified and

have plenty of potassium, they are not allergic. Allergies

and other hypersensitivities are eliminated.”

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 409.

“Since 1938, after several setbacks, I have been

able to develop a more successful therapy by adding

. . iodine medication, first in organic form as

thyroid, and later also in inorganic mineral, in

Lugol’s solution . . Iodine is a decisive factor in the

normal diferentiation of cells, and can be used in

order to counteract the decrease of cell differentiation

as seen in the cancerous tissues.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 32.

Thyroid: Dosage: First 3-4 weeks only: 5 x 1

grain daily [5 times a day, 1 grain each time]. Dosage

is best adjusted by physician. It is generally reduced

downward, often frequently. Tachycardia

[pulse over 120] may indicate overdosage. Discontinue

temporarily during menses.

“When introduced into the system, thyroid and

Lugol’s solution go immediately into the cancer

mass. These ripe [cancer] cells take it up fast and

they perhaps grow a little faster but they soak in

more with great greed—as much as they can—together

with a little bit of sodium, probably. But there

isn’t much sodium left. So then these cells pick up

potassium and the oxidizing enzymes and die by

themselves. You have to realize that cancer cells

live essentially on fermentation, but potassium and

oxidizing enzymes introduce oxidation. And that

is the point at which we can kill cancer cells, because

we take away the conditions which they need

to continue to live.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 409.

Acidol Pepsin: If you find that you need this,

take it before meals, not during or after! These capsules

provide supplemental hydrochloric acid,

which is needed to help your stomach break down

protein foods.

Pancreatin: Dosage: 3 tablets 4 times daily or

according to need. This amount is later reduced.

Some do not tolerate pancreatin well, but most benefit

with less digestive trouble, gas spasms, and less

difficulty regaining weight and strength.

Liver Extract (crude) and B12: This is given by

injection. Dosage: 3 cc liver and 1/10 cc B12 combined

in a single syringe, injected into gluteous

medius daily, for 4-6 months or more. [Our note: It

is best that a professional teach you how to do this.

A person needs to know where to inject into the

buttocks, because a vein or the sciatic nerve might

be penetrated! See “Instructions for Giving Injections,”

later in this section. Those who go to the

Gerson Institute are carefully taught how to do this,

2 - The Basic Therapy: Food Preparation

28 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

before they leave for home.]

Vitamin B12 helps amino acids combine to form

proteins, a function which is not working properly

in people with cancer.

Liver was added to the formula because of the

continually lowered quality of fresh fruits and vegetables.

(Our note: So liver is not needed to save

the lives of terminal patients, if good quality produce

can be obtained.)

“Dr. Max Gerson added raw liver juice to his dietary

therapy in 1950 to compensate against a

downturn in nutritional qualities of fresh fruits and

vegetables, on which his therapy had relied since

its introduction in the early part of the century.

Modern fertilization and pest control techniques

have resulted in foods toxic and inferior to those

grown by more intelligent methods.”—Appendix 3,

A Cancer Therapy, p. 421.

Special note: In October 1989, the Gerson Institute

stopped using raw liver because it was so

contaminated with bacteria. Desiccated liver tablets

now replace it, taken with carrot juice.

“Carrot juice replaces liver juice in all U.S. patient

schedules, each glass supplemented by two

500 mg. desiccated liver tablets and two tablets of

spirulina.”—Appendix 3, A Cancer Therapy, p.


Coffee enemas: Dosage: first six weeks minimum:

every 4 hours. While lying on right side, retain

for 12-15 minutes. For limited periods of time,

where there is pain, these enemas may be used as

often as every two hours. However, physician should

monitor serum electrolytes frequently. (See three

sections below: Coffee Enemas, Preparing the Enema

Mixture, and Taking the Enema.)

Castor oil: Dosage: Every other day, take 2 tbsp.

by mouth, and five hours later a castor oil and soap

enema. Later, as necessary or as prescribed. (See

Taking the Castor Oil Enema, below.)

Other Gerson-prescribed medications: There

are three other items which Gerson physicians may

prescribe, in order to assist the patient in absorbing

food nutrients, or cleansing the tissues. These

include Acidol (hydrochloric acid), ox bile (a liver

aid), and Ion Min (a clay powder). These Gerson

medicines are used to aid the body in absorbing

nutrients and expelling toxins. Because they are

medicines, later they will no longer be needed.

People who are well do not take medicine.

Lab tests: Blood chemistry, Complete blood

count, T3, T4 [T3 and T4 are thyroxin tests], Urinalysis.

All tests should be taken before beginning

treatment and at 4-6 week intervals for at least the

first 6 months. Test results may be affected by healing

reactions and flare-ups.

If you are a Gerson Institute patient, mail or fax

copies of all blood works to them. Details are explained

in the Gerson Primer.

Medications prescribed by other physicians:

You may be taking medications prescribed by regular

physicians. It is recommended that you not

abruptly discontinue any medications you were taking

prior to using the Gerson therapy. In certain

cases, Gerson-trained physicians will advise gradual




and taking a coffee enema will be discussed just

after this section. Here is the physiological effect of

a coffee enema:

“The effect is an increased production of bile,

an opening of the bile ducts and greater flow of

bile. At the start of the treatment and during flareups,

the bile contains poisons, produces spasms

in the duodenum and small intestines, and causes

some overflow into the stomach, with resultant feelings

of nausea or even vomiting of bile. In these

cases, great amounts of peppermint tea are necessary

to wash out bile from the stomach. Thereafter

patients feel better and more comfortable.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy. [A Cancer Therapy,

p. 191.]

It is an interesting fact that coffee, when drunk

by mouth, has a totally different physiological effect

on the body,—one which is quite negative.

“A cup of coffee taken by mouth has an entirely

different effect . . It heightens the reflex response,

lowers the blood pressure, increases heart rate, perspiration,

causes insomnia and heart palpitation.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 191.

Max Gerson has found that a diluted coffee solution,

taken in the form of a low enema, produces

none of the negative physiological effects, named

above—which drinking coffee by mouth always

does. In connection with this, please note that

Gerson and the Gerson Institute always give low

enemas, never high colonics, which fill the entire

bowel, and only for 12-15 minutes at a time.

“High colonics cannot be administered, because

too much of the sodium from the mucous membrane

in the colon is washed out.”—Max Gerson,

A Cancer Therapy, p. 194.

Cleaning out the accumulated poisons in the

system is extremely important.

“In the beginning, the most important part of

the therapy is an intensive detoxification of the entire

body.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p.



“In more advanced cases it takes a long time,

about one to one and a half years, to restore the

liver as near as possible to normal. For the first

few weeks or months, the liver has to be considered

as weak and unable to resume its normal functions,

especially that of detoxification and of reactivation

of the oxidizing enzymes. For that reason,

it is necessary to help the liver with the continuation

of coffee enemas and castor oil treatments in

a slowly diminishing degree, according to the advanced

condition of the disease. We have to bear in

mind that there are still unripe cancer tissues in

the body.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p.


In practice, Gerson found that the enemas were

indispensable, if he wanted to clean out the tumor

and totally rid it from the body, while, at the same

time, protecting the integrity of the very important


I lost several patients by coma hepaticum [unconsciousness

induced by a poisoned liver], since

I did not know, and therefore neglected, the vital

importance of frequent and regularly continued

elimination of poisonous substances, with the help

of juices, enemas, etc.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 191.

The pain-relieving effect of coffee enemas is astounding.

The enema removes the poisons from the

liver so it, the liver, can better clean the blood (all

the blood passes through it every three minutes). It

is the accumulated poisons in the system which

cause the generalized pain of cancer!

“Difficult as this may be to believe, experience

has proved that frequent enemas completely eliminate

the need for sedation.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 191.


very important for all fluids which are placed in the

rectum to be sterile. Use only boiled, distilled water

in making the coffee and for the enema water.

Make sure it is cooled to body temperature before


1 - Here is the Gerson preferred coffee enema

recipe: This recipe is to be used total strength!

Do not dilute it!

Take 3 tablespoons of ground (drip) coffee (not

instant!) to 1 quart distilled water. Boil it for 5 minutes,

with the lid off. (This drives off oils from the

coffee.) Then cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer

an additional 15 minutes. Strain and allow to

cool. Add enough distilled water to make a full

quart. Use at body temperature.

2 - Alternate coffee recipe: Instead of a freshly

made mixture, this formula uses a coffee concentrate.

It is recommended that it only be used as an

alternative to the above recipe for convenience when


Three rounded tablespoons of coffee are to be

used per 1 quart enema. A concentrate of correct

proportion is prepared in this manner:

1. Place 1 cup (12 rounded tablespoons) fine

or drip ground coffee into a sauce pan.

2. Add 1 quart distilled water.

3. Boil 5 minutes, uncovered.

4. Cover, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes

or more.

5. Strain into a one-quart jar, allowing the

grounds to drain well.

6. Add distilled water, to make a full quart.

7. Mark the jar for convenience with tape or

paint, indicating one cup increments.

(Home canning jars have markings.)

This is enough concentrate for 4 enemas (one

cup concentrate plus 3 cups boiled, distilled per

enema). Multiply recipe to prepare additional concentrate

at one time. This will keep up to 2 days in

the refrigerator.

Using the coffee concentrate:

1. Put the following into the bucket:

1 Cup (8 oz.) coffee concentrate

3 Cups (24 oz.) distilled water

The fluid should be warm enough to make

solution body temperature.

Apply the enema, following instructions given

just below.

Be sure to boil all fluids before placing them

in the rectum. The fluid should be given at body


TAKING THE ENEMA—Here are several brief

instructions on the actual taking of the enema and

its frequency:

“In practice, it seems necessary to apply frequent

coffee enemas, four to six times in 24 hours; in

more advanced cases every four hours day and

night—or even more in the first two weeks.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 193.

“Always keep the pot with the distilled water on

the warmer. It will not boil and will always be ready.

“If your bucket’s plastic hose becomes kinked,

run a small amount of hot water through it to soften


“[1] The coffee solution should be body temperature.

[2] Run a little of the solution through the

tube into the toilet to warm the tube; close the stopcock.

“[3] Lubricate, about 2 inches of, rectal end of

enema tube with petroleum jelly [Vasoline]. [4] Hang

enema bucket not over 2 feet above you.

“[5] Laying on the right side, draw both legs close

to the abdomen, relax and breathe deeply.

“[6] Insert tube into rectum 5-8 inches. Open

stopcock and allow fluid to run in very slowly to

avoid cramping. Retain solution 12-15 minutes.

2 - The Basic Therapy: Detoxification

30 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

“[7] Do not place tube back into bucket until you

have thoroughly cleaned it (using biodegradable

food-use detergent, then rinsing well). Rinse daily,

or as often as needed, with hydrogen peroxide 3%.

The bucket and tube are very good growing grounds

for bacteria.”—Gerson Primer, 3rd ed., p. 3.

“At the same time [that the coffee enemas are

given], a castor oil treatment is applied every other

day, consisting of two tablespoons of castor oil . .

and five hours later a castor oil enema.”—Max

Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, pp. 193-194.

The next two sections deal with castor oil.


formula for this:

“Every other day, 2 tablespoons of castor oil are

given by mouth at about 5:30 a.m.”—Gerson

Primer, 3rd ed., p. 3.

Gerson Institute recommends that a cup of black

coffee (coffee without cream or sugar) with raw sugar

in it, be drunk immediately afterward. It is said that

this will stimulate the stomach to empty the castor

oil quickly into the intestine. [Our note: There are

those who are quite successful in taking the castor

oil without following it with a drink of coffee. Notice

that, in the following statement, Gerson calls drinking

coffee a possible alternate procedure.]

“Some patients do not tolerate castor oil well

after breakfast. An alternate protocol is as follows:

7 a.m.—2 large tablespoons castor oil, 1 cup coffee

with brown sugar—7:05 a.m., coffee enema.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 247.

[Our note: Keep in mind that coffee taken by

mouth produces significant physiological harm.]

“A cup of coffee taken by mouth has an entirely

different effect . . It heightens the reflex response,

lowers the blood pressure, increases heart rate, perspiration,

causes insomnia and heart palpitation.”—

Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p. 191.


is done 5 hours after taking the castor oil:

“At about 10:30 a.m., 5 hours after your castor

oil by mouth, the castor oil enema . . [is taken].

The castor oil should be poured down the enema

tube first. Insert and instill the castor oil until no

more remains in the bucket. Close the plastic ring.

Add the 8 oz. of coffee concentrate and 16 oz. of

distilled water at body temperature. As the warmed

solution flows though the tube, it will wash the balance

of the castor oil into the intestinal tract. You

may retain this for a short time, but it is not required.”

Gerson Primer, 3rd ed., p. 3.

For optimum results, swish a bar of non-detergent

soap in the bucket, This will help the castor oil

mix with the water better.


In the later stages of cancer, there is much pain.

There is likely to also be pain in the first few weeks

on the Gerson program. Max Gerson discovered that

this was caused by the high volume of poisons in

the system. He found—quite consistently!—that

coffee enemas and castor oil not only helped the

liver, but also greatly reduced the pain.

PAIN TRIAD—However, in the first few weeks

of treatment, the pain can become severe since the

tumor is breaking down and so many toxic substances

are circulating through the body. When

needed, the Gerson specialists give three substances,

which they call the “pain triad.”

“For cancer patients, even in advanced stages,

pain relief was promptly obtained by the use of coffee

enemas, given every two hours in some cases.

In the first few days of the therapy, it was sometimes

necessary to add ‘pain relief.’ In these cases,

Dr. Gerson allowed the use of the following, used

together: one tablet of aspirin (5 gr.), one vitamin C

(100 mg.) and one niacin (50 mg.) up to four times

in the course of 24 hours. [You will note below, that

the Gerson Institute has changed this dosage somewhat.]

“These ‘three pills’ also produced restful sleep.

Their action is surprisingly effective once spasms

and edema are eliminated through large doses of

potassium given immediately at the start of the

treatment with detoxification.

“The relief obtained through the use of the constantly

given coffee enemas is quickly noted by the

patients and they often voluntarily take more than

the number prescribed.”—Charlotte Gerson, Appendix

1, A Cancer Therapy, p. 397.

Several years later, the Gerson Institute published

its Gerson Primer, in which the triad formula

was slightly changed, by increasing the vitamin C


“Pain triad. The triad should be used sparingly.

Do not exceed 6 dosages in a 24-hour period unless

prescribed by your physician:

“50 mg. niacin / 500 mg. ascorbic acid / 5 gr.


“The pain triad becomes progressively more effective

as the body undergoes detoxification [elimination

of poisons through enemas]. It can be used

at bedtime to assist in going to sleep for those patients

with substantial pain.”—Gerson Primer, 3rd

ed., p. 11.


Gerson aid in counteracting pain is the castor oil

pack. This is used during severe flare-ups involving

liver pain, spasms in the bile system, or strong


pain elsewhere. This treatment can also be used by

arthritic patients who have swollen, painful joints.

Although messy, when used on the hands and feet,

it is still very effective.

“1. Soak 3 pieces of white flannel with castor

oil. Squeeze out excess castor oil.

“2. Place flannel over liver or other affected area.

“3. Place slightly larger sheet of plastic over the


“4. Use medium temperature heating pad over

area. Do not let the pack get cold or uncomfortably


“5. Keep it on for 1 to 1½ hours. Apply it every

four hours. You can reuse the castor oil pack.”

Gerson Primer, 3rd ed., p. 11.


treatment for pain is water therapy. This can be in

the form of a hot tub bath or hot fomentations (hot,

damp cloths) laid over the painful area. Hydrotherapy

treatments are excellent for dulling and

calming the pain. They also assist in improving

blood and lymphatic circulation. But patients with

nervous system disease (such as multiple sclerosis)

should not receive high temperatures. Cool compresses

are better for them.

(For detailed instructions on hydrotherapy treatments,

see the present writer’s 294-page book, The

Water Therapy Manual; $9.95+$1.50.)


INTESTINAL TRACT—A heating pad can be placed

over the abdomen. This tends to calm the irritated,

hyperactive intestinal tract.


TRACT—Place 4 tbsp. dried chamomile

flowers in 1 quart water. Boil 5 minutes and simmer

for 10 minutes. Strain. Use it when it has cooled

to body temperature. Use full strength, and give just

before a regularly scheduled coffee enema. Retain

the tea for about 5 minutes. Upon releasing it, start

the coffee enema. In severe cases, chamomile concentrate

can be added to all coffee enemas.

Here is how to make chamomile concentrate:

Mix 1 cup dried chamomile flowers in 2 cups (1

pint) distilled water. Simmer 30 minutes in covered

saucepan. Strain and press the flowers to extract

all the liquid. Add enough distilled water to bring

the total again to 1 pint. Keep in closed glass jar not

longer than 3 days. To use it: Pour 4 oz. concentrate

into enema bucket; then fill with distilled water.


Another helpful tip is to add 2 tbs. potassium compound

to each enema bucket. This will help relieve

spasms and help promote bile flow. But it should

be discontinued after 10 to 14 days.


of the tumor causes a toxic buildup. As efforts

are made to detoxify the body, reactions occur. Sudden,

stronger reactions—known as flare-ups—may

occur. It is encouraging to know, when these happen,

that they are signals that the body is gradually

throwing off the poisons. Here is a description of

some of them:

Aches, pains, sore muscles and joints, nausea,

and sometimes vomiting. There may be diarrhea,

pain, chills, fever, foul odors, depression, and/or


Here are a few suggestions; more are to be found

in The Gerson Primer, pp. 14-15, and A Cancer

Therapy, pp. 201-203. (If a person is serious about

going on the Gerson program, he should either go

to the Gerson Institute and/or consider purchasing

those two books. At the back of the Primer are 35

pages of recipes.)

Aches, pains, sore muscles and joints: Use

clay packs, castor oil packs, hydrotherapy, the pain

triad, and bed rest. Usually not over 24-48 hours.

Nausea: Increase intake of peppermint tea and

oatmeal. Possibly reduce the intake of other solid

foods or exchange them for grated and mashed food.

May last several days.

Vomiting: Greatly increase peppermint tea intake

to as much as a gallon or more. Substitute

oatmeal for regular meals. Generally less than 24


Diarrhea: Potassium gluconate (1/8 tsp. in tea

every 2-4 hours), and clay (1/4 tsp. in tea every 3-6

hours). Usually not over 24-48 hours.

Pain: Increase the number of enemas. Use the

other pain suggestions mentioned earlier in this

section. May signal a flare-up, starting 48-72 hours

beforehand; lasting up to 72 hours afterward.

Chills and fever: Bed rest for both. Warm baths

for chills; cool water rubdown and damp cloth on

forehead for fever. If the fever continues to rise, use

chamomile enemas, pain triad. Do not let the fever

go above 103o F. A partial fever actually helps burn

out—kill—the cancer; but, of course, it does not

eliminate the toxic remains. May last 24-48 hours.

Foul odors (breath, body odor, smelly enemas):

No special precautions need be taken. Eat

garlic, drink extra juice or tea, bathe, change clothes

more often, and increase the number of enemas.

This generally occurs after a reaction for up to 24-

48 hours.

Depression: Provide encouragement; pray with

them. A depression may signal a flare-up, for it be-

2 - The Basic Therapy: Pain

32 Summary of the Gerson Therapy

gins up to 72 hours ahead of the flare-up, and lasts

up to 72 hours afterward.

Jaundice: Increase juices and enemas. Generally

lasts up to 48 hours after a flare-up.

Greater frequency of enemas: It is important

to understand that sometimes there must be a return

to a strict, intensive program, as carried out

during the first 3-4 weeks of the program.

CLAY POULTICE—When there is inflammation,

stomach or intestinal problems, diarrhea, or toxic

overload, clay poultices are helpful.

Clay powder is similar to charcoal in its adsorptive

strength; that is, its ability to pull out toxic substances

and lock with them, so they can be carried


Here is how to apply a clay poultice to a sore or

inflamed part of the body:

Place a needed amount of clay in just enough

hot water to make a paste. To prevent cooling,

quickly place it on a square of clean muslin or cotton

cloth. Lay it on the problem area. Cover with

plastic, and place a wool cloth over that. Pin it in

place, and leave it on overnight. In the morning,

remove it, rub the area with ice or a very cold, wet

cloth. Repeat when needed.



used for localized cleansing.

“In cancerous diseases of the colon, we use half

a quart of the usual green leaf juice, as prepared

for drinking, at body temperature. Let it flow in

very slowly and keep as long as possible, since it is

best when it is entirely absorbed by the colon.

“Where there is a colostomy, we use a catheter

and let it flow into the diseased part, very slowly. In

diseases of the vagina or cervix, or urine bladder,

we let smaller quantities flow into these parts to

help rid the body of odorous necrotic [dead] tissue

discharges. Little bleedings are no contraindication.

This procedure is actually requested by patients

as it brings them much relief from pain, discomfort

and offensive odor.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, pp. 194-195.

MASSAGE—To what degree should cancer patients

receive massages, and should they be given

over the tumor site?

“Q. What do you think of deep manipulation? A.

Cancer patients should not be massaged [hard; or

over the cancer site]. Rubbing of the skin to open

the capillaries and to help the body to stimulate

the circulation is very valuable. We give the patient

a rub two or three times a day before meals with a

solution of ½ glass water with two tablespoons rubbing

alcohol and two tablespoons of wine vinegar.

To rub the whole body is very refreshing and helps

the circulation.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 418.


Max Gerson said,

“The chief concern is the patient’s will to live

and to be cured.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy,

p. 214.

Some do not realize how serious the disease is,

and either do not want to bother going on the program

or are quickly satisfied when they see a few

good days and go off of it. Some reject the treatments

outright. Others do not want to give up their

present way of life. A few feel hopeless and pessimistic.

They have experienced so many disappointments

in the past, they do not wish to try again.

Others have family problems. This may include relatives

who oppose their being on the program.

“People go to hospitals for operations or serious

illness; the family considers them recovered upon

their return. It is different with cancer. Cancer is a

degenerative disease, not an acute one, and the

treatment can be effective only if carried out strictly

in accordance with the rules for one and a half to

two years.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p.


“It is not easy to keep strictly to the treatment if

a convalescent patient does not have enough help.

In all cases a life is at stake.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer

Therapy, p. 217.

“After a remarkable improvement and a renewal

of faith and hope, some patients discontinue the

treatment because of mistaken advice and family

aversion.”—Max Gerson, A Cancer Therapy, p.


We all need faith, love, and encouragement. If

you cannot get it from anyone else, I assure you

that you can get it from God! Cry to Him as a little

child. Tell Him all your troubles. He can strengthen

you to push on through to a successful conclusion.

And, regardless of how everything ultimately

turns out, being with Him and resting in His love is

the most important part of all.


If you go to the Gerson Institute, you will receive

injections of B12 and crude liver. While there, they

will teach you how to give them to yourself. Upon

arriving home, you will probably be administering

your own injections. You have a legal right to treat

yourself. If you need guidance, find a health professional

in your area to help get you started.

Here is additional information:

These are the items you should have on hand.

Alcohol Cotton

Syringe Extra needle

(Each needle is 25 gauge, and 5/8" or 1" length)


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