Gerson Therapy Diet. A Natural Way to Cure Cancer?

Most therapy treatments, allopathic or alternative, treat a person’s symptoms rather than the causes of the illness. Doctor Max B. Gerson’s 60-year-old therapy, however, takes a whole body approach to healing. Without focusing on symptoms, the Gerson Therapy Diet strives to restore the body to health; thereby enabling it to heal itself. Gerson (1881-1959) began using his therapy to treat migraine headaches. Then, in the 1930s, he began offering it to the public as a treatment for tuberculosis. Today it is used worldwide to treat cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

According to the Gerson Institute website, “The Gerson Therapy is a powerful, natural treatment that boosts your body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases.” Using fruit and vegetable juices, vegetarian meals, specific biological supplements, and detoxifying enemas, this treatment program boasts curing “thousands” of people from their incurable diseases. According to the National Cancer Institute, however, The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved the Gerson Therapy Diet for treating cancer or other conditions. So, just as you would for any health/medical decision, you should consult your health care provider and do your own research.

If the Gerson Therapy Diet interests you, the Institute recommends that you begin at a licensed Gerson clinic. Although they do not own or operate any treatment facilities, Gerson does train and license clinical staff to ensure that patients around the world receive proper treatment. As a patient of a clinic, an individual will receive training on how to continue their regimen in the comfort of their own home. However, if you cannot begin in a clinical setting, they urge you to read Healing the Gerson Way by Charlotte Gerson to receive a greater understanding of the program.

The basis of the program is the juice therapy. From about 20 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables, a patient drinks a glass of juice prepared fresh every hour for 13 hours. However, before you try this at home, they urge you to purchase the correct type of juicer. According to Gerson, only a two-part, press type juicer will deliver a juice packed with the proper amount of enzymes and micronutrients.

In addition to the juices, the diet includes three full vegetarian meals prepared from fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, and grains. The typical meal will include a salad, cooked vegetables, soup, and more juice. And if that is not enough to fill you up, the diet allows for snacking on all the fruit you want throughout the day.

In addition to the diet, the Gerson Therapy includes supplements of potassium compound, Lugol’s solution, vitamin B-12, thyroid hormone, injectable crude liver extract, and pancreatic enzymes in therapeutic dosages. They also call for a detoxification program through the use of coffee enemas.

When used in an enema, coffee does not go through the digestive system and, therefore, does not affect the body in the same way as drinking it. According to Phyllis A. Balch, CNC and James F. Balch, M.D. in their book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, the “coffee solution stimulates both the liver and the gallbladder to relieve toxins, which are then flushed from the body.” Once these toxins are eliminated, the body can begin to break down the diseased tissues or tumors. However, according to the National Cancer Institute, “Taking too many enemas of any kind can cause changes in normal blood chemistry, chemicals that occur naturally in the body and keep the muscles, heart, and other organs working properly.” Therein lies the rub. With three deaths attributed to the coffee enemas taken in conjunction with this treatment regimen, one must weigh the risks with the benefits.

Unfortunately, few clinical trials have been conducted on the Gerson Therapy. While still living, Gerson provided 50 case studies of his patients with several different types of cancer. These studies are, today, considered nothing more than anecdotal reports. More currently, all studies of Gerson have been inconclusive, from a strictly scientific standpoint. However, since this therapy is based on practicing a healthy lifestyle and feeding the body raw, organic fruits and vegetables, many patients choose to practice the Gerson Therapy Diet in conjunction with their conventional, allopathic treatments.

Freelance writer Carol J. Alexander writes from her home in the Shenandoah Valley Virginia. Visit her blog for more of her writing.

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