Gerson Diet/Therapy

“Nourish the body and it will do the healing.” Max Gerson

The Gerson Cancer Therapy Treatment, created by Dr. Max Gerson M.D., is a diet and alternative cancer treatment plan that has been used successfully to treat cancer, tuberculosis, migraines arthritis and a variety of other illnesses. The Gerson cancer regime involves consuming a diet primarily of raw foods, with emphasis on fresh juices, as well as taking supplements to rebuild healing mechanisms and instilling coffee enemas to detoxify the liver to overall rebalance the body and boost its healing ability. This therapy requires a serious commitment to the regime, and when followed strictly, claims recovery rates as high as 70%-90%.

Max Gerson graduated from the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1909 and started practicing medicine. Dr. Gerson experienced recurrent migraines and was told by his own Doctor that there was no cure for him, so he took his health into his own hands. Within 10 years, Gerson had cured himself by creating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in fats. He then started treating his own patients complaining of migraines with this diet and had much success.  After leaving Germany due to the rise of Hitler, Gerson moved to the United States, where he started treating more and more cancer patients with success.

Max Gerson believed that cancer was a systemic disease, not a localized one. He theorized that cancer cannot occur unless the liver, pancreas and the immune system as well as other body functions are malfunctioning. The focus of the Gerson cancer therapy is to repair the body’s metabolism. This is done by ingesting a diet very high in fresh fruits and vegetables and very low in fats and sodium to help break down cancer/tumors. Further, coffee enemas are done to detoxify the body. The coffee taken rectally works by dilating the bile ducts to help excrete toxic breakdown products from the liver which are then quickly excreted from the body; a much different physiological effect than drinking it! Gerson also added Lugol’s iodine solution, pancreatin enzymes for digestion, thyroid extract, and mineral and vitamin supplements to further balance the body’s metabolism and optimize tumor breakdown and removal.

A highly suggestive study done in 1988 by Harold Foster, Ph.D., of the University of Victoria, British Columbia, analyzed data from 200 patients who experienced “spontaneous regression” from cancer. Of these 200 patients, a total of 88% of them had made major dietary changes including eating strictly vegetarian diets and a total of 65% took vitamins and mineral supplements including potassium and iodine. Foster concluded that there must always be a cause for regression and that the data presented in this study supports that dramatic remissions occurred in association with dietary changes which must have inevitably “resulted in alterations in the availability of bulk and trace elements to both the immune system and to tumors.”

The Gerson treatment for cancer has shown to be effective for almost all types of cancer and can help with the treatment of arthritis, epilepsy, MS, kidney disorders and heart/circulatory disease. As tumors start to break down, toxic buildup can occur and adverse effects including pain, body aches, joint pain, nausea, diarrhea and chills may develop. There are modifications and treatments that can counteract these side effects. This cancer therapy by Max Gerson requires great effort but is supportive to the advanced alternative cancer treatments that are the mainstays of our clinic’s treatment of all stages of cancer.


Cassileth, B. (2010). Gerson Regimen. Oncology (Williston Park. N.Y.). 24(2). Integrative Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.

Ferrell, Vance. (1999). The Gerson Therapy for Those Dying of Cancer. Beersheba Springs, TN: Pilgrims Books.

McKinney, Neil. (2012). Natruopathic Oncology: An Encyclopedia Guide for Patients & Physicians (2nd ed.). Vancouver, BC: Liason Press.

Walters, Richard. (1992). Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book. New York, NY: Avery Publishing.