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Gerson Therapy

Find a professional for Gerson Therapy in Seattle

Gerson therapy is a holistic diet plan focused on intense detoxification aimed at cleansing the entire body.  A person following this diet eats organic vegan meals and drinks 13 glasses of fresh organic juice a day (one juice every hour).  These juices should be prepared in a press juicer and should be consumed immediately in order to optimize their enzyme content.  In addition to the specific diet, Gerson therapy includes supplements of specific enzymes, vitamins, minerals and liver extract.  Daily coffee enemas are also recommended in order to encourage thorough flushing of the liver.  This process is followed for 6 to 18 weeks depending on the severity of the condition.  Gerson therapy has been used to treat such conditions as eczema, ulcers, tuberculosis, epilepsy, migraines, cancer, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, diabetes, edema, schizophrenia, kidney disease, allergies, psoriasis, emphysema, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Gerson therapy is used to treat this wide range of degenerate diseases through boosting the body's immune system and metabolic function.  This increased metabolic function and immune response enacts rigorous detoxification as well as digestion and elimination of diseased tissues.  While following this method a person avoids salt, alcohol, tobacco, black teas, fluorinated toothpaste, pain killers (except aspirin), proteins, fats, oils, smoked, canned, and processed foods, any chemical containing products such as hair dyes, aerosols, cosmetics, pesticides and aluminum cooking.

Patients undergoing this therapy should be under close medical supervision due to the intensity of the detoxification process, which can cause a healing crisis.  The mass purging of toxins can be very hard on an already compromised system causing hepatic coma or death.  This therapy is contraindicated in patients with diabetes, brain metastases, severe kidney damage, foreign bodies (i.e. pacemakers, breast implants, screws) or those under going chemotherapy.  In the initial stages of the process it is not uncommon for people to experience nausea, headaches and fevers.  Following the therapy patients may be hypersensitive to drugs, especially anesthetic.  Drugs should therefore be used with caution and under the supervision of a physician.   

This method was developed in the 1930s and 40s by Max Gerson, MD, a German-born physician.  He was first recognized with a 99% cure rate for tuberculosis in the clinic where he was practicing.  In 1946 he presented the U.S. Congressional Committee with recovered cancer patients; he was the first physician to do this.  His success rate was 50% with terminal cancer patients that had been abandoned by conventional medicine.  Gerson attributes most degenerative illnesses to the high chemical exposure people encounter in today's world.  He therefore theorized that purging the body of these toxins can cure these diseases.

In the United States Gerson therapy is highly controversial and not well accepted in the conventional medical community.  Despite many individual case studies supporting this therapy no formal studies with control groups have been conducted to date.  In addition, many of these patients were simultaneously undergoing other anticancer therapies, making it difficult to pinpoint what was actually causing improvement.  Currently it is illegal to market Gerson therapy as an effective anticancer therapy.

Author: Bronwyn Bacon, ND Candidate '09


The National Cancer Institute

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