Gerson Therapy is an Alternative Therapy diet, which means it is used instead of conventional treatment for cancer. Gerson Therapy involves a very specific diet with nutritional supplements, and is aimed at ridding the body of toxins and strengthening the body’s immune system.

Gerson Therapy is based on the role of minerals, enzymes, and other dietary factors, and has been used by some individuals to treat cancer and other conditions.

Gerson Therapy consists of 3 key parts:

  • Detoxification: Treatments, including enemas, to remove toxic (harmful) substances from the body.
  • Diet: Organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to give the body plenty of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other nutrients. The fruits and vegetables are low in sodium (salt) and high in potassium.
  • Supplementation: The addition of certain substances to the diet to help correct cell metabolism (the chemical changes that take place in a cell to make energy and basic materials needed for the body’s life processes).

With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body’s ability to heal itself – with no damaging side effects. This powerful, natural treatment boosts the body’s own immune system and has been used to treat cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases.

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A History of Gerson Therapy as an Alternative Therapy

The Gerson therapy was named after Dr Max B. Gerson (1881-1959), who first used it to treat his migraine headaches.

Dr. Gerson’s therapy became known to the public as a treatment for a type of tuberculosis (TB) in the 1930s, and it has since been used to treat other conditions as well, including cancer.

The Gerson Therapy premises that cancer develops when there are changes in cell metabolism because of the build-up of toxic substances in the body.


According to Dr. Gerson, the disease process makes more toxins and the liver becomes overworked; he also believed that people with cancer also have too little potassium and too much sodium in the cells in their bodies, resulting in tissue damage and weakened organs.

Gerson Therapy aims to restore the body to health by repairing the liver and returning the metabolism to its normal state.

According to Dr. Gerson, the best method of achieving this is by removing toxins from the body and building up the immune system with diet and supplements.

According to Dr. Gerson, the enemas widen the bile ducts of the liver so toxins can be released. He also says that the liver is even more overworked as the treatment regimen breaks down cancer cells and rids the body of toxins.

Pancreatic enzymes are given to decrease the demands on the weakened liver and pancreas to make enzymes for digestion.

An organic diet and nutritional supplements are used to boost the immune system and support the body as the regimen cleans the body of toxins. Low- sodium and High-potassium foods are said to help correct tissue damage caused by an excess of sodium in the cells.

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How is the Gerson Therapy Administered?

The Gerson therapy requires that the many details of its treatment plan be followed exactly.


The Gerson Therapy regenerates the body to health, supporting each important metabolic requirement by flooding the body with nutrients from about 15- 20 pounds of organically-grown fruits and vegetables daily. Most is used to make fresh raw juice, up to one glass every hour, up to 13 times per day.

Raw and cooked solid foods are generously consumed. Oxygenation is usually more than doubled, as oxygen deficiency in the blood contributes to many degenerative diseases. The metabolism is also stimulated through the addition of thyroid, potassium and other supplements, and by avoiding heavy animal fats, excess protein, sodium and other toxins.

Degenerative diseases render the body increasingly unable to excrete waste materials adequately, commonly resulting in liver and kidney failure. The Gerson Therapy uses intensive detoxification to eliminate wastes, regenerate the liver, reactivate the immune system and restore the body’s essential defenses – enzyme, mineral and hormone systems.

With generous, high-quality nutrition, increased oxygen availability, detoxification, and improved metabolism, the cells – and the body – can regenerate, become healthy and prevent future illness.

Some key parts of the regimen include the following:

1.Drinking 13 glasses of juice daily. The juice must be freshly made from organic fruits and vegetables and be taken once every hour.

2. Eating vegetarian meals of organically grown fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3.Taking a number of supplements, including:

  • Lugol’s Solution (potassium iodide, iodine, and water).
  • Coenzyme Q10 injected with vitamin B12. (The original regimen used crude liver extract instead of coenzyme Q10.)
  • Vitamins A, C, and B3 (niacin).
  • Flaxseed
  • Pancreatic enzymes.
  • Pepsin (a stomach enzyme).

4.Taking coffee or chamomile enemas regularly to remove toxins from the body.

5.Preparing food without salt, spices, or oils, and without using aluminium cookware or utensils.

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Side Effects or Risks

Reports of three deaths that may be related to coffee enemas have been published. 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.

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There have been no results of laboratory or animal studies published in any scientific journals.

Most of the published information on the use of the Gerson Therapy reports on retrospective studies (reviews of past cases).

Dr. Gerson published case histories (detailed reports of the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of individual patients) of 50 of his patients. He treated several different types of cancer in his practice. The reports include Dr. Gerson’s notes, with some X-rays of the patients over time. The follow-up was contact with patients by mail or phone and included anecdotal reports (incomplete descriptions of the medical and treatment histories of one or more patients).

In 1947 and 1959, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reviewed the cases of a total of 60 patients treated by Dr. Gerson. The NCI found that the available information did not prove the regimen had benefit.

The following studies of the Gerson therapy were published:

  • 1983-1984: A retrospective study of 38 patients treated with the Gerson therapy was done. Medical records were not available to the authors of the study; information came from patient interviews. These case reviews did not provide information that supports the usefulness of the Gerson therapy for treating cancer.
  • 1990: A study of a diet regimen similar to the Gerson therapy was done in Austria. The patients received standard treatment along with the special diet. The authors of the study reported that the diet appeared to help patients live longer than usual and have fewer side effects. The authors said it needed further study.
  • 1995: The Gerson Research Organization did a retrospective study of their melanoma patients who were treated with the Gerson therapy. The study reported that patients who had stage III or stage IV melanoma lived longer than usual for patients with these stages of melanoma. There have been no clinical trials that support the findings of this retrospective study.
  • A case review of 6 patients with metastatic cancer who used the Gerson therapy reported that the regimen helped patients in some ways, both physically and psychologically. Based on these results, the reviewers recommended that clinical trials of the Gerson therapy be conducted.


Please note that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust shares information regarding various types of cancer treatments on this blog merely for informational use. LFCT does not endorse or promote any specific cancer treatments – we believe that the public should be informed but that the option is theirs to take as to what treatments are to be used.

Always consult your medical practitioner prior to taking any other medication, natural or otherwise.