Dr. Max Gerson was a Jewish German physician who escaped Nazi Germany in 1933 first to France, then to the United States where he settled in 1936 and where he worked as a physician. He began with his therapy as a student, researching ways to heal his own migraine headaches and as a physician expanding his treatment first to tuberculosis patients in Germany and then to cancer patients in other countries in Europe. He was part of a group of physicians at the turn of the 20th century who contributed to the understanding and treatment of the cause of modern disease. Rather than adopting the view of conventional medicine by which harmful pharmaceuticels are used to attack the disease, they viewed the healing process as a strengthening of the natural function of the body and in particular those of the immune system.

Dr. Gerson was part of a philosophical movement in medicine including doctor Bragg, Dr. Shelton and many others who acknowledged the adverse effects of environmental pollution, depleted sources of nutrition with the advent of processed foods and sedentary lifestyle and correlated these harmful changes to “chronic degenerative” disease. They adhere to a theory of degenerative disease (including cancer) the vis medicatrix naturae or healing power of nature (Neuburger, 1926 and 1944; Warner, 1978). Note that at this time the self-healing power of the body has been defeated by “chronic disease” because it is the first time in history that the environmental toxicity overwhelms the body self- protecting mechanism.

In 1958 Dr. Gerson published his book, A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases and the Cure of Advanced Cancer.

Dr. Gerson’s therapy was not valued by the American Medical Association (AMA) and Dr. Gerson’s therapy died with him until it was revived by his daughter Charlotte Gerson who founded the Gerson Institute in 1977. The Gerson Institute is a non-profit association with the goal of educating the public about the therapy by the ways of books, talks, webinars and films.

The doctor’s original protocol included 13 juices a day and 5 coffee enemas for cancer patients.

There was no chemotherapy then and this regimen has been adapted for today’s higher toxicity levels from chemotherapy by Dr. Dan Rogers who helped to establish the Gerson Institute. He created the modified Gerson therapy for patients who received chemotherapy. Gar Hildenbrand contributed much in research and founded the Gerson Research Organization. In 1995, the Gerson Research Organization did a retrospective study of melanoma patients treated with the Gerson therapy. The study reported that patients who had stage III or stage IV melanoma lived longer than usual patients with these stages of melanoma.

Theoretical Approach

Cancer is a Systemic Metabolic Problem

Dr. Gerson as many other physicians of his generation such as Otto Warburg, thought that cancer cannot be resolved by surgery and radiation. But rather that: the cancer tumor is a positive effort of the body to remove toxic material from circulation. It is a commonly recognized fact that removing a cancer tumor alone does not prevent recurrence. This is why chemotherapy is prescribed in cases of large tumors, to eliminate the possible spread of cancer and the possibility of metastasis. Dr. Gerson thought that cancer was due to a metabolic imbalance at the cellular level between sodium and potassium. Modern diet low in potassium and high in sodium is the major reason for this imbalance.

Cellular Edema

K+ is an intracellular ion and Na+ is an extracellular cation. The excess sodium attracts water and loss of potassium in the cell. Potassium is slowly replaced by sodium and water. Therefore, cellular edema and difficulty to produce energy or ATP by the mitochondria which favors cancer growth. Therefore, Dr. Gerson eliminated salt in his diet and created a diet rich in potassium.

Gar Hildenbrand notes “As early as 1933-34, while living in Vienna, Dr. Gerson had begun giving injections of liver extract, as another means of stimulating the patient’s liver (Gerson, 1958, 31 -32). In later years he had patients drink two to three glasses daily of the juice of calves’ liver pressed with carrots. In addition to beta-carotene/vitamin A, this would supply iron and copper, both of which affect peripheral T cell functions and other peripheral lymphocyte subpopulations (Keusch, 1983, 345-347)”.

Gerson Therapy Green Juice

GREEN JUICE Ingredients: Mostly lettuce (preferably Romaine or cos) Escarole 1 or 2 leaves Red leaf lettuce 3 or 4 leaves Green leaf lettuce 3 or 4 leaves Endive 1 or 2 leaf Romaine 2 to 3 leaves Watercress leaves up to 6 leaves – no more than 6 leaves Red cabbage 2 or 3 […]

Dr. Maya Nicole Baylac on Juicers and Juicing

Juices on the Gerson Therapy are a critical aspect of the regimen providing most of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals and other nutrients essential to healing along with adequate fluid intake. We are often asked why patients cannot simply eat the foods instead of making them into juices, as there is no fiber content to […]

The Biological, Biochemical and Physiological Basis of The Gerson Therapy

The need to look at the whole body The Concept of Totality: Dr. Gerson believed the cause of cancer to be the accumulation of numerous damaging factors and where there is a breakdown of the whole body, and no single approach would effect a cure. The effects of single treatments without regard for the totality […]

Max Gerson M.D. About Healing Advanced Cancers

Dr. Gerson showed us the path of the hero to wellness. He did not believe in incurable disease. He had tremendous faith in life. His lifetime work and dedication has been a precious tool for both patients and practitioners. From his personal experience, patients learn determination to heal, regardless of prognostics from the medical authorities. […]

Coping With Cancer: What To Do If You Are Diagnosed With Cancer

Hearing a diagnosis of cancer can be perceived as a death sentence. Often the doctor accompanies his verdict with a date. Fear and panic sets in. Some patients fulfill their doctor’s prophecy and die timely. Others decide their time has not come and want to live. For those who decide that life has something to […]

Gerson Protocol: The Role of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats

What’s So Different About the Gerson Diet? People often comment that the Gerson diet is similar to many other nutritional approaches. It may be similar, but it is not the same. The macrobiotic approach, for example, recommends cooked foods almost exclusively and is high in sodium. Another dietary approach recommends large quantities of nuts and […]