A claimed treatment for cancer, migraine, tuberculosis and other diseases is a diet plan called the Gerson therapy. This vegetarian diet includes eating organic fruits and vegetables and 13 glasses of fresh juice each day.
What is Gerson Therapy?
Developed in the early 1900s by doctor Max B. Gerson, this is a natural alternative treatment system that claims to activate the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself. Initially, doctor Gerson used this therapy to relieve his migraine, but later the Gerson therapy was also used to treat diseases like tuberculosis and cancer.
According to Gerson chronic diseases like cancers were a result of changes in your metabolism that happen when toxic substances accumulate in your body. Gerson therapy was solely aimed to remove toxins and increase immunity.
To provide education and training in the Gerson therapy, Gerson Institute was established by Charlotte Gerson daughter of Max B. Gerson in 1978. The Gerson Institute has Gerson practitioners those are medical doctors and people with the medical background who have successfully completed the Gerson practitioner training program.
Diet, detoxification and supplement are the three major components of the Gerson therapy. An organic, plant-based diet with raw juices, use of coffee enemas several times daily for detoxification and a variety of supplements are some essentials for the people on the therapy.
To undergo the therapy the first step is to apply on their website by submitting your medical records and then undergoing a case evaluation to see if you are eligible to start the therapy.
Although meant to treat a wide range of chronic diseases, the institute clearly mentions that certain conditions do not respond well to the Gerson therapy. These non-responsive conditions include brain tumours, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure and ileostomy.
The Gerson therapy costs more than $15,000 to start and must be followed for a minimum of two years.
How does the Gerson therapy work?
According to Dr Gerson, a diet which is entirely vegetarian, extremely low in sodium, fats and proteins is believed to be the idle type of diet for treating diseases.
Any person on this diet is required to consume approximately 7-9 kg of organic produce every day. Dieters are asked to drink up to 240 ml of raw juice per hour – up to 13 times daily. The institute recommends a juicer that first grinds the vegetables into a pulp, then extracts the juice by squeezing it under high pressure, to prepare juices.
Although the claims have not been validated by a third party, the person institute claims that its appliances provide 25 to 50% more uses than other juices.
The supplements in the Gerson therapy intend to support your cells metabolic processes and not provide you with more nutrients as the therapy itself includes enough nutrients.
The supplements in the Gerson therapy include:
- pancreatic enzymes
- lugol’s solution
- thyroid hormone supplement
- vitamins B3 and B12
Dr Gerson was of the view that diseased cells contained too much sodium and too little potassium because of which potassium supplements are a key part of the Gerson therapy.
High in potassium and low in sodium, the Gerson therapy diet once started, the cells would reportedly shrink which person believed to be a sign of recovery.
When under the Gerson therapy your liver which is the main organ that processes toxins would be working harder than usual for the combined effect of the diet and supplements. In order to support your liver, the Gerson therapy incorporated coffee enemas that allegedly widen your liver’s bile duct so that it can release toxins with ease.
Dieters are recommended to do one coffee enema per 3 glasses of juice consumed. But, in addition, no scientific studies prove that coffee animals can widen your bile duct.
Foods to avoid
The Gerson therapy prohibits foods that are high in protein, sodium and fat. Moreover, certain elements that the institute claims interfere with the healing process are also banned.
Here is a list of foods that are prohibited when under Gerson therapy:
- animal proteins, eggs, seafood and all meats
- including dairy and vegan formulas, all protein powders
- excluding plain, organic, non-yoghurt all dairy products including milk and cheeses
- soybeans and soy products
- certain vegetables like mushrooms, hot peppers, radish greens, carrot greens, mustard greens and raw spinach
- fruits like pineapple, berries, cucumbers and avocados
- unless advised by an experienced Gerson practitioner all sprouted alfalfa and other been or seeds sprouts are also banned
- all nuts and seeds
- oils, fats and naturally high-fat foods, such as coconut, nuts and avocados
- all salt or sodium including table salt and Epsom salts
- spices like black pepper, paprika, basil, oregano and others
- beverages like commercial juices, sodas, coffee and coffee substitute, black tea and non-herbal teas that contain caffeine
- all alcoholic beverages
- condiments like soy sauce, tamari, liquid aminos, mustard and others
- baked foods and sweets
- baking powder and baking soda are completely prohibited
- other prohibited items include toothpaste, mouthwash, hair dyes, permanents, cosmetics, underarm deodorants, lipstick and lotions.
Gerson therapy diet
This plant-based diet includes:
- all fresh fruits accept berries and pineapple which Harvard aromatic acids
- dried fruits which are stewed for pre-soaked only such as peaches, dates, figs, apricots, prunes and raisins
- all vegetables except mushrooms, hot peppers, carrot greens, radish greens, mustard greens and raw spinach
- lentils are allowed only at the six-month mark if you are in good health
- grains like rye bread, brown rice and oatmeal
- dairy includes only non-fat, plain, organic yoghurt that to only after 6 weeks
- spices in small amounts include allspice, anise, bay leaves, coriander, dill, fennel, mace, marjoram, rosemary, sage, saffron, sorrel, summer savoury, thyme and tarragon
- condiments include vinegar either wine or Apple Cider
- flaxseed oil only if prescribed
- freshly pressed juices which are refined free herbal teas according to the prescription
In addition to the above foods, certain items that can be included occasionally are Bananas (half a week), bread ( 1 – 2 slices per day), quinoa (once a week), yams and sweet potatoes should be taken once a week and popcorn which is the airport as a holiday treat only.
The organic plant-based diet that which will cost you to $15,000 claims to treat chronic diseases like cancer through supplements and detoxification. It is advisable to stick to a well rounded nutritious diet and follow treatment according to the Gerson practitioners.