The Gerson Therapy

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The Gerson® Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.

With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself – with no damaging side effects. This a powerful, natural treatment boosts the body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. Dr. Max Gerson developed the Gerson Therapy in the 1930s, initially as a treatment for his own debilitating migraines, and eventually as a treatment for degenerative diseases such as skin tuberculosis, diabetes and, most famously, cancer.

The Gerson Therapy‘s all-encompassing nature sets it apart from most other treatment methods. The Gerson Therapy effectively treats a wide range of different ailments because it restores the body’s incredible ability to heal itself. Rather than treating only the symptoms of a particular disease, the Gerson Therapy treats the causes of most degenerative diseases: toxicity and nutritional deficiency.

An abundance of nutrients from copious amounts of fresh, organic juices are consumed every day, providing your body with a super-dose of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. These substances then break down diseased tissue in the body, while coffee enemas aid in eliminating toxins from the liver.

Throughout our lives our bodies are being filled with a variety of carcinogens and toxic pollutants. These toxins reach us through the air we breathe, the food we eat, the medicines we take and the water we drink. The Gerson Therapy’s intensive detoxification regimen eliminates these toxins from the body, so that true healing can begin.

How the Gerson Therapy Works

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.


Fresh-pressed juice from raw foods provides the easiest and most effective way of providing high-quality nutrition. By juicing, patients can take in the nutrients and enzymes from nearly 15 pounds of produce every day, in a manner that is easy to digest and absorb.

Every day, a typical patient on the Gerson Therapy for cancer consumes up to thirteen glasses of fresh, raw carrot-apple and green leaf juices. These juices are prepared hourly from fresh, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, using a two-step juicer or a masticating juicer used with a separate hydraulic press.

The Gerson Diet

The Gerson diet is plant-based and entirely organic. The diet is naturally high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micro-nutrients, and extremely low in sodium, fats, and proteins. The following is a typical daily diet for a Gerson patient on the full therapy regimen:

  • Thirteen glasses of fresh, raw carrot-apple and green-leaf juices prepared hourly from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.
  • Three full plant-based meals, freshly prepared from organically grown fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A typical meal will include salad, cooked vegetables, baked potatoes, Hippocrates soup and juice.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables available at all hours for snacking, in addition to the regular diet.

To learn more about the Gerson diet, follow the link below to read about which foods are permitted and prohibited on the Gerson Therapy:

Colorful Veggies


All medications used in connection with the Gerson Therapy are classed as biologicals, materials of organic origin that are supplied in therapeutic amounts. The supplements used on the Gerson Therapy include:

  • Potassium compound
  • Lugol’s solution
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Pancreatic Enzymes
  • ..and more


Coffee enemas are the primary method of detoxification of the tissues and blood on the Gerson Therapy. Cancer patients on the Gerson Therapy may take up to 5 coffee enemas per day. Charlotte Gerson explains the necessity of coffee enemas in Healing the Gerson Way:

“The moment a patient is put on the full therapy, the combined effect of the food, the juices and the medication causes the immune system to attack and kill tumor tissue, besides working to flush out accumulated toxins from the body tissues. This great clearing-out procedure carries the risk of overburdening and poisoning the liver—the all-important organ of detoxification, which, in a cancer patient, is bound to be already damaged and debilitated.”

Coffee enemas accomplish this essential task, assisting the liver in eliminating toxic residues from the body for good. The Gerson Therapy also utilizes castor oil to stimulate bile flow and enhance the liver’s ability to filter blood.

Is the Gerson Therapy Right For You?

The Gerson Therapy has the potential to restore the body and enable the body to heal itself from a number of illnesses. However, the therapy does have its limits. There is no guarantee that any approach, conventional or alternative, will reverse every case of chronic disease or cancer.

There are many variables and factors involved in determining whether a person will successfully recover from chronic and serious diseases such as cancer. These factors can include: age, family history, occupational or environmental exposures, dietary and lifestyle habits, inherited traits or genetic weak links and pre-existing conditions. There are many factors that can influence a cancer prognosis, such as the type and stage of the cancer, how much time has elapsed since the initial diagnosis, whether it is a recurrence, and whether the patient has been previously treated with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. These are all factors that will affect the prognosis. In certain cases, patients may need a surgical intervention or other conventional therapy before starting, or while doing, the Gerson Therapy.

In some cases, the disease process is too far advanced and the immune system is too weakened to respond fully to the therapy. Some diseases are not treatable with the Gerson Therapy (see Contraindications and Cautions for the Gerson Therapy) and others do not respond sufficiently for the Gerson Therapy to be used as the sole form of treatment. Ultimately, it isn’t possible to predict with 100% accuracy who will be able to reverse their condition using the Gerson Therapy. What the Gerson Therapy can truly offer anyone is a better quality of life, even in cases where full recovery is not possible. Successful recovery is on a case- by-case basis.

In the past 50 years, the population has been exposed to more toxins, prescription drugs and poor quality of food, water and air than ever before. We now find that many people are initially diagnosed at a more advanced stage of disease. Many often have multiple additional health issues complicating their cancer diagnosis. Some cancers are now more aggressive and progress faster. For all these reasons, and more, determining whether the Gerson Therapy is the most optimal stand-alone primary treatment approach for you requires serious consideration and investigation.

Another very important factor to consider is whether one is willing to comply with the rigid diet and strict therapy protocol. Following the Gerson Therapy requires enormous lifestyle changes which may not be tolerable or feasible for everyone, such as following a very restrictive diet–without cheating–for several years, eliminating toxic substances from the home, carefully avoiding environmental toxins, and cooking and juicing for several hours every day. The Gerson Therapy is a full-time job, and patients need a great deal of support. Prospective patients must fully educate themselves about all that the Gerson Therapy entails, and seriously consider whether they have the discipline and determination to fully commit to the Gerson Therapy for two or more years.

Caution: Do not start the Gerson Therapy if any of the following conditions apply without referring to Charlotte Gerson’s book, Healing the Gerson Way, or without the supervision of a Gerson doctor:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Diabetes
  • Brain metastases
  • Severe kidney damage and/or if the patient has ever been on dialysis
  • Foreign bodies such as pacemakers, breast implants, steel plates or screws.

Patients must be able to eat, drink and eliminate normally. The Gerson Therapy cannot be administered to organ transplant recipients. Please read the Contraindications and Cautions for the Gerson Therapy to learn which conditions are not treatable or difficult to treat with the Gerson Therapy.


Are you thinking of following the Gerson Therapy?

Read our Get Started page to see our recommendations for beginning the Gerson Therapy. Based on our experience and the experiences of countless other patients, we’ve assembled this guide that takes you from the moment you first hear of the Gerson Therapy to your first day on the full protocol!

Photo Sources: 1: Flickr, 4: Lindsay_NYC

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