“The Real Me is Returning” | Lyme Disease & the Gerson Therapy

My name is James and I’m here to share a Gerson Therapy story concerning my recovery from Lyme disease.

A couple years ago I would not have had the strength or desire to stand up to tell my story. But now that I’m well on my way to a Gerson recovery, it’s important for me to pay it forward and make a difference in someone else’s quality of life. I’m simply a local volunteer with nothing to gain from sharing my story but perhaps some good karma.

I want to help educate others who do not have cancer but would benefit from the Gerson Therapy. The Gerson Therapy is perhaps best known as a cancer treatment, but can also help people like me, who suffer from chronic, non-malignant diseases.

What is Lyme Disease?

For you who are unfamiliar with Lyme Disease, here is a quick rundown of what it is, and how it affects the body:

Back in 1977, the people of Lyme, Connecticut discovered a correlation between a deer tick bite and a life-disrupting illness.

These ticks have the potential to administer an infectious bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochete that has the ability to proliferate in all areas of the human body. It has the ability to suppress and hide from your natural immune system, and to transform itself into a protected dormant state when under attack by antibiotics.

Originally, the general symptoms consisted of a big, round red bullseye-shaped rash, followed by flu-like symptoms like fever, headache and stiff joints.

The typical prescription for Lyme is 30 days of antibiotics and the expectation that the illness would just go away, and you could just go back out into the world and enjoy your life.

However, many people are not healed after a mere 30 days, especially if the disease is not caught right away. My story turned out to be far more complicated, as this bacterial infection went untreated for many years, and became a chronic disease.

How it Started

In 1989, while living in Connecticut, I remember getting a bug bite. I did not notice a tick embedded in my skin, so I dismissed the rash as a simple spider bite that I had picked up while raking leaves. It was fall, so the symptoms that followed seemed like just a seasonal flu. Following the brief illness, everything cleared up and my life continued as usual.

I have always been competitive in athletics, jogging and cycling on the weekends. Over the years, I started to suspect that these activities were taking a toll on my body. The aches, the pains and the fatigue were getting worse over the years. I figured I was just getting older.

What I didn’t realize was that I was developing neurological problems that were gradually interfering with my life. Things like ear ringing (tinnitus), forgetfulness, confusion and lack of drive.

I thought I was treating my body right. I took supplements, ate what I thought were well-rounded meals and exercised. Yet these symptoms kept getting worse. Little did I know I was digging my own grave…

I was eating lots of toxic processed foods which included meat, dairy, gluten, salt, sugar and, to wash it all down, lots of diet soft drinks that were filled with aspartame. I was working unprotected with chemicals and metals, which were being absorbed into my body.

Fast-forward to 2002.

I participated in a 24-hour mountain bike race and ended up with flu-like symptoms that lasted three weeks. After that, my body produced new major symptoms seemingly every month.

It was then that I began the typical Lyme patient story. I saw five different doctors, who all said they could find nothing wrong, and told me they were unable to help me. So, I began to do my own research online. I came up with many possibilities.

Illnesses that matched my symptoms included: rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), lupus, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Gulf War disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and Lyme disease.

Because I recalled that bug bite I got while living in Connecticut, I started with Lyme. So, I found a special lab in Palo Alto and an LLMD (Lyme-literate doctor) and confirmed my research. I tested positive, and was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

What to do?

Without a question, I followed the LLMD’s advice. I took antibiotics by the handful for over a year, yet I didn’t feel any better. I finally said “enough is enough!” and made the decision to stop this destructive approach that was simply maintaining a level of mildly reduced Lyme disease symptoms.

Six months later, my symptoms were back, but now stronger than before. The disease had progressed, and began to cut deeply into the quality of my life.

On a scale of five, I went from a two to a one. I was so sick, but nobody knew because I still looked normal.

My mental ability was degrading fast. I had only one good hour per day, which I eventually used to assemble a list of problems that I wanted to fix:

My body was infected with Lyme disease. My blood was loaded with mold, fungus and parasites. My gut was bloated every day and I had sensitivity to foods. My diet was incorrect and I craved salt, sugar and carbohydrates. My body was limited in its ability to carry oxygen. My body was storing chemicals and metals in the soft tissues and bones. My body’s soft tissue and bones were sore and nothing seemed to help. My brain activity was failing and I was becoming a worrying person. My idiosyncratic pattern of what I did every day to get by needed to be broken.

I was determined to fix these problems, so I did more research. Online, I found a pattern of references to Dr Max Gerson and his treatment for cancer. I watched the documentary The Beautiful Truth and decided to order Charlotte Gerson’s book Healing the Gerson Way.

I read it once, then I read it again and took notes. I decided to give it a try.

Going Gerson

Right off the bat, I learned that my sick body had to be treated as a whole, not as a collection of symptoms. I didn’t know what the process was going to feel like, as extreme detoxification and hyper nutrition were new to me.

I started slow. My first week, I took one coffee enema a day, along with a couple of juices, fresh fruits and salad.

The second and third week, I upped my regimen to two enemas per day, with juices and following the diet.

The second month, I started taking three enemas per day, with 6-8 juices, and following the diet.

The third month, I started doing 3 to 4 enemas a day and started using the castor oil treatment once a week, along with the diet and juices.

Ever since then, I typically do 4 enemas a day and castor oil three times per week, with the juices and following the Gerson diet.

On a typical day, I would make and eat the Hippocrates Soup 1-2 times daily, usually accompanied by a salad and/or some other cooked vegetable dish.

Within the second or third week, I started feeling results. My gut no longer felt bloated and my skin stopped hurting. I began to believe I was heading in the right direction. I was soon to realize this was the calm before the storm.

Healing Reactions

The days I did a castor oil treatment, it felt as though I had just eaten a large meal and all my blood was in the core of my body digesting food. My extremities were so cold that I would wear gloves and three layers of clothing (in sunny Southern California, mind you!).

As I continued, relief became a long, drawn-out torture. Every inch of my body became ultra-sensitive. I wanted to be left alone and stay in a dark room with no sound and the heat set to 80 degrees. Yet, I forced myself to participate and stay engaged with life.

These bodily sensations and a roller coaster of emotional feelings lasted for a year.

I started using castor oil packs, saunas and clay packs and toughed it out. [Editor’s note: While in this particular instance James found some relief using a sauna, the use of saunas is not recommended for patients on the Gerson Therapy due to the risk of electrolyte loss and dehydration.]

Getting Better

What I discovered was enlightening, and if someone had described it to me, I would have not believed them.

On castor oil days, my body eliminated a black, tar-like goo after administering the castor oil enema. The last colon push produced a feeling of relief that resonated through my entire body.

I knew I was getting better. There were small but significant signs of improvement:
My energy level improved and I no longer needed to sleep during the day. My focus improved and I could spend more time working. My inflamed joints shrank and became more flexible. My hair began to grow on the top of my head. My varicose veins on my legs began to shrink. My aerobic breathing reduced when riding my bike.

It seemed like I was slowly walking backwards in time. All my Lyme disease symptoms, one after another, reappeared and then disappeared. In my eighteenth month on the therapy, I got a big, big reward: the chronic neck pain I had lived with for over fifteen years was no longer there. It had miraculously disappeared.

Slowly, slowly, my neurological and psychological issues are diminishing. The real me is returning. These toxic brain issues are deeper in the body and hiding behind many cellular and chemical protective barriers. I believe it will take more time for the Gerson Therapy to fully drain these toxins out.

In conclusion I can personally say that the Gerson Therapy is a full body restoration for Lyme disease.

Today, I can write a list of what I’ve regained after years of struggling with Lyme disease:

I have recovered from a toxic body,
I am receiving the nutrition my body needs.
I have restored damaged organs.
I have restored chemical balance.
I have restored my immune system.
I’m well on my way to removing my neurological symptoms.

Lyme disease rehabilitation without antibiotics is possible. I feel fortunate to have learned this important information, and the discipline to follow it through.

My life has been given a second chance!

Read More of James’ Story:
Life After Gerson: My First Year Free of Lyme Disease


About the Author

James C. is a recovering Lyme disease patient currently living in Colorado. He is an avid cyclist, and is passionate about educating fellow Lyme disease patients about the healing possibilities of the Gerson Therapy. Speak to James about his personal experience through our Recovered Patients Network.

A shortened version of this story previously appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of the Gerson Institute’s newsletter, Healing News (no longer in print). Join our Gerson Email Club HERE.

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33 Responses to ““The Real Me is Returning” | Lyme Disease & the Gerson Therapy”
  1. very exciting read! i love a good success story, especially one that hits so close to home!

  2. Thank you – I was so happy to read this post and give me hope! I am also so please for James, thank you for sharing. You are inspiring those of us who are at the beginning or middle of or journey!
    Thank you Gerson Inst. for posting this, and for all the many things you do and give to help us heal the insides and out!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. SO many people think that it is not possible to get well without antibiotics… Great story, very thorough and I hope others will follow suit!!! Best wishes to you James!!!

  4. Taluta says:

    James’ story is amazing and yet frightening. In describing his life after the tick bite I saw my own life struggles. I’ve never been to Connecticut, but struggle with these symptoms. I know I have had many tick bites. I live in the middle of 88 acres of woods! I hadn’t even been able to go outside for a few years because of pain & no energy. Also I have the flu about every 9 weeks or so – thx for sharing you story James. what is the name of the blood test?

  5. Kat Parker says:

    Thank you for that success story James, and thank you Gerson! I have chronic hypothyroidsim, candida, and adrenal dysfunction for 4 years now, maybe longer. I have tried a modified verson of Gerson in the past, but my consultant says that meat protein (60-80 g. day) is what I need, so that is what I’m currently doing. I am also doing 2 coffee enemas per day and want to try the castol oil as well. Has anyone in Gerson land ever healed the conditions I’ve mentioned using Gerson? I do believe in Gerson!

  6. Marty Ulrich says:

    Thank you James for sharing that story! It gives me great hope and I am preparing my fiancee for the Gerson Therapy. She suffers from severe Trigeminal Neuralgia along with a chronic ear infection, plus damage from 2 failed neurosurgeries and years of pharmaceutical therapy. Western medicine has failed her and I will be administering something very similar to what James has done. Thank you for blazing a trail for non-malignant diseases!

  7. Rick says:

    Awesome story. Congratulations. Does anyone have any experience using the Gerson therapy for asthma? How about sinus problems? High blood pressure? Where can I read about people who have these issues and tried the Gerson therapy? Thanks

  8. Thank you, James, for sharing your healing story. I also have Chronic Lyme and am using several of the Gerson recommendations for healing without antibiotics. We have an epidemic level of Lyme here in Wisconsin, and I am happy to have a story to pass along to others. To your health! Jean

  9. stefan seville says:

    was your therapy all at there clinic or some at home? my wife and I do the jucing and we feel great! she used to vomit every morning for yrs! but no more! thank you!

  10. Sintica says:


    thank you for sharing your story james, and congratulations for having walked that tough “pilgrimage” back to health!
    i’m writing from France: here too we have lyme disease!!
    i am struggling with it right now: chronic fatigue, poor sleep quality, intestine surinfection (candidose) which robs me of iron …joints ache, heart pounding in my ears when i get up or climb a few stairs, etc…i feel OLD but i’m in my mid-40s only!!
    anyway: although i don’t have the strength, the energy nor the support to do a full Gerson therapy, i fight as best as i can; with good diet (Gerson “maintenance” diet), 2 enemas/day and some other natural “weapons” such as clay, coal, micronutrition etc)
    but of course it’s encouraging to hear of others battles and successes!
    enjoy your renewed life to the fullest!

  11. La Gallina Feliz says:

    James, thank you for sharing your story. By chance I bought a book that mentioned the Gerson therapy and I got hooked. I live in Spain and I’ve already ordered one of Charlotte’s books. I am very glad that you are recovering and willing to teach others with similar problems. Keep up the good work you are all doing I hope some day the whole world will be able to use the Gerson method, we will be healthier, happier and better in all aspects. Big kiss from beautiful Barcelona.

  12. Catherine de Neumann says:

    Thank you for writing about your experience. I had never heard of anyone treating lyme disease with the Gerson therapy however, being a Gerson cancer survivor myself I learnt along the way that it does not distinguish between illnesses. `It sees what needs fixing and just gets on with it!!! It is a powerful healing protocol and just imagine if all follwed this healthy lifestyle….. Continue your journey happily, I wish you well.

  13. Lenny Wheeler says:

    Thank you James for sharing your story about your lyme disease, you may have saved my wife’s brothers sister,.She too has lyme disease. For a long time they didn’t know what she had. She is in bed a lot., and she is weak and in pain.. Thank God she has a strong husband by her side.I have sent your story to my brother-in-law with the Gerson articiles. My brother-in-law name is dale, he could use some encouragement

  14. Clumpner_Archives says:

    Thanx James…Very Much!

    My wife developed alzheimers around 6 yrs ago and is now in middle stage. She has
    undergone some blood tests by an alternative consultant who’s 98% certain that she
    acquired the alzheimers from Lymes.

    If this is the fact, is their any treatment that could be administered at this point or
    have things gone too far?

    Here sister in law has been attempting to get her in to see
    Dr Klingheimer but he’s totally swamped plus I don’t think we can afford him anyway.

  15. GersonInstitute says:

    Hi there! Please get in touch with our office, our Education Team would be happy to speak to you and give you more information about the Gerson Therapy. You can find all our contact info here: https://gerson.org/gerpress/contact-us

  16. GersonInstitute says:

    Hi Stefan! James did the Gerson Therapy entirely from home, he did not go to a clinic.

  17. GersonInstitute says:

    Hi Rick! Get in touch with our office, our Education Team would be happy to speak to you and give you more information about the Gerson Therapy. You can find all of our contact information here: https://gerson.org/gerpress/contact-us

  18. Jamessosd says:

    James here,
    I suggest from my experience, in addition to practicing the Gerson Therapy you
    might want to look into 25 sessions or more of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
    with heavy supplementation of B12 and Niacin. If you can afford it HBOT will
    accelerate detoxification and healing of the brain.

  19. Jamessosd says:

    James Here,

    If you want to evaluate your symptoms for Lyme Disease I suggest you start by reading ADVANCED TOPICS IN LYME DISEASE, JOSEPH J.

  20. I am so glad to have found and read this article! My daughter has been fighting polyperipheral neuropathy with no known cause – 4 neurologists have thrown their hands in the air and said “we don’t know!” However, 3 alternative practitioners have found the Lyme bacteria, though, they can’t “officially” diagnose. Being very familiar with the Gerson Therapy, I’ve wondered if it would work with lyme. Thanks SO much, James, for sharing your story and restoring hope to those of us that the medical community has given up on!

  21. disqus_9P2XV2ILQQ says:

    After reading James’ story, I was wondering ….how do you do the caster oil pack and enema? Thanks

  22. i have the same story !!!! almost funny how close we are Herbastat for lyme got me to 99%

  23. MIke says:

    Just curious and maybe it is below but I just do not understand where Lyme is an external thing attacking in, it is not the body turning functions off that can be restored by a healthy body, what physically removes the lyme from the body by the Gerson protocols? I am just not following the logic. I am a huge Gerson fan and supporter and I know how it works for many major diseases but I am just curious how this diet is going to drive Lyme out of the body? I am really happy to hear you are feeling better, that is all that matters but I have been raw and a juice head for years and I still fight each day at a time.

  24. Thank you James for giving us the hope that it is possible to heal from Lyme. My daughter and I have been fighting Lyme for 3 years now. We have always believed it is possible to heal our bodies naturally from this challenging disease. We just started the Gerson therapy this week and have made the commitment to continue for as long as it takes! I am so happy you are well and have your life back! God Bless you.

  25. Tatiana Nic says:

    I have ankylosing spondylitis with HLA B 27, demyelination brain, peripheral neuropathy, antiphospholipid syndrome, fibromyalgia and Lyme disease with coinfections etc ….. for over 5 years.
    I bought the book Dr. Gerson, and last week I bought the book written by his daughter. I did get a cold press juicer (not centrifugal) and supplements needed with one exception: in Romania we found only GLUCONATE POTASSIUM … not rest types. I am vegetarian for 2 years. Eat more vegetables and fruits. We started the Gerson therapy and hope to help.
    I have a question: in ankylosing spondylitis hope for a cure? I have great pain hips, spine, knees and … small joints.
    Now I want to move to the country, to have a large garden and grow all the vegetables I needed therapy.
    Need to succeed!

  26. It is not that the Therapy drives out the lyme disease from the body, but it allows the immune system to more effectively attack the lyme. Those who have cancer, lyme, migranes, etc will have them for the rest of their lives, but Gerson destroys almost all of it. Just like the immune system cannot completely cure a virus, it cannot completely cure cancer or lyme. However the patient can be in complete remission if they maintain the Gerson lifestyle.

  27. Taluta says:


  28. Francy Forbes says:

    Does anyone have a story to share on The Gerson Therapy’s success rate for Fibromyalgia and all it’s related issues? I have often wondered if it is really a toxicity problem.

  29. Gail Heil says:

    James, I see your story has helped many. And it resonates with me also. I’m very happy you are healing! I will keep you in prayer! Your story has inspired me to look further into my own healing. I have just begun a process of researching what may be wrong with me. For two weeks, I have been in alot of pain in my feet/ankles and now moving to my knees, barely able to walk. They have red patches and swollen and now I have nodule like growth on one of my knees and on one wrist. I have had fever on and off, chills randomly even on sunny days, and a buzzing feeling in my head. I have felt nausea and overly tired, and for as active as I am, this is hard! I have been to 2 doctors and the local emergency room over the past week because of the pain. No one knows what is wrong. Last week one doctor said plantar facitiis, another doctor checked for gout, came negative. Emergency room took blood samples today all came back fine but now going further to check for Lyme, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or other autoimmune disease. I don’t recall being bit by a tic or having the red bulls eye rash, but I was swimming alot in a local lake and also was bitten by several mosquitos. I am researching all I can on my own now. I was given prednisone and Tramadol to help me through the days until the next results come in, but I dislike putting these chemicals in my body, but without them I am barely able to walk. A friend recommended I check out Gerson and begin a detox. Is this safe while taking meds and unsure about a diagnosis? Are there instructions somewhere to describe the detox and what is needed?

  30. Steve says:

    How can we reach out to you James? My Uncle has had Lyme disease for almost four years now and is not showing signs of improvement. I’m very concerned and wanted to reach out and talk to you.

  31. Tanah C says:

    Question… You say you are recovered but you are on your way from “removing your neurological symptoms”… Which as a lyme patient I know includes: tingling/ numbness in extremities, ringing ears, cognitive dysfunction, etc. don’t take me wrong.. I just started the Gerson therapy but what “neurological symptoms do you still need to remove”???? There should be none… Right? Your story is very encouraging- I saw over 30 docs before dx. Blessings to you! 🙂

  32. GersonInstitute says:

    Hi Tanah! James wrote this story while he was about midway through the Gerson Therapy, so he wasn’t 100% recovered yet. He had experienced a lot of remarkable improvements, but was still working on eliminating some lingering symptoms at the time. After he finished the Gerson Therapy, he wrote an updated story about his recovery and “life after Gerson,” which you can read here: https://gerson.org/gerpress/life-after-gerson-my-first-year-free-of-lyme-disease/

  33. Linda Saylor says:

    If you have Lyme disease…stop taking the prednisone. I was told by my LLMD that is an enemy of the disease. Lyme already compromises your immune system and prednisone is known to lower your immune system. I take antibiotics but also use holistic measures as well. I just started Oregeno oil suggested by my dr. I was amazed athow many wonderful properties this supplement contains. We all have to keep trying and hang in there!


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