by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© December 2011, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


            This article is excerpted from another article on this website, The Cancer Pioneers.


            Max Gerson, MD, was a German immigrant to the United States who began his natural healing work in Germany in the early 1920s.  However, due to his Jewish background, he fled Germany, as did so many brilliant scientists and physicians including Albert Einstein, many rocket scientists and others.

            Dr. Gerson settled in New York City, where he combined many unorthodox methods to arrive at a therapy which he claimed could save about 50% of advanced cancer patients.  The therapy is also used on other diseases as well with some success.  This was, and still is, an impressive achievement that no conventional cancer center can come close to.


              Coffee enema therapy.  We owe Dr. Gerson a particular debt of gratitude for the use of the coffee enema.  Dr. Gerson said he learned about it from a German house maid, who said her family used it whenever anyone got sick.  She also told him several family members used it daily and lived to over 120 years of age in all cases.  This peaked Dr. Gerson’s curiosity and he decided to try it on his early tuberculosis cases.  He was astounded at the results, although he never really understood why it works so well. 

He later devoted an entire chapter to the coffee enema in his landmark book, A Cancer Therapy – Results Of 50 Cases (1958).  This book is still widely available and read by many who are interested in natural cancer therapy.  Its pages are filled with x-ray reports, biopsy reports and other data that is designed to completely refute any foolish claims that the patients did not have cancer, or were not cured.  For an extensive article on the coffee enema, read Coffee Enemas on this website.


            Carrot and other juice therapy.  Dr. Gerson also popularized the use of carrot juice for natural healing, more than anyone else.  He said this was another “fortunate discovery” in which one of his patients got some carrot juice and started drinking it every hour or two, and noticed amazing pain relief with from cancer.  The man later died, as he was one of the early cases, but Dr. Gerson once again took notice and started others on the therapy.  It worked beautifully.


              A diet pioneer.  Dr. Gerson was a keen researcher and carefully noted what he observed as to the effects of diet on his patients.  He found, for example, that his patients would often die if given too many eggs or too much meat, at first.  Later, when they were healthier, they tolerated it fine, however.  He also noted that vegetables, but only cooked ones, were amazingly helpful and he gave patients lots of cooked vegetables and a little salad.  Some whole grains were in his diet, but he was suspicious about wheat, especially as the years went by and the food degenerated badly in America.

A depleted food supply.  Dr. Gerson devoted an entire chapter in his book to organic agriculture and the decline in the food supply.  He was one of the first to do so in the 1950s.  He noted how his therapy stopped working in the 1940s and 1950s using commercially grown food.  This was a mystery to him, so he changed to organic food, which was very hard to obtain in those days, and observed better results.  Toward the end of his career, in the 1950s, he became seriously concerned and discouraged with the decline in the food quality in America and around the world.  He foresaw a great epidemic of cancer, which indeed has occurred precisely as he predicted it.


Raw liver and iodine.  Among the more unusual dietary items that Dr. Gerson found most helpful was raw liver juice.  The patients either drank it or it was injected.  This would help regenerate the liver to a degree, a key component in the fight to save the lives of advanced cancer patients.  He also found the use of iodine most helpful and that most of his patients had thyroid problems.  I prefer kelp to liquid iodine, as kelp also contains about 30 or 40 other important nutrients.  For more on this topic read, Thyroid Disease on this website.

Care with vitamins and minerals. Dr. Gerson said that his patients were all malnourished, and he struggled to find ways to force more nutrition into their bodies before death overwhelmed them.  However, he found that except for iodine, his patients did not tend to tolerate high doses of vitamins and minerals well.  Some died when he gave them too many nutrients at once.


The value of self-discipline.  Dr. Gerson was a true German taskmaster and patients had to follow his dietary, juice and enema schedule rigorously.  It is a difficult therapy to follow because it involves six coffee enemas daily, one every 4 hours throughout the day and night.  It also requires 8 to 10 glasses of fresh-squeezed organic carrot juice daily, and a strict diet that may start out vegetarian but gradually adds more animal products as the patient progresses.


            Gerson Therapy Update.  The Gerson cancer therapy is still offered today in Mexico by Dr. Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte Gerson Strauss, and perhaps at other hospitals and clinics mainly in Mexico. However, the Gerson therapy, as reported to me by several unbiased observers, is not working well today, and nowhere near as well as it did 60 or 70 years ago.  I will suggest the following reasons for this:


1. Too much juice.  As with all the cancer pioneers, Max Gerson lived and worked mainly before the development of the atom bomb, and the widespread use of toxic pesticides and thousands of other toxic chemicals that now fill our air, water and food supplies.  These have made the bodies much sicker and much more “yin” in Chinese medical terminology.  A lot of juice is too raw, much too sugary, and too yin in Chinese medical terms.  This simply does not work well today.  This was recognized by William Kelley, William Koch, MD and other cancer pioneers who reduced the amounts of juices or skipped them altogether for this reason.

2. No natural chemotherapy agents used.  The Gerson cancer therapy is a completely food and enema-based therapy.  It is simply not powerful enough today with the toxic, depleted bodies of today.

3. Too many coffee enemas. We find that when a program is structured correctly, two or three enemas daily are plenty.  Dr. Gerson may have used more because he did not use any natural chemotherapy agents for cancer, or for other reasons that I do not know.  However, fewer are needed today, we find, when a healing program is structured correctly.

4. Liver and iodine.  We prefer not to use liver and to use kelp instead of iodine.  Liver today is more toxic, unfortunately.  It may still help in some cases, but I have not used it much.

5. Apple juice has become almost a poison today.  Dr. Gerson suggested apple juice, which is not healthful today due to hybridization, genetic modification, pesticide residues even in organic apples, and perhaps other reasons.  I heard that he finally abandoned it at the end of his life because it was too sweet and the quality of apples declined so they offered much less nutrition has well.  His daughter, Charlotte Gerson, may still use it, but it probably gets in the way of healing today.



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