Gerson Therapy was originated by Dr. Max Gerson, M.D. (1881-1959), a
graduate of Freiburg University, Germany, in 1909.
1936, Dr. Gerson and his family moved to New York. In 1938, he set up a
medical practice where it was claimed he successfully treated
terminally ill cancer patients until his death in 1959. Since that
time, the Gerson Therapy has been promoted by his daughter Charlotte
Gerson through the media and publications of the Gerson Institute in
Bobita, California. The Gerson Therapy Center of Mexico was opened in
Tijuana in 1977 and in February 1997, the Gerson Healing Center was
opened in Sedona, Arizona.
Gerson suffered from migraines and he first experimented with milk as a
cure but without success. He then realised that our closest ancestor in
nature is the ape who lives on a diet of mainly fruits, nuts and green
vegetables. Using this diet, Dr. Gerson is alleged to have cured his
migraines and went on to recommend the same diet to some of his
patients with equal success, not only curing migraines but other
complaints such as lupus, tuberculosis, arteriosclerosis, arthritis and
main features of the Gerson diet include sodium restriction, potassium
supplementation, high vitamin, mineral and micronutrient intake and
plenty of fluids. The nutrients take the form of upwards of eight kilos
of organic foods daily pressed into glasses of fresh raw juice. Coffee
enemas are also prescribed.
169, 2016 July)
and investigations into Dr. Gerson's claims have failed to
produce any evidence that his methods have any value in treating
the 1940s, the National Cancer Institute reviewed 10 cases selected by
Dr. Gerson and found his report unconvincing, and the New York County
Medical Society reviewed records of 86 patients with the same negative
1959, a NCI analysis of Dr. Gerson's book A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases
concluded that most of the cases failed to meet criteria for proper
evaluation of a cancer case.
more recent review of the Gerson treatment rationale concluded:
the "poisons" Gerson claimed to be present in processed foods have
never been identified,
frequent coffee enemas have never been shown to mobilise and remove
poisons from the liver and intestines of cancer patients,
there is no evidence that any such poisons are related to the onset of
there is no evidence that a "healing" inflammatory reaction exists that
can seek out and kill cancer cells.
least 13 patients between 1980 and 1986 were admitted to San Diego area
hospitals with Campylobacter fetus
sepsis attributable to the liver injections. None of the patients were
cancer-free, and one died of his malignancy within a week. Five were
comatose due to low serum sodium levels, presumably the result of the
"no sodium" Gerson dietary regime.
1983, a naturopath was able to track 21 patients over a 5-year period
(or until death) through annual letters or phone calls. At the 5-year
mark, only one was still alive (but not cancer free). The rest had
succumbed to their cancer.
Gerson's claims that treatment at the Tijuana clinic has produced high
cure rates for many cancers, was not supported by clinic personnel in
American Medical Association has regarded the Gerson Therapy as
unorthodox, and complained that Gerson had failed to acquaint the
medical profession with details of his treatment. Although he published
many papers and three books on his treatment, they have either been
rejected or have not been peer reviewed.
Institute, The Gerson Therapy,
Mark and Burroughs, Hugh. 1993. Alternative
Healing, Halcyon Publishing, La Mesa, CA.
J. 1993. Mystical Diets: Paranormal,
Spiritual, and Occult Nutritional Practices. Prometheus Books,
H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary,
Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc.]
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