Evidence Based Data

Gerson Therapy

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Aside from traditional cancer treatments, there are many alternative natural therapies that patients have found to be efficient and powerful ways to prevent or treat cancer.

One of the most known alternative cancer treatment methods is the Gerson Diet. It is a nutrition practice that involves a regimented diet, supplements, detoxification, and raw juices.

Find out why and how it can be an effective method to treat cancer and various other chronic diseases. Here’s a detailed overview of the Gerson Diet.



Dr. Max Gerson was a German-American doctor who developed the Gerson Therapy Diet. 

In the 1920s and 30s, Dr. Max Gerson, M.D., formulated the Gerson Therapy. Originally created to address his own severe migraines, it evolved into a therapeutic approach for managing degenerative conditions, including skin tuberculosis, diabetes, and notably, cancer.

The basic notion of the Gerson Diet Therapy is that the body can heal itself. The only thing you need to do is restore and rebuild the healing mechanism. A mechanism that has been suppressed by chemicals, pesticides, fungus, heavy metals, etc. 

The therapy aims at boosting the entire body’s metabolism to prevent the body from damaging itself and instead initiate self-healing. The Gerson Regimen consists of nutrients (through fruit and vegetable juices), supplements, an organic plant-based diet, and detoxification (through multiple daily coffee enemas). 

The Gerson Diet has gained popularity as a complementary and alternative type of treatment for different health conditions as well as cancer. People also refer to the Gerson Therapy Diet plan using other names such as Gerson Regimen, Gerson Diet, or sometimes Gerson Method.


Watch this simple breakdown of the Gerson Diet protocol:


How Does This Therapy Work?

Gerson’s main assumption was that diseases such as cancer thrive mainly due to metabolism changes at the cellular level. Toxins buildup in the body from toxic substances can overload and weaken the liver, damage the DNA, and allow cancer growth.

The goal of using the Gerson Diet is to eliminate toxins: Once you clear yourself of toxins, your damaged liver and cell tissues begin to repair. You can then restore a healthy metabolism, a robust immune system, and hence overall body health.


Three Essential Therapeutic Components of the Therapy


gerson diet plan

1. Nutrients:  the Gerson Diet involves fresh organic products which include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The food is rich in potassium, low in sodium (salt), and designed to enrich your body with sufficient nutrients.

2. SupplementsGerson requires supplementation of selected products to restore healthy cells for proper metabolism and strengthen your immunity.

3. Detoxification: A cancer patient’s body is often toxic from years of poor nutrition, environmental exposure, and stress. On top of that, going on a raw vegetarian diet- starts breaking down toxic tumor tissue and overloads the body with toxins. Coffee enemas are what have been used to eliminate these toxins.


Gerson Diet Treatment Plan


Looking to follow the Gerson Therapy at home? Gerson uses a strict treatment plan you should follow to the letter.

Here are the main components In a nutshell: 

  • 1. Fresh juices – Fresh organic juice–about 13 cups daily of 8 ounces, at an hourly interval. The juices are easy to digest and boost energy and include: orange juice, green juice, apple juice, and carrot juice. 
  • 2. Vegetarian meals – Cooked organic food that is easy to digest.
  • 3. Supplements include potassium, Lugol’s solution (iodine, potassium iodide, water), vitamins (A, B3, and Vitamin C), and flaxseed oil.
  • 4. Enzymes – Coenzyme Q10 with B12, pancreatic enzymes, and pepsin.
  • 5. Detoxifiers– In the Gerson Therapy Diet, coffee enemas are a major component of detoxification and are used multiple times a day. The coffee enema is not to clean the colon although that is an extra benefit. The primary goal is to detoxify the liver. Coffee enemas were largely popularized by Gerson Therapy, and nowadays, many alternative clinics use coffee enemas as part of their protocol.

Coffee enemas were largely popularized by Gerson therapy, and nowadays, most alternative clinics use coffee enemas as part of their protocol.


What to Avoid While on the Gerson Diet Protocol?


All animal products, MSG, soy products, some vegetables (such as raw spinach and mushrooms), sodium, sweets, condiments, some spices, fats, oils (except flaxseed oil), alcohol, most hygiene products, water, and others.


Side Effects and Risks 


Risks associated with the Gerson Diet may include:

  • Nutrient deficiencies: The strict dietary restrictions of the Gerson Diet may result in deficiencies of certain nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, which can lead to malnutrition and other health problems.
  • Blood sugar fluctuations: The high fruit intake and frequent juicing in the Gerson Diet can cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which may be a concern for individuals with diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions.
  • Electrolyte imbalances: The frequent use of coffee enemas in the Gerson Diet can lead to electrolyte imbalances, such as low levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which can cause dehydration and other health issues.
  • Herxheimer reactions: The Gerson Diet claims to detoxify the body, and some individuals may experience Herxheimer reactions, also known as “healing crises,” which can cause flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and discomfort.


Scientific Evidence

Science has largely denied Gerson Therapy the chance to stand firm and claim a position in cancer treatment. In the 1990s, a case review of 6 patients with metastatic cancer who used the Gerson Therapy reported that the regimen helped patients in some ways, both physically and psychologically. Based on these results, the reviewers recommended that clinical trials of the Gerson Therapy be conducted but no such study has ever been undertaken.

As you may well know, most medical practitioners do not support alternative or natural treatment. Modern medicine has a tendency to treat disease symptoms instead of the cause. Gerson Therapy is contrary to this kind of treatment and instead deals directly with the root cause and eliminates the symptoms too.

The goal of Gerson Therapy is to initiate your body’s complete self-healing by feeding it a plant-based and nutrient-rich diet. The concentration of Gerson therapy is to boost healthy digestion. With a healthy gut, you can have a robust immune system and prevent and even reverse different ailments.


Gerson Diet Main Recipes 

Carrot-Apple Juice Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large carrots, washed, scrubbed but not peeled, ends and tips removed
  • 1 large apple, cored, seeds 

Carrot Juice Ingredients:

5-6 large carrots, washed, scrubbed but not peeled, ends and tips removed 

Citrus Juice Ingredients

3-4 oranges Or 1-2 grapefruit

Green Juice Ingredients:

  •  ¼ head (6-7 leaves) Romaine, red or green leaf lettuce 
  • 2-3 leaves escarole 
  • 2-3 leaves endive 
  • 2-3 beet greens, inner leaves 
  • 7-8 leaves watercress 
  • 3-4 leaves red cabbage 
  • ¼ medium green bell pepper 
  • 1-2 medium leaves Swiss chard, any color
  • 1 large apple, cored, seeds removed

Hippocrates Soup

1 medium celery root, fibers removed roughly chopped 

2-3 medium potatoes (1lb) roughly chopped 

1-2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped 

2 small or one large leek, roughly chopped 

4-5 tomatoes (1 ½ lb.), roughly chopped 

4-5 cloves of garlic 

1 medium parsley root (or ¼ bunch of fresh parsley) 

Purified water 


1. Place all ingredients in a 5-quart pot. 

2. Add purified water to slightly cover vegetables, about 2 quarts. 

3. Bring the pot to a boil. 

4. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook covered for 90-120 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft. 

5. Pass through a food mill to remove fibers. 


– Change this soup only by using more or less of any of the ingredients listed. Do not add ingredients not listed. 

– Alter the amount of purified water added to make a thicker / thinner soup 

– Use celery if celery root cannot be found. About 3-4 celery ribs take the place of one bulb. 

– If you can’t find leeks, use an additional onion or two. 

– Substitute red onion for the yellow onion.




  • What is the Gerson diet plan?

The Gerson diet is an organic vegetarian diet that is extremely low in sodium, fats, and proteins. The food plan involves consuming 15–20 pounds (7–9 kg) of organic produce (with an emphasis on raw juices) per day,  that are intended to help flood the body with nutrients. Supplements and detoxifiers (enemas) are also an integral part of the diet plan. 

  • How can I do Gerson therapy at home?

Gerson therapy can be done at home by following the correct steps of the plan. However, it is recommended that the treatment plan be started at the Gerson Clinic and then continued at home.

  • What is the Gerson method?

Developed in the 1920’s by Dr. Max Gerson, the Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment system that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself by treating the underlying cause of degenerative disease – toxicity and nutritional deficiency — through a specific protocol consisting of an organic, plant — based diet, raw juices, detoxification and natural supplements. Gerson believed that with a healthy gut, you can have a robust immune system and prevent and even reverse different ailments.

  • Does the Gerson therapy really work?

There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence supporting Gerson therapy as an alternative treatment for cancer. More scientific attention needs to be directed to this area so that patients can practice safe and appropriate therapies that are based on evidence rather than anecdotes.

  • What juicer is used in the Gerson therapy?

There are three juicers approved for use on the Gerson Diet. Why only 3? Dr. Gerson explains, “Two machines are required, a separate grinder and a separate press, for the correct juice preparation. These are findings of experiences over many years in which patients who used a one-unit machine had no success.” In other words, the fine grinding process and high-power hydraulic press yields the most juice possible from fruits and vegetables. Two-stage juicing also produces the least amount of heat, allowing juice to retain nutrients and minerals efficiently. The three juicers approved for treating cancer with Gerson Therapy are: The PURE Juicer, the Norwalk Juicer, and the more budget-friendly Champion Elite Classic 2000.

How much does it cost to go to the Gerson Clinic in Mexico?

The Cancer program is typically three weeks, costing an average of $6,000 a week. Find more details here.

Starting the Gerson Therapy
The Gerson Miracle (2004)

Gerson Therapy Diet- Relevant Research and News

Five-year survival rates of melanoma patients treated by diet therapy after the manner of Gerson: a retrospective review

OBJECTIVE: Compare 5-year melanoma survival rates to rates in the medical literature.

RESULTS: Of 14 patients with stages I and II (localized) melanoma, 100% survived for 5 years, compared with 79% of 15,798 reported by Balch. Of 17 with stage IIIA (regionally metastasized) melanoma, 82% were alive at 5 years, in contrast to 39% of 103 from Fachklinik Hornheide. Of 33 with combined stages IIIA + IIIB (regionally metastasized) melanoma, 70% lived 5 years, compared with 41% of 134 from Fachklinik Hornheide. We propose a new stage division: IVA (distant lymph, skin, and subcutaneous tissue metastases), and IVB (visceral metastases). Of 18 with stage IVA melanoma, 39% were alive at 5 years, compared with only 6% of 194 from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Survival impact was not assessed for stage IVB. Male and female survival rates were identical for stages I-IIIB, but stage IVA women had a strong survival advantage.

CONCLUSIONS: The 5-year survival rates reported here are considerably higher than those reported elsewhere. Stage IIIA/B males had exceptionally high survival rates compared with those reported by other centers.

Surviving against all odds: analysis of 6 case studies of patients with cancer who followed the Gerson therapy.

A considerable number of patients with cancer have used or are using the Gerson therapy, an alleged anticancer metabolic diet. However, there is almost no scientific support for this regimen. Hence, the present case review study of 6 patients with metastatic cancer who used the Gerson therapy aims at critically evaluating each case to derive some valid interpretations of its potential effect. All 6 cases had a cancer diagnosis with a poor prognosis. Despite the presence of some confounding variables, it seems that the Gerson regimen has supported patients to some extent both physically and psychologically. More scientific attention needs to be directed to this area so that patients can practice safe and appropriate therapies that are based on evidence rather than anecdotes.

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