Posted: 28 Nov 2023 By:  Reading time: minutes remaining

How To Use The Gerson Therapy To Treat Cancer

Find out how to use the Gerson therapy to treat cancer in this blog post. Learn the history of Max Gerson, the inventor of this therapy, and how he created it.

Also, discover the four pillars of the Gerson therapy and how to get started.


Legal Notice

The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe treat or cure cancer.This information is not intended as medical advice, please refer to a qualified healthcare professional.

The History Of The Gerson Therapy

Max Gerson was born in Germany on October 18, 1881. At the age of 19, Max wrote a new approach to a mathematics problem. His teacher could not figure it out, so he sent it to the University of Berlin

They wrote back that it was the work of a brilliant mathematician. So the University told Max to do higher mathematical studies. But Gerson had other plans. He wanted to become a medical doctor. 

Portrait of Max Gerson

Max Gerson was a doctor born in Germany on October 18, 1881

Max became a doctor after graduating from the University of Freiburg in 1907. Shortly after completing medical school, Gerson began experiencing severe migraine headaches. 

He was only 25, yet he had to lie in a dark room for two or three days in pain. The doctors had no answer.  

Then Max read about a woman in Italy who had changed her diet and lessened her migraines. He then began experimenting with his diet. Max tried different diets and found one that eliminated his migraines. 

How A Migraine Led To The Discovery Of The Gerson Diet

Max told his migraine patients about his diet. Max's patients tried his approach and were able to eliminate their problems. One patient said it had also stopped his lupus. Gerson knew the man couldn't have had lupus since it was "incurable." 

But the patient showed him his medical records. It was evident to Gerson that medicines didn't cure diseases. Max realized that when you nourish the body, it can heal. 

Man having a migraine

The Gerson therapy started as a diet to heal migraines

He then treated some other lupus patients, and their problem vanished too. But patients came back with the news that their other issues had disappeared as well. 

Max's dietary program was successful in treating:

  • Asthma
  • Intestinal tract
  • Pancreas
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Liver
  • Tuberculosis
  • Heart disease

Some of his most impressive successes were in liver and gallbladder diseases. But Gerson still had not tried his therapy on cancer patients. 

A Sick Lady Made Max Gerson Start Treating Cancer Patients

Even in Germany, physicians were careful about trying out new cancer remedies. So when a couple of cancer patients came to him, he turned them down. 

But one day, a lady called him to her home but would not tell him what was wrong with her. The lady told him she had cancer and begged him to help her. Max told her he could not do so.  

cancer cells disintegrating

Gerson began treating cancer patients with his therapy

Then she pleaded with him to give her the dietary formula. Gerson did so and left. All alone, the sick woman followed the program and recovered from cancer. 

Learning of this, Gerson began treating other cancer patients. With his first 12 cases, seven responded well. They remained symptom-free for seven and a half years. 

Due to the rise of Hitler, Max Gerson had to flee from Germany.

Why Max Gerson Had To Move To America

Max Gerson, his wife, and their relatives were Jews. With Germany in the grip of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, Dr. Gerson left the country for Vienna in 1933. 

He also lived for a short time in France and England. Then, in 1936, he emigrated to America and went to school to learn English. Finally, in January 1938, he received his medical license and began practicing in New York. 

Hitler speaking with other nazis

Max Gerson was a Jew and had to flee from Germany after Adolf Hitler took power

In New York, he treated 90% of his cancer patients without charge. Max also financed his researches on chronic diseases. From 1946 to 1948, he saw patients at the Gotham Hospital.

Max wanted the medical establishment to use his treatment to heal cancer. The first step was to talk with the U.S. Senate.

Ways The Medical Establishment Tried To Stop Gerson

At the Senate hearings, Gerson testified that he believed the liver held the key to curing cancer. At the three-day Senate, hearings were five of his patients. Each patient recovered from some of the most common forms of cancer in America. 

Max also came with X-ray photographs, pathology reports from leading hospitals. Unfortunately, the Journal of the AMA dismissed Gerson's outstanding Senate presentation. 

hand holdning carrot and syringe

Max Gerson got into problems with the medical establishment

Gerson's medical privileges at Gotham Hospital got revoked. He was also unable to find an affiliation with any other hospital in the city. Max later had a $100 000 malpractice lawsuit against him.

During his lifetime, Gerson wrote 51 articles published in medical journals. However, other physicians didn't want to duplicate his work for fear of reprisal. 

But that was not the worst thing to come yet.

How Max Gerson Died

Some of Gerson's best case histories disappeared from his files. Then, in 1956, someone stole the manuscript and all copies of Gerson's almost completed book. Gerson was getting old and raced against time to rewrite it. 

In 1958, he published the book A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases. On March 4 of that same year, the New York Medical Society suspended him for two years. 

cover of the book A Cancer Therapy

Gerson had to rewrite A Cancer Therapy after all copies got stolen

On two occasions, Gerson became ill after getting coffee from a group supposedly supporting him. Later, laboratory tests showed high levels of arsenic in his urine. 

Gerson died a year later, on March 8, 1959, shortly after he fell down the stairs in his house. He was 78 years old. After Gerson's death, people still needed to learn his therapy.

That's why his legacy still lives on in the Northern Baja Gerson Center in Mexico.

The Gerson Legacy Lives On In Mexico

Northern Baja Gerson Center sits on the coast of Baja California outside of Rosarito. It's about 40 minutes from San Diego International Airport.

Dr. Patrick Vickers is the director and founder of the healing center. His passion for natural medicine started when he was 11. He saw a miraculous recovery from a chiropractic adjustment. 

Dr. Vickers obtained undergraduate degrees in Pre-med and Doctorate in Chiropractic. While a student at NYCC, Dr. Vickers met Charlotte Gerson. 

Gerson center high rise building

At Northern Baja Gerson Center in Mexico, they specialize in the Gerson Therapy

She was the last living daughter of Dr. Max Gerson. Dr. Gerson reversed a vast majority of serious diseases, including cancer. Upon graduation, Dr. Vickers went on to study under Charlotte Gerson. 

At Northern Baja Gerson Center, they specialize in the Gerson Therapy. The treatment uses fresh, raw, cooked, organic foods. Specific fruits and vegetables, raw and freshly prepared, supply massive amounts of nutrients. 

The clinic also uses other natural treatments such as laetrile, GcMAF, ozone, and more. The facility has bedrooms overlooking Rosarito Bay. It also has balconies, jacuzzis, a pool, and a sauna overlooking the ocean. 

Caring Mexican staff works around the clock to take care of your needs. At all times, there is someone in the clinic that speaks both English and Spanish. 

Now that you know the history of the Gerson therapy, let's learn how it works.

4 Core Pillars Of The Gerson Therapy

1. The Gerson Therapy Uses A Plant-based Diet To Fight Diseases

Dr. Gerson's research showed that toxicity and nutritional deficiencies caused chronic diseases. Toxicity comes from processed foods, water, air, and the environment. After a lifetime of chemical accumulation, your body's defenses break down. 

The Gerson therapy restores the body's incredible ability to heal itself. As a result, you can use it to treat a wide range of different ailments.

woman holding a basket full of vegetables

The Gerson therapy uses a plant-based diet to fight diseases

The Gerson Therapy has four major components: diet, detoxification, juices, and supplements. Let's start by learning about the diet.

The Gerson therapy uses a plant-based diet to fight diseases. You eat both raw and cooked solid foods. The food is high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and low in salt, fats, and proteins. 

Patients eat three plant-based meals per day, such as organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A typical meal will include salad, cooked vegetables, and baked potatoes. 

Here is a list of accepted foods on the Gerson diet:

Accepted foods on the Gerson diet:

  • Apples
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chards
  • Chicory
  • Cilantro
  • Currants
  • Endives
  • Flax oil (organic, not high lignan)
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Green beans
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Green and red bell pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Romaine salad
  • Spices and herbs(small amounts only)
  • Anise
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Sorrel
  • Spinach(cooked only)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tangerines
  • Vinegar(wine or cider)
  • Yams
  • Zucchini
  • Apricots
  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Brown sugar
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Chives
  • Corn(organic)
  • Eggplant
  • Escarole
  • Fruit  dried unsulfured( such as raisins, peaches, dates,   figs, apricots, prunes)
  • Grapes
  • Honey
  • Juices, freshly pressed
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Radishes (not the leaves)
  • Rice brown (if allowed)
  • Rye bread (unsalted, non-fat)
  • Allspice
  • Bay leaves
  • Dill
  • Mace
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Thyme
  • Summer savory
  • Squash
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Yoghurt, non-fat, organic Horizon

On this diet, you also have to avoid certain foods. Find out more in the next section.

Disallowed Foods On The Gerson Diet

There are various foods you need to avoid on the Gerson therapy to succeed. The following list shows prohibited items on this diet:

Prohibited foods on the Gerson diet:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Toothpaste or gargle
  • Bottled products
  • Butter
  • Candy
  • Cheese
  • Cocoa
  • Coffee as a regular beverage
  • Cream
  • Epson salts
  • Frozen foods
  • Ice cream
  • Legume-based food products
  • Margarine or oil-based spreads
  • Mushrooms
  • Nut butter
  • Oils and fats
  • Pineapples
  • Protein powders including barley or algae-based powders
  • Salt, table salt, sea salt, celery salt, vegetable salt, Bragg Aminos, or salt substitutes
  • Spices, pepper, paprika, basil, and oregano
  • Sprouted alfalfa and other bean or seed sprouts
  • Animal fats
  • Baking soda or baking powders
  • Bicarbonate of soda in food
  • Black tea and other non-herbal teas
  • Cake
  • Canned products
  • Chocolate
  • Coconuts
  • Commercial beverages
  • Dairy fats
  • Cucumbers
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
  • Manufactured (processed) foods
  • Meat
  • Mustard
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olean, Olestra, or other "fat substitutes"
  • Preserved, refined, salted, smoked, and sulfured foods
  • Proteins and high-protein foods
  • Seafood
  • Soy and soy products
  • Spinach (raw) (allowed cooked only)
  • White flour
  • White sugar

The following is an explanation of some of the foods on the prohibited list. 

Alcohol is prohibited because it limits the blood's ability to carry oxygen. It also places more strain on the liver to detoxify and remove it from the body. 

Avocados are too high in fats.

Almost all baking powders contain alum (aluminum), which is toxic to the body. 

Meat is not allowed while on the Gerson diet. It is high in fat and protein, which is difficult to digest and burdens the liver. 

Black tea and other non-herbal teas that contain caffeine shouldn't be consumed. Caffeine acts as an undesirable stimulant to the central nervous system. 

Coffee also lacks lots of nutrients. However, when taken at the other end, it has a different and desirable effect on the body. 

Woman doing stop sign

The Gerson diet consists of a long list of prohibited items

Candy, cakes, muffins, pastries, and other refined sweets are not allowed. They contain fats, oils, refined sugars, or flour. Further, they also have salt, soda, baking powder, or dairy.

You can consume bread when using permitted ingredients. But you should not eat them regularly. 

Commercial juices are not allowed, nor sodas. Sodas of all types have refined sugars, carbonation, or other undesirable additives.

They are devoid of essential nutrients. Consumption of these beverages reduces the capacity for desirable fresh, organic foods and juices. 

Cucumbers, in combination with juices, are challenging to digest and are high in sodium. 

Milk products are also prohibited. Dairy products are high in fat. Cheeses can have more than 65% fat and are high in sodium.

Even "fat-free" cheeses have undesirable additives and are high in sodium. The exception is plain, organic, non-fat yogurt after 6-8 weeks. 

If the patient is doing well at about six months, they can eat lentils. Soak overnight and sprout for one day before cooking. 

Gerson believed that patients should not drink water. The reason is to avoid diluting the stomach acid and to get max nutrition from fresh foods. 

Max Gerson also said that we shouldn't consume processed foods and fats.

Your Food Should Be As Fresh As Possible

All processed products are not allowed on the Gerson diet. Your food should be as fresh as possible to get maximum nutrients.

Hot peppers contain the same intense aromatics found in prohibited spices. You may use green, yellow, and sweet red peppers without limitation. 

Standard white mushrooms are not allowed either, nor are nuts and seeds

Nuts are high in protein and fat. They are often salted, difficult to digest, and abundant in enzyme inhibitors. 

processed foods on a food shelf

All processed products are not allowed on the Gerson diet

Oils are not allowed. They contain 100% and nothing else from the plant. Flaxseed oil is the only fat allowed.

Max Gerson found that many of his patients had allergic reactions to pineapples and berries. He felt that the aromatics interfered with the healing. For this reason, pineapples and berries are prohibited. 

Soy products are also on the list of banned items. These are prohibited because they are high in fat, sodium, and protein content.

Supplements including barley, spirulina, and chlorella are not allowed either.

Dr. Gerson was a proponent of eating a saltless diet. You can't eat salt and sodium in any form. 

Spices such black pepper, paprika, basil, oregano are not allowed. These spices are not permitted because of their high content of aromatic acids. 

Another big part of the Gerson therapy is juices.

2. Juices Are A Major Part Of The Gerson Therapy

The Gerson therapy uses fresh, organic juices daily. They provide your body with lots of enzymes, minerals, and nutrients.

Fresh-pressed juice from raw foods provides the most effective way to get nutrients. By juicing, patients can take in the nutrients and enzymes from about 15 pounds of produce every day. In addition, juices are easy to digest and absorb.

Every day, a typical patient on the Gerson therapy consumes many 8 oz. glasses of three primary juices: carrot, carrot-apple, and green juice. 

Woman drinkingWoman drinking juice with a straw juice with a straw

The Gerson therapy uses fresh, organic juices daily

You should not prepare all juices to store for later use. The longer you wait before you drink it, the fewer nutrients are left.

In the Gerson center, they use a masticating juicer with a separate hydraulic press. A grinder or triturator turns vegetables and fruits into a fine, juicy pulp. 

A Typical Schedule On The Gerson Therapy


This is a typical detailed schedule for carrying out the Gerson therapy at home:

A.M. 7:00 Wake up


1 - Eat a little fruit. 

2 - Take coffee enema. 


        1 - Start oatmeal and coffee concentrate

        2 - Make citrus juice (with Lugol's and potassium)

        3 - Sort medications for the day

8:00 Eat breakfast. 


1 - Wash vegetables and fruits for the day's juices and meals

2 - Strain the coffee

3 - Start the Hippocrates' soup


1 - Drink green juice (with potassium)

2 - Put veggies in the oven for lunch

9:30 Drink carrot-apple juice (with Lugol's and potassium)

10:00 Drink carrot-apple juice (with Lugol's and potassium)

11:00 Carrot juice (with two liver tablets)

11:15 Coffee enema

P.M. 12:00 

1 - Green juice (with potassium)

2 - Prepare lunch


Eat lunch. Carrot-apple juice (with Lugol's and potassium) 

2:00 Green juice (with potassium) 

3:00 Carrot juice (with two liver tablets) 

3:15 Coffee enema 

4:00 Carrot juice (with two liver tablets) 

5:00 Green juice (with potassium)

Prepare dinner: salad 

Prepare carrot-apple juice, etc.

6:00 Carrot-apple juice (with Lugol's and potassium) 

7:00 Coffee enema

8:00 Carrot-apple juice (with Lugol's and potassium)

Put together a fruit plate to nibble on through the night


1- Eat some fruit

2 - Coffee enema

Then a hydraulic press extracts the juice's enzymes from this pulp. This style of juicer is the most acceptable choice for people doing the Gerson therapy. Dr. Gerson recommended this type of machine above all others. 

But the triturator grinder/press extractor is expensive. Only two manufacturers produce it. They range in price from $800 to $2095.

The third core pillar of the Gerson therapy is detoxification.

3. Coffee Enemas Are Used To Detox The Body

Degenerative diseases render the body unable to excrete waste materials. The Gerson therapy uses intensive detoxification to eliminate poisons. This process allows the liver to regenerate and reactivate the immune system. 

Coffee enemas are the primary method of detoxification on the Gerson therapy. They assist the liver in eliminating toxins from the body.

Coffee, when drunk by mouth, has a specific effect on the body. Max said that coffee lowers blood pressure and increases heart rate. The result is insomnia and heart palpitation. 

Max Gerson found that coffee taken in the form of a low enema produced none of the adverse effects. Cleaning out the stored poisons in the system is essential.

Ground coffee beans

Coffee enemas are the primary method of detoxification on the Gerson therapy

The most important part of the therapy is the intensive detox of the entire body. The Gerson therapy also uses castor oil to stimulate bile flow and help the liver's ability to filter blood.

In more advanced cases, it takes a long time to restore the liver to normal. For the first few weeks or months, the liver is weak. It is necessary to help the liver recover with coffee enemas and castor oil treatments. 

The pain-relieving effect of coffee enemas is astounding. The enema removes the poisons from the liver so it can better clean the blood. It is the poisons in the system which cause the pain of cancer. 

Here is the Gerson preferred coffee enema recipe: 

Coffee enema recipe


Ground coffee - 3 Tbsp

Destilled water - 1 quart(11.3 dl)

Enema bag

Coffee enema directions:

1. Take 3 Tbsp of ground coffee (not instant) to 1 quart distilled water. Boil it for 5 minutes, with the lid off.

2. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer 15 minutes more.

3. Strain and allow to cool. Add enough distilled water to make a whole quart. Use at body temperature.

4. Lubricate the rectal end of the enema tube. Hang an enema bucket above you.

5. Lay on the right side, draw both legs close to the abdomen, relax and breathe deeply.

6. Insert the tube into the rectum 5-8 inches.

7. Allow fluid to run in slowly to avoid cramping. The coffee solution should be at body temperature.

8. Retain solution 12-15 minutes.

9. Do not place the tube back into the bucket until you have cleaned it. Rinse daily, or as often as needed, with hydrogen peroxide 3%.

Max Gerson believed that patients needed to take supplements to optimize their health. Find out what supplements he recommended next.

4. Supplements Used On The Gerson Therapy

There are just a few nutritional supple­ments used in the Gerson therapy. Each supplement serves a specific biological purpose.

The supplements used on the Gerson therapy include: 

  • Potassium
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Niacin
  • Lugol's solution
  • Pancreatic Enzymes

Lugol's solution consists of 5 grams of iodine and 10 grams of potassium iodide per 100 ml of purified water. Dr. Gerson discovered that patients with chronic illnesses had low levels of potassium. 

Acidol pepsin capsules are part of the Gerson therapy. It aids the digestion of foods and juices. 

Niacin or vitamin B3 helps the nervous system and promotes healthy skin growth. In addition, niacin is effective in reducing both cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. 

Moreover, it opens the blood vessels and improves circulation. Dr. Gerson had his patients take six 50-mg tablets of niacin daily for six months. In advanced cancer cases, he used 50 mg of niacin every hour. 

person taking vitamin pills

The Gerson therapy uses specific supplements to aid the body

Niacin can create a skin-flushing effect. However, you may experience harmless redness, heat, and itching. 

Pancreas supplementation helps digestion, malabsorption, nutri­ent deficiencies, and abdominal discomfort. They are helpful for overcom­ing the symptoms of: 

  • Celiac disease
  • Food allergies
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Erythematosus
  • Multiple sclero­sis
  • Sports injuries and trauma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Yeast syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Many types of cancer

Dr. Gerson placed much value on the work of German researcher Johanna Budwig, Ph.D. She recom­mended flax oil for enemas in colon cancer and bowel obstruction. Therefore, the Gerson therapy requires a participant to use organic, cold-pressed flax oil.


Max Gerson was born in Germany on October 18, 1881.

He became a doctor after graduating from the University of Freiburg in 1907.

The Gerson therapy started as a diet to heal migraines.

Gerson began treating cancer patients with his therapy after a woman healed her cancer by using his  diet.

Max Gerson was a Jew and had to flee from Germany after Adolf Hitler took power.

Max Gerson got into problems with the medical establishment.

Gerson died on March 8, 1959, shortly after he fell down the stairs in his house.

Max Gerson's legacy still lives on in the Northern Baja Gerson Center in Mexico.

The Gerson therapy uses a plant-based diet to fight diseases.

Juices are a major part of the Gerson therapy.

Coffee enemas are the primary method of detoxification on the Gerson therapy.

There are just a few nutritional supple­ments used in the Gerson therapy.

How To Start Using The Gerson Therapy

1. Eat a whole food plant-based diet

2. Drink juices

3. Do coffee enemas

4. Use supplements 

5. Visit the Gerson clinic

Action Steps

If you want to do Gerson therapy, there are several resources you can use. First, you can visit the Gerson Institute's homepage to learn more about the treatment. You can find info about recipes, books, products, courses, audio on the website.

If you want support from various experts, then you can visit the Gerson clinic in Mexico. 

You can download our guide below to learn more about the Gerson clinic and other clinics in Mexico.

Discover 9 Alternative Clinics You Can Visit In Mexico

Learn more about the Gerson clinic and 8 other natural cancer clinics you can visit to help you deal with your cancer.


About the author 

Simon Persson

Simon Persson is a holistic cancer blogger passionate about natural health remedies. When he is not blogging, he enjoys nature, cooking, sports, and learning about the latest gadgets on the market.

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