What is the gerson therapy?

The Gerson Therapy, a therapy named for its developer Max Gerson, is a kind of diet advocated to treat cancer and other degenerative diseases.


According to Dr. Gerson it is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.


Referring to his book, Gerson notes that «Cancer cannot occur in a normally functioning body, because its defenses recognize and destroy any malignant cell that may develop, or do not allow it to come into being at all. The immune system plays the leading role in the group of defenses. It recognizes a malignant cell as a foreign invader and attacks and destroys it »


In other words, Dr. Gerson believed that cancer or a tumor is only a symptom of a diseased body, an accumulation of several damaging factors that cause an aggravation of the entire metabolic system.

So the main goal of the Gerson therapy is to heal the organism from his disequilibrium and bring it back to its normal metabolic state.


In summary, the therapy consists of the following parts:


  • Salt and water management by minimizing the intake of NATRIUM and increasing the intake of Potassium. Dr. Gerson believed that the beginning of all degenerative diseases is the loss of potassium ions in the cells, and the invasion of sodium ions along with water into the cells. This brings on edema, loss of electrical potentials in the cells, improper enzyme formation, reduced cell oxidation, and other cell malfunctions
  • Stimulating the function of the thyroid by supplementing natural thyroid hormones
  • Maximizing the digestibility of the human body by drinking hourly raw cold pressed fresh juices and eating a vegan diet
  • Restriction of salt, fat, dairy, gluten and proteins to avoid water retention
  • Adding as much as vitamins, minerals supplements and enzymes to your body helping to rebuild the immune system
  • Daily coffee enemas to detoxify the liver

The Diet

1) What kind of food is allowed?

  1. Allowed foods

    • All kind of vegetables and fruits, mostly organic, fresh raw, stewed, cooked, grated, mashed… (soups, stews, salads etc.). Please note that cooked foods are necessary. Dr. Gerson experienced that patients got digestion problems if given only raw foods along with the juices. Furthermore, cooked food enable an additional variety than an exclusively raw diet.

      The following fruits can be consumed without regrets: Apples, apricots, arugula, grapes, cherries, tomatoes, mangos, peaches, oranges, grapefruits, pears, granatapples, papayas, persimmons, melons.

      Dried fruits if unsulphured, which means stewed or pre-soaked only: raisins, peaches, dates, figs, apricots and prunes.

      For the vegetables : Potatoes, green salads, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chards, broccoli, peas, spinach, artichokes, sprouts, beets, red cabbage, eggplants, garlic, kale, lemons, zucchini, tomatoes, Cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, saffron, curcuma, thyme, tarragon.

      Drink 8oz of cold pressed fruit and vegetables juices hourly up to 13 times daily (see recipes below). The special Hippocrates soup should be consumed several times a day ( recipe below). This soup helps to detoxify the kidneys and is highly comforting and heating your body especially for cold days.

      !!!The diet should last for at least 6 weeks!!!

  2. Occasionally Allowed Foods

    • Breads made from whole rye or 1-2 slices a day (if all of the foods are eaten first)
    • Sweeteners: maple syrup, honey or unrefined blackstrap molasses should be reduced to 1-2 teaspoons a day
    • Banana – ½ a week

  3. Prohibited food

    • Avocados (too high in fat) cucumbers ( too difficult to digest) pineapples, mushrooms, spinach (allowed cooked only) nuts ( as coconuts) and all berries
    • Canned, frozen and manufactured, processed food should be avoided
    • All kind of alcohol
    • Animal fats and dairy products (butter, cheese, meat, margarine, nut butters)
    • Oil and fats except of flaxseed oil
    • Soy and soy products (Tofu, tempeh, soy milk..)
    • Seafood
    • All kind of salts
    • Spices, pepper, paprika, basil and oregano
    • Refined Sugar
    • Black tea and Other Non-Herbal or Caffeine-contain Teas
    • Baking Powder and baking Soda (contain aluminum)

2) How to prepare the food?

As it is quite impossible to gather all fruits and vegetables of our own organic garden, leaf vegetables as salads, spinach etc. should be frequently shopped in smallish amounts to consume them fresh and have a guarantee that all the vitamins and nutriments are still kept. Apples, pears, oranges and root vegetables can be stored for a while without significant loss of quality and vitamins.


Cooking must be slow, using low heat; high temperatures alter nutrients found in vegetables and cause them to be less easily absorbed.


Except for potatoes, corn and whole beets, which have to be boiled in sufficient water, vegetables are cooked with the minimum of water. To avoid an oxidation of the fruits and vegetables and consequently an important loss of nutrients, you should only start chopping when you are ready to cook. Food may be prepared only in cast-iron pots and pans; no aluminum cookware is allowed

3) What kind of juices should be drunk?

First of all, all juices should be prepared by a two-step machine, with a grinder ( to grind the vegetables into fine, moist, pulp)  and a hydraulic press ( to extract the juice of the vegetable from the pulp by squeezing it under high pressure. Cold pressed juices are 50 times higher in certain essential nutrients and are flooding immediately into your blood without the necessity of being digested.


The Gerson Therapy do not recommend to use centrifugal juicers as they expose the juice to heat and oxygen, killing off the essential healing enzymes in the juice and are deprived of many minerals remaining in the pulp.


The Gerson therapy foresees 4 basic juices:


  • Apple/Carrot juice
  • Carrot only juice
  • Green juice
  • Orange juice except for diabetic patients who should receive grapefruit juice as they contain less sugar. The orange juice should be drunk in the morning


4) How does a daily routine look like

A typical schedule of 13 (8-ounce) glasses of juice and 3 regular meals looks as follows (recipes can be found below) :


  • 8:00 AM  - Orange juice and BREAKFAST ( see recipes)
  • 9:00 AM  - A glass of Green juice
  • 9:30 AM  - A glass of apple-carrot juice
  • 10:00AM - A glass of apple-carrot juice
  • 11:00AM - A glass of carrot juice
  • 12:00PM - A glass of green juice
  • 1:00 PM  - A glass of apple-carrot juice and Hippocrates Soup + LUNCH ( see recipes)
  • 2:00 PM  - A glass of green juice
  • 3:00 PM  - A glass of carrot juice
  • 4:00 PM  - A glass of carrot juice
  • 5:00 PM  - A glasses of apple-carrot juice
  • 6:00 PM  - A glass of green juice
  • 7:00 PM  - A glass of apple-carrot juice and Hippocrates Soup + DINNER ( see recipes)


1. Breakfast: Oatmeal



  • 1/2 Cup Organic Raw Oatmeal
  • 1 Cup of Purified Water
  • Fresh Fruit: raw organic grated apple, papaya, bananas or any fruits that are allowed
  • Optional: soaked dried fruit: raisins, prunes, apricots -> but with moderation because of their high sugar content




  • Bring the water to a boil in a non-toxic cookware pot.
  • Add freshly rolled oats and the fruits (if wanted), then reduce the heat and cook slowly for 15 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, cover and let stand for a few minutes.
  • Serve with delicious fresh organic raw allowed fruits

2. Lunch and Dinner

Starter: The Hippocrates Special Cancer Soup




  • 1 pound of potatoes
  • 3 to 4 stalks of celery
  • Small amount of parsley
  • 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 small leaks or 2 additional medium onion
  • A few cloves of garlic





  1. Do not peel any of the special soup vegetables as many of their vitamins, minerals and nutrients are stored directly under the skin
  2. Wash and scrub carefully
  3. Simmer them slowly at low heat for 2-3 hours with a small amount of distilled or bottled water
  4. Mash the cooked vegetables (through a food mill/ processor) and add the water used for cooking according your taste and preferred consistency. Only fibers and peels should be remained.
  5. If desired, you can add small amounts of fresh organic parsley or/and fresh pressed raw organic garlic to taste.


A minimum of 8 ounces may be consumed as a starter



Main courses + Desserts




  • A large plate of mixed raw salad with flax seed oil dressing.
  • Baked, boiled, mashed or otherwise prepared potato.
  • As many fresh organic and allowed cooked vegetables as desired
  • Raw or stewed fruit for dessert
  • If desired, a slice of organic, unsalted 100% rye bread


3. The juices

The orange juice



  • For breakfast, press 8oz of juices from fresh organic oranges or grapefruits (diabetic patients)
  • According to Dr. Gerson, you should use a certain type citrus juicer made from porcelain or glass.
  • Do not use an aluminum or plastic one.
  • Serve and drink immediately.






Apple/Carrot Juice


  • Use approximately 8-12 ounces each of carrots and apples. (Granny Smith, Gala, Ida, Red Pippin)
  • Wash and brush, do not scrub or peal the apples and carrots
  • Alternate the carrots and apples in the juicer and press
  • Serve and drink immediately
  • NB. The may be kept for a maximum of 3 hours if it is sealed hermetically in a glass jar. This means that the juice should be stored in small 8oz. mason jars, filled up to the top so there is no room for oxygen, and placed in a cooler. A small container is better than a thermos or a larger jar, as each time a larger container is opened, more air gets in and further oxidizes the juice.


Carrot Juice


Proceed as above, but use only carrots.









Green Juice



Ingredients :


  • Lettuce (as much as you wanted)
  • Swiss Chard (1-3 leaves)
  • Romaine (2-3 leaves)
  • Red Cabbage Leaves (2 to 3 leaves)
  • Beet Tops (small inner leaves) (2-3 leaves)
  • Escarole (1-2 leaves)
  • Watercress (1/4 bunch / 6 leaves)
  • Endives (2-3 leaves)
  • A quarter of a small green pepper
  • 1 medium green apple
  • If desired, you can add some sprouts


Directions :


  • Wash all thoroughly and put in spinner to remove excess water.
  • Cut off bottom of stems of chard or any fibrous leaves.
  • Pass through your juicer accordingly.
  • Drink immediately and try to consume within 20 minutes for optimal benefit


NB. Green juices may not be stored, it must be taken right away


The Coffee Enemas

1) How do the coffee enemas work?

Coffee enemas have a specific function in the Gerson Therapy as it:


  • lowers the quantity of blood serum toxins
  • cleans the poison out of the fluid nourishing normal cells
  • facilitates the excretion of dead cancer cells by the liver
  • works as a dialysis by leading out toxic products from blood across the colonic wall

2) How to prepare coffee enemas ?

  1. First you should add 3 table-spoonful of ground coffee beans to 1 liter of boiling water (either distilled or bottled water)
  2. Boil the coffee mixture for 3 minutes and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.
  3. Filter the coffee and add more water (distilled or bottled) to the mixture to fill up to a total volume of 1 liter
  4. Let the coffee cool down to body temperature (36°-37°)
  5. Place the enema bag or bucket (irrigator) about 18 inches above the body.
  6. Place some soft pillows or covers to the floor and lie down on the left side. You should feel really comfortable.
  7. Then let the coffee enema slowly (to avoid circulatory problems) flush into your rectum and bowel.
  8. One finished, turn to the right side with side with your legs pulled up.
  9. Try to held the liquid inside your body for about 10-15 minutes and the release the liquid. If you are releasing the liquid after 2-5 minutes, please try again.


NB. You will find amazing demonstration videos on Youtube


More information about coffee enemas>

The supplements

Which supplements should be taken?

The typical range of supplements includes the following:


  1. Potassium Solution... to treat tissue damage found in, according to Dr. Gerson, all cancerous cells

    • 33 grams each of potassium acetate, potassium monophosphate, and potassium gluconate, diluted in 32 ounces of distilled water.
    • 1 to 4 tea-spoonful's /10 times a day (total 3.5 to 14 grams of potassium daily).
    • add to orange, apple-carrot, or green leaf juices, but not to pure carrot juice.

  2. Lugol’s solution

    • 5 grams of potassium iodide and 10 grams of iodine in 200 ml solution.
    • if not pre-treated with chemotherapy: 3 drops added to orange or apple-carrot juice 6 times a day.
    • if pre-treated with chemotherapy: one drop / 6 times a day. The dosage is reduced after 5 to 6 weeks to 3 to 4 drops a day.

  3. Vitamin C

    • 1.0 to 1.5 grams daily in the form of ascorbic acid (not in the form of calcium or sodium ascorbate).
    • Megadoses of Vitamin C infusions (30-50 grams weekly are allowed).

  4. Niacin (B3)
    • 6 *50-mg tablets daily for 6 months.
    • may cause skin-flushing effect with temporary but harmless redness, heat, and itching.
  5. Pancreatic Enzymes (contain lipases, amylases and proteases)
    • Help to digest and absorb the food correctly.
    • 325 mg / 4 times a day.
  6. Flaxseed Oil
    • 2 tablespoons of organic cold-pressed flaxseed oil daily
  7. Vitamin B12 Injections/ Crude liver extract
    • intramuscular injection into the gluteus medius muscle (100 mcg) / once daily for 4 to 6 months or more.


More information about supplements>