The Gerson Therapy details Dr. Max Gerson’s nutrition-based approach to treating cancer and other degenerative diseases. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a serious “uncurable” illness, and you’re interested in learning about alternatives to allopathic (drug-based) treatment options, this book contains everything you need to know about administering Dr. Gerson’s program.
If you’re simply interested in using the concepts of the Gerson program as a means of preventing disease, this book also provides a lot of interesting and valuable information, but it may be difficult to wade through and find the content that applies to you. This book isn’t necessarily meant to be read cover-to-cover. Different chapters detail the use of the program for patients in different stages of health, so much of the information is repeated in one form or another.
The parts that I found most interesting were the history of Dr. Gerson’s treatment method, information on the healing properties of certain aspects of the program — such as the somewhat controversial use of coffee enemas — and some of the case studies, including the story of one Gerson patient who suffered from throat cancer. He stated that he could feel the tumor in his throat dying, until one day it dislodged and fell into his stomach, where it began releasing toxins that left him severely ill for a period of several weeks. (Ultimately, he recovered.) Another patient stated that while on the Gerson therapy, her body reeked of hair perm solution due to the chemicals from numerous home perms throughout the years that still remain lodged in her body.
Also interesting is a brief note in the beginning of the book that one of the authors, Charlotte Gerson (Dr. Gerson’s daughter, who continued his work after his death in 1959 and founded the Gerson Institute in 1977), who has followed her father’s diet plan for most of her life, has never needed eyeglasses, has all of her own teeth, and, at the age of 79 at the time the book was published, still trains the staff of the Gerson hospital in Mexico.
The Gerson Therapy explains how all disease is the result of toxicity and nutritional deficiency. Allopathic medicine, by responding to disease with drugs that contain damaging chemicals, only compounds the problem of toxicity. According to Dr. Gerson’s program, supplying the body with an abundance of nutrients in the form of fresh organic juices, a low-sodium vegetarian diet, and certain supplements can restore the immune system and heal the body from a variety of diseases, including cancer, arthritis, heart disease, and migraines. (Dr. Gerson first develop the diet to treat his own migraines and later found that it also cured his patients of other health conditions, including tuberculosis.)
What I found lacking was information on how the person of average health could best use this program. One of the key elements of the Gerson diet is the consumption of 13 glasses of fresh juice daily. This figure — 13 glasses — is repeated numerous times throughout the book, but nowhere did I find a reasonable recommendation for the amount of juice a reasonably healthy person should consume. Naturally, 13 glasses is difficult for the average working person to prepare and consume daily. Also, the diet makes use of numerous dietary supplements, such as potassium, niacin, thyroid hormone, and coenzyme Q10. Dosages are clearly stated for patients in various stages of illness; however, dosages are not given for a person of average health, and I found it a bit unclear exactly which supplements the average individual should use.
The only recommendation I recall that applied to healthy people was that 90 percent of your diet should consist of Gerson-approved foods (mostly fruits and vegetables), and the remaining 10 percent can be foods of your choice. I’d be willing to bet that a large percentage of the American public has it backwards.
The appendices offer a brief look at the dangers of household chemicals, cosmetics, vaccinations, root canals, and dental fillings, as well as resources for finding the necessary medical supplies and Gerson support groups.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone considering allopathic treatment for a serious illness. If you’re interested in nutrition and preventing disease, there is also much to learn from The Gerson Therapy, but again, be aware that much of the information here may not apply to you.
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