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Gerson Therapy: My Observations From a 20 Clinic Tour

Robyn Openshaw - Dec 10, 2018 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Photo of green vegetables and fruits with hand holding green juice from "Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl

I’ve traveled to 20 clinics, all over the world, studying alternatives to cancer treatment. I mean, beyond chemo and radiation, what can someone facing this most-dreaded diagnosis do?

Possibly the most fascinating figure in “alternative health” for cancer treatment is Dr. Max Gerson.

In this article:

Who was Dr. Max Gerson?

Dr. Max Gerson escaped Nazi Germany (though most of his family died in concentration camps) and came to the U.S. In Germany, he had cured his own lifelong debilitating migraine headaches with a dietary approach (raw vegetarian, lots of vegetable juicing), and then he began to put that same regimen to work to eliminate lupus and tuberculosis in others.

Black and white photograph of Dr. Max Gerson looking at an x-ray, from "Gerson Therapy: My Observations from a 20 Clinic Tour" at Green Smoothie Girl.

Dr. Max Gerson was a pioneer in the field of cancer treatment.

In his first clinical trial, Dr. Gerson was able to completely cure 446 of 450 end-stage tuberculosis patients. He became wildly famous in Europe, and ostensibly, many TB sanatoria were put out of business.

The first three cancer patients to approach Dr. Gerson were cured, even though the first of the three had been diagnosed with “incurable” bile-duct cancer. Although he was well published in Europe, the U.S. was hostile to Gerson’s efforts. In 1958, he wrote a book on his results with 50 cases of patients cured, who were labeled “incurable” by the medical profession.

In 2018, cancer is a different beast. We have massively more toxicity in a world that fell in love with Dow Chemical’s slogan from 50 years ago, “A better life through chemicals.” We also eat more processed food, and more animal products, both highly linked to cancer risk. Many functional medicine practitioners say that cancer is so much harder to reverse, with the toxic load any given patient presents with, that they no longer use the word “cure.”

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The medical profession now speaks in five-year and ten-year survival rates, and they’ll talk about “managing cancer.” Not “curing” it, though a true “remission” is generally considered to be no detectable cancer, 10 years post-diagnosis.

What is Gerson Therapy?

While cancer is harder to reverse than it was while Max Gerson was alive, the Gerson Therapy deserves some attention. The current protocols of Gerson Therapy are nearly identical to Dr. Gerson’s original methods, with some updates:

Whole Plant Foods And Juices

A few Gerson-trained clinics still treat cancer patients with organic, whole plant foods, especially vegetables. A patient drinks 13 fresh-juiced fruit and vegetables daily.

Image of a woman making juice in a kitchen, from "Gerson Therapy: My Observations from a 20 Clinic Tour" at Green Smoothie Girl.

Eating fruits and vegetables, whether raw or in juiced form, is a central part of Gerson Therapy.


Today’s Gerson practitioners also prescribe iodine, bioidentical thyroid, B12 shots, and other supplements.


After Dr. Gerson died, researchers Dixon and Webb discovered that potassium is a catalyst for enzyme production, with almost all enzymes. Unfortunately, our soils are potassium depleted, and thus our foods are. Dr. Gerson said that loss of potassium from the cell system is at the root of all chronic disease.

And sodium, or salt, is an enzyme inhibitor (a poison or toxin). Yes, the body needs sodium, but vegetables provide plenty. When you artificially add table salt (or NaCl) to your food, your body has to go through a series of processes to try to contain and eliminate it. It cannot do so when it is potassium depleted.

So part of the modern Gerson Therapy is to supplement with potassium salts, and eliminate all sodium chloride, to bring the cellular system into balance so the body can heal itself.

Coffee Enemas

Several coffee enemas are administered daily, because the caffeine administered anally travels the hemorrhoidal vein and opens up liver and bile ducts, allowing the patient to detox quickly and thoroughly into the colon, and out of the body.

Gerson Therapy for Migraines, Fibromyalgia, and Other Conditions

In addition to treating cancer, Gerson had high success rates with migraines and TB, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and diabetes. He believed that cancer and many other diseases were the result of consumption of pharmaceutical chemicals, tobacco, and alcohol, along with processed, chemically fertilized foods, and many chemicals and pollutants in air and water. (And this onslaught starts even before birth. Studies in 2004 and 2009 showed newborn babies to have over 230 foreign chemicals in the umbilical cord.)

As you can imagine, many practicing the newly popular allopathic (drug-based) medicine were angered by Dr. Gerson’s controversial teachings and popularity.

You can google to find the many famous people treated and cured by Dr. Max Gerson, including Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer and his wife and daughter (cured of diabetes and TB).

Charlotte Gerson and the Gerson Therapy Today

In 1959, at the age of 78, Dr. Max Gerson was poisoned with arsenic and died. His daughter, Charlotte Gerson, passionately carried on his mission for many years. She is living today in Europe, in her 90’s, and the Gerson Clinic, as well as the Northern Baja Healing Center run by Dr. Patrick Vickers, carry on the Gerson protocol, although some parts have changed or been omitted, such as raw calf’s liver, due to supply issues.

The reason I’m fascinated by Charlotte Gerson, and her father, is that while most in alternative health tread very carefully with regard to ‘claims’ and ‘success rates’ (the FDA breathes heavily down the necks of anyone who dares treat cancer with anything but chemo/radiation), Charlotte says exactly what she thinks, and exactly what’s wrong with the modern cancer industry.

Gerson Therapy Clinics in Mexico and Europe

Some of the best clinics, of the 20 I visited worldwide, employ parts of the Gerson protocol. My favorite of the clinics I visited is the Swiss Mountain Clinic, founded by biological medicine pioneer Thomas Rau, M.D., in the Southern Swiss Alps.

Photograph of the Swiss Alps.

Beautiful mountain views at the Swiss Mountain Clinic.

The Gerson Institute, and other clinics, have been driven into Mexico so that they can practice medicine as they choose. It’s frustrating to me that our FDA is happy to approve increasing numbers of toxic chemicals to inject into the veins of cancer patients, but they have routinely persecuted, prosecuted, and even imprisoned anyone who wants to administer non-lethal, gentler forms of treatment.

(You can read about the persecution of Dr. John R. Christopher, for example, but there are many others.)

Stories of Gerson Therapy Success

You can read about or view on film patients who used the treatment to beat Stage IV melanomas, colorectal cancers, even pancreatic cancer, with the Gerson Therapy.

One woman was five years past a rare ovarian cancer diagnosis with a 100% mortality rate—the only known survivor of the disease, and she beat it with the Gerson therapy. My own grandmother followed the Gerson protocol, after a death sentence by an oncologist who said she had a year left, at best--and she went on to live another 20 healthy years.

Gerson And Other Cancer Therapy Resources

If you’re like me and you want to help those in your life diagnosed with cancer, here are the most important resources I can recommend to you:

1. 20 Questions for Your Oncologist (FREE).  My “little brother” Chris Wark wrote this guide that anyone with cancer should download and read. Not just to take to a first visit with an oncologist, but also, to educate himself or herself before that meeting.

2. Chris Beat Cancer, a new book and the best of the many cancer books I’ve read.

3. Gerson’s books on Amazon.

4. This clinic in Switzerland, with a great track record of success for not only holistic cancer treatment, but also neuro-degenerative disease, Lyme Disease, and more. (They require a 3-week minimum stay for cancer patients.)

NEXT:  Open Letter to A Cancer Patient: My Alternative Cancer Treatment Plan

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

"Gerson Therapy: My Observation from a 20-Minute Clinic Tour" at Green Smoothie Girl

Editor’s note: This article originally published in 2011. It has been updated for relevancy. Some of the included links are affiliate links, which allow you to support our mission without costing you extra.

Posted in: Detox, Holistic Care

14 thoughts on “Gerson Therapy: My Observations From a 20 Clinic Tour”

Leave a Comment
  1. Anonymous says:

    Some documentaries that can be watched about Dr. Gerson are: “The Gerson Miracle” and “The Beautiful Truth”. If I ever get cancer, you better believe I’ll be using the Gerson approach. The other thing that you didn’t mention was that Gerson actually got really sick and almost died during the time when he was trying to get his book published. His book was stolen and he had to compile everything together again and redo the whole book as well as nurse himself back to health with the Gerson therapy. It is believed he was poisoned that time too. So incredibly, he was poisoned and then brought himself back to health from that. THAT’S SO CRAZY AWESOME!

  2. So I wanted to know more about Gerson and did a search and of course Wikipedia came up and under safety concerns it writes “Coffee enemas have contributed to the deaths of at least three people in the United States”. Ummm what about the thousands and thousands that chemo and radiation kills?? Or just prescription drugs in general?? Oh wait…they forgot to mention that part.

    Dummies. 😉

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wait–this guy cures cancer and HE’S the quack? I made up my mind long ago never to accept chemo or radiation if I were diagnosed with cancer. It makes as much sense as napalming a house to put the fire out. IThere was a brief mention in your blog that Dr Gerson worked on lupus, Robyn–it was a terrible lupus flare that led me to your website in the first place, and by the way—THANK YOU FOR MY LIFE. ALl my life I thought I was lazy and unfriendly–now I know I was sick, and that I am a productive and friendly human being when I am not exhausted and in pain. So back to my point–where did you find info on Dr Gerson’s work on lupus? I must go there. Thank you,

  4. Anonymous says:

    We’re actually very interested in what the Gerson approach can do for Type I diabetes. The Hubby has had Type I since he was 10, he’s now 30. We know it’s an autoimmune disorder, so we’re wondering if we get his immune system in check and give his body the nutrients it needs to heal itself if it can replace the islet cells in his pancreas.

    Anyways, I don’t know if you’ve heard anything about naturally healing Type I. Whenever someone talks about healing diabetes it’s always Type II. I know that his diabetes can be better controlled through diet and lifestyle, but to be completely healed would be amazing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It seems that all I can think about as well, is cancer. Nearly everyone on our street has it. We lost a close friend earlier this year and a neighbor died just a couple of weeks ago. Have been following the Gerson Treatment news since our dog had cancer. Although he didn’t make it, we did end up with a Norwalk juicer which arrived a couple days after Otis died. I am always anxious to hear of people today who are healing using this therapy. Jess, of the Wellness Warrior blog, and her mum, are BOTH doing the Gerson therapy, to the full extent, to heal their cancers. You can follow along too. Jess spent some time at the Gerson center and really learned how to do the therapy properly. It is a very, very, intensive therapy. I don’t think the average person could keep up a routine like that for one and a half years. But it does seem to be quite promising. Jess’s cancer Recurred after chemotherapy and they were going to cut her arm off. I wish that insurance helped to cover the cost of a helper and fresh produce. It seems like it would be difficult to work and do the therapy but then one has to wage the fact that they might not be around to work if they don’t do it. What I was most shocked about with our friend, is the utter failure of the system. They acted like it wasn’t a big deal in the beginning and then just kept shooting him with chemotherapy. I really feel the chemotherapy took him. The doctors gave zero nutritional advice except to drink more milk. Yikes.

  6. Anonymous says:


    Tree of Life in Patagonia, AZ put together a DVD called Raw for 30 Days or something like that ( People with Diabetes were put on a raw food diet and after 30 days most had reversed their diabetes including one man who was Type I. I too am an adult recently diagnosed with Type I. Although I haven’t gone 100% raw I have been drinking green smoothies and it makes such a tremendous difference in my blood sugar control I am convinced that dietary changes might reverse Type I because as you said it is autoimmune. Also check out Victoria B (I can’t remember her last name) from Raw Family in Oregon ( Her son was cured of Type I about 10 years ago by eating a raw food diet.


    God bless you for all your hard work making this great information accessible.

  7. Misty-

    Thank you thank you thank you! I will check those out ASAP!

  8. Wael Elfeqy says:

    Victoria Boutenko from Rawfamily

  9. Evelyn says:

    I am interested in going to the clinic in Switzerland that you were offering.
    I never saw a price for the one week.

  10. pei says:

    Since illness can be caused by the environment, so can cures be from natural sources. The Gerson therapy is interesting as it can treat many common conditions but like to know whether it has also tried on many others like sjogren’s syndrome as I have this for nearly 3 decades. My diet is balanced with meat, dairy and fish but now considering become a vegetarian as having to change for improving health rather than rely on medicine.

  11. Alicia Mc says:

    I am very Familar with the GerOn Therapy! My dad is proof it works! Thank you for reposting this article!

  12. Toni says:

    Thanks for the info. I’m wondering if your tour included the cancer clinics in Asia, such as Thailand and Taiwan. They have some great therapies & beautiful surroundings, & might even be less expensive!

  13. Rose Butler GSG says:

    Hi Toni, I do not have a list of clinics Robyn went to visit but I do know she did not go to Thailand and Taiwan. I’m sure she’d like to go next time if possible.

  14. Guerry Tamsberg says:

    It appears to me that Robyn Obershaw has looked in a lot of places for what is successful in eliminating disease. How many followers does the GSG have?
    What city does she live?
    I have SIBO and I am trying to find which way to address the inflammation.

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