"Healing – Not Drugging!" The Gerson Therapy for Cancer
Sixty years of Proven Success
By Helke Ferrie
You are in for an amazing treat: the keynote speaker of this year’s Whole Life Expo is Charlotte Gerson, the daughter of Dr. Max Gerson who developed the cure for all cancers in the 1920's. All current non-toxic cancer therapies trace their way back to him. His daughter founded the Gerson Institute in California and the Gerson Cancer Clinic in Mexico. At 82 she speaks and writes with the fire of truth. I attended a workshop she was conducting in Toronto four years ago, when my own research into cancer had just begun. She made me sit bolt upright with shock when she said, in reference to standard oncology, "Unless they can show me that they can cure pancreatic cancer, I am not interested – because the Gerson therapy can." That is the fastest-killing cancer there is.
When I interviewed her for this article, I confided that I occasionally become very sad from my research into the criminality in modern medicine, the cancer industry probably being the worst. Knowing against what astounding political odds the Gerson therapy succeeded to offer successful and scientifically grounded therapy to cancer patients in many parts of the world today, I asked her, "What keeps you going?" She laughed heartily and said, "The patients! Seeing the patients recover! I see it happen all the time." That joy is, of course, denied to the doctors who have been duped into the standard paradigm (the cut-burn-poison doctrine of modern oncology), which over the past 50 years has advanced little, neither improved survival rates, nor quality of life, and certainly has not stopped the steady rise in cancer incidence.
Albert Schweitzer, who was a patient of Dr. Gerson's, said, "I see in Dr. Max Gerson one of the most eminent geniuses in the history of medicine.' Historically, geniuses arise when they are most needed, but success tends to come generally after they are dead, and they tend to pay a heavy personal price for their determination to renovate the dominant view of their time. And so it was with Dr. Gerson also.
Dr. Gerson's tragic clash with the pharmaceutically oriented American Medical Association (AMA) and the corrupt American Cancer Society which had made toxic drugs, surgery and radiation the standard of practice, is a breathtaking story recorded – of all places – in the reports of the US Office of Technology Assessment which used to evaluate all forms of medical practice until recently. In the 1980's they made a determined effort to destroy alternative medicine – that is: treatments alternative to drugs. The Journal of the American Medical Association had, in an astonishing change of heart, published an article on January 25, 1980, suggesting that the AMA had staged a "Grand Conspiracy against the Cure of Cancer". The author, William Regelsen of the Medical College of Virginia, found that "inappropriate judgments have resulted in injury to good observations" and defended the results and the scientific basis of the Gerson therapy.
This was an alarming defection, so this government department contracted a known opponent to non-standard practices, Dr. Patriacia Spain Ward of the University of Chicago, to investigate the Gerson therapy and provide a usefully negative report. When Dr. Ward had completed her investigation, she came to the unexpected conclusion that this was one of the greatest medical innovations in the history of cancer therapy. Every effort was made to stop her report from becoming public – it failed, and you can read the whole thing in all its marvelous detail on the Gerson Institute's website. It will make your heart sing and you will occasionally probably weep.
The suppression of the Gerson therapy almost succeeded. Dr. Gerson died in 1959, but his famous book remained, detailing the scientific evolution of this therapy and providing the case histories of patients with inoperable or too advanced forms of cancer who were cured; some are alive today. In a final attempt to stop non-toxic treatment of cancer, the FDA ordered the publisher of the book to stop marketing it. So, his daughter Charlotte wound up with several thousand copies in a warehouse. She decided to give some talks on it to small groups of interested people. On one such occasion, a doctor spoke up and suggested to start a clinic and offer this therapy to cancer patient again. After many battles with the American government this became a reality and is flourishing. Indeed, at the EXPO this November you will have the great pleasure of seeing a documentary film about Dr. Gerson. It won the 2004 Palm D'Or, the movie industry's highest award for documentaries.
At a time when antibiotics had not yet been developed, Dr. Gerson, who was trained in Germany's leading universities, enjoyed the support of the government and his colleagues, then the world leaders in medicine, when he began to develop highly successful nutritional treatments for that era's biggest killer, tuberculosis, for which no treatments existed then. Considering Gerson the foremost authority on nutrition and health, the German Ministry of Health asked him to help with soil rehabilitation, which already in the 1920's had become a serious problem causing measurable vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Dr. Gerson said: "The soil is our external metabolism." Foods grown in nutrient-depleted soil will invariably promote ill health in all its forms, so we become as sick as our inappropriate agricultural methods have made those very plants and animals.
At the very same time, the German philosopher Rudolf Steiner initiated the organic farming movement, and his concepts are still the basis of the modern organic agriculture. Charlotte adds, in a discussion of today's genetically engineered and pesticide-laden crops (Gerson Institute Healing Newsletter, March/April 2001) "Since people with degenerative diseases suffer nutrient deficiency and toxicity, it is obvious that they cannot be healed with deficient and toxic foods." She stresses that the only certain way to prevent cancer is to eat 100% organic food and avoid, as well as regularly detoxify from, the ubiquitous environmental toxins we are exposed to at work, at home, in our gardens, and in our bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements – and even in human breast milk and the amniotic fluid in which our babies float.
She continues in the same article, "In order for the body to heal, no matter what the imbalances, it has to release its toxic load and rebuild its nutrient status. When this occurs, the vitality arises and healing begins. The body's intelligence – not the brain – will determine which areas will be healed and in what order.' Dr. Gerson used to call this process the work of the "the physician within". Indeed, the healing process even from metastasized cancer can be such that the scar tissue, too, dissolves.
It is a shock to read the following excerpt from the prestigious journal Cancer whose editor observe in 1927 (!) as follows: "We have lived so long on processed foods that we are in a state of unbalanced nutrition from birth. We have come to regard these processed foods as the hallmark of civilization, when it is a fact that these very foods set the stage for every sort of ill, including cancer." In the light of what has happened since 1927 in terms of food degradation and its attending burden of degenerative disease, including cancer, a famous statement by Winston Churchill comes to mind which Dr. Gerson was fond of quoting: "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." When the Nazis took over Germany, Dr. Gerson went to the US where he worked for cancer patients for many years, presenting his astonishing results to Congress. Political lobbying from Big Business and the new nuclear power industry caused the US government to support research into radiation therapy instead of nutritional and environmental approaches to cancer. The result of that decision for public health can today be vividly seen in the astounding documentary "Supersize Me".
In the March/April 2002 newsletter, Charlotte reports a perfect example of cancer being the paradigmatic environmental disease, arising from a world poisoned by human activity that doesn't take organic vulnerability into account: "We saw two couples where both husband and wife suffered from lymphoma. In each case, these four people had worked many months to their build their own homes, therefore exposure to chemicals, glues, paints, solvents, phenols, wood preservatives and an unending list of toxins seemed to be main cause of their disease." What makes these two cases medically so significant is the fact that all four people are not related to each other, so resorting to the standard cop-out of a genetic explanation of cancer is impossible. Of course, proof positive of cancer being an environmental disease was supplied some time ago (July 13, 2000) in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. It published the results of a huge epidemiological study involving the medical histories of 90,000 identical twins studied for 28 different types of cancer to determine whether genetics or the environment played the greater part in disease development. The conclusion was that "the environment has the principle role in causing cancer."
These findings do not seem to agree with the agenda of the American Cancer Society which two years later published on its website a warning article on the Gerson therapy in which they state the following: "The belief that poor diet and the build-up of toxins from foods, additives, and environmental pollution are the main causes of chronic disease is without scientific basis." No wonder then, that Samuel Epstein, the famous cancer expert who was the moving force behind the ban on DDT in the 1970's and later on asbestos, observes that one of the most important ways to fight cancer is not to donate any money to the American Cancer Society. During the 1999 Cancer Conference in Hamilton he observed, that the same was true for its Canadian counterpart. In his book, The Breast Cancer Prevention Program, he details the corruption of this organization: lobbying to prevent the lucrative cancer drug Tamoxifen from being listed as a carcinogen (it was listed as such anyway); when the Reagan and Bush administrations cancelled legislation pertaining to protecting against known industrial carcinogens, the ACS kept silent; they refused to support the US Clean Air Act and the Toxic Substance Control Act, and opposed the FDA's ban on the carcinogenic sweetener saccharin (they had accepted money from Coca-Cola which used it in their drinks). As Burton Goldberg observes, "Looking at the evidence, we wonder if ACS actually benefits from the promotion of cancer."
But there is a fresh wind blowing: the University of Pittsburgh has established a Cancer Institute (call 412-647-2811 for information). And this time it's the real thing, so to speak! Its goal is to examine how to protect individuals and the community from environmental factors that can cause cancer. The institute is run by Devra Lee Davis, one of America's leading environmental experts and epidemiologists. Her recent book, When Smoke Ran Like Water, is highly recommended.
Two thousand five hundred years ago, the father of Western scientific medicine, Hippocrates, taught "let food be your medicine and medicine be your food". Tradition has it, that he developed a special soup for cancer patients. In a charming historical twist, it was a patient in 1928 suffering from liver cancer, who had heard of Dr. Gerson's success with a nutritional approach to tuberculosis, and asked him to treat her with nutrition. She gave him an old German book on folk medicine in which this legendary recipe was recorded. When considering the biochemical assumptions underlying it, Dr. Gerson realized that here was something of great value. Indeed, the Gerson therapy now incorporates those nutritional principles. As he embarked upon this uncharted territory – the nutritional treatment of the worst possible systemic diseases –following Hippocrates literally, as it were, even Dr. Gerson was scared at first. He asked the patient to sign a statement that she would not hold him responsible for the outcome – and so the Gerson therapy began. He cured her within six months.
To learn how the Gerson therapy can work for all cancers, Multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and other chronic diseases, what the scientific basis for this approach is, how to do it yourself whenever possible, and especially to talk to Charlotte Gerson yourself – come to the Expo this November and partake in this celebration of medicine that works.
Sources & Resources:
S. Epstein, The Breast Cancer Prevention Program, Macmillian, 1997
M. Gerson, MD, A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases, Gerson Institute, (1958) 1999
C. Gerson & M. Walker, The Gerson Therapy, Kensington, 2001
B. Goldberg et al, Alternative Medicine Guide to Cancer, Future Medicine Publishing Inc. 1997
R.W. Moss, Questioning Chemotherapy, Equinox Press, second edition, 2000
R.W. Moss, Cancer Therapy: The Independent Consumer's Guide to Non-Toxic Treatment & Prevention, Equinox, 9th edition 1999
R.N. Proctor, Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know & Don't Know, Basic Books, 1995
S. Steingraber, Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks At Cancer, Vintage, 2nd ed. 1998
Deborah Elaine Barrie
4 Catherine Street
Smiths Falls, On
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