Healing the Gerson Way: Defeating Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul in J Orthomolecular Med, 2007. Vol 22, No 4, p 217-218.
If I were asked to choose the most valuable two pages of any medical book ever written, I would not hesitate to nominate pages 196-197 of Healing the Gerson Way. They present a very concise listing of the full Gerson nutritional therapy as an “Hourly Schedule for Typical Cancer Patients.” These two pages deserve to be (and may already be) among the most photocopied-and-shared documents in alternative medicine. Authors Charlotte Gerson and Beata Bishop also provide additional, modified treatment schedule tables: one for patients who are severely weakened and/or on chemotherapy, and another for nonmalignant patients.
Any preconceptions that the seven-decades-old Gerson approach may be outmoded or inflexible will be put to rest in the second chapter. Long-time students of Gerson will appreciate new additions to the therapy, such as chromium, selenium, and pau d’arco. Chapters 5 and 6, supported by 175 references, discuss how chronic disease is primarily caused by what we do to ourselves. The remainder of the book tells you exactly what you can do about it, with sections on “Restoring the Body’s Defenses,” “Why Does the Gerson Therapy Work,” “Pain Control Without Drugs,” and “Preparing Food and Juices – The Basic Rules.”
It would not be Gerson book without a chapter on coffee enemas. The coffee enema is probably the most controversial, most misunderstood, and, perhaps, most memorable Gerson technique of all. Its purposes are detoxification, liver cleansing, and pain relief. Chapters also explain recommended laboratory tests and discuss non-pharmaceutical medications. I was pleased to see chapters addressing psychological support, necessary household procedures and equipment, and potential “healing reactions,” the Gerson version of the side-effect. A collection of frequently asked questions, and a broad sampling of case histories of recovered patients are also provided. Healing the Gerson Way is carefully supported with citations from the medical literature. Indexing is thorough, including both subject and author indexes.
For those who dread the thought of living on some kind of a health-nut vegetable juice diet, there is more good news. Chapter 28 is entirely made up of recipes, some 80 pages of them. They look good, too: dips, appetizers, sorbet, dressings, numerous soups and salads, grilled vegetables, ratatouille, and desserts. You do not have to be sick to want to eat Gerson-style.
For over thirty years I have recommended the Gerson therapy to persons fighting cancer, and have never once had cause to regret it. This new Gerson manual is the best ever written on the subject: comprehensive, up-to-date, exhaustively referenced, and very well-written. It explains the therapy as it instructs on exactly how to do it yourself. Most importantly, Healing the Gerson Way is about healing chronic diseases other than cancer, including many that are supposedly “hopeless.” Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: There is much more than hope for “terminal” patients: there is Gerson. This is a compendium of knowledge, based on decades of success, that you will want to share with everyone you know.
This book review was written by Andrew W. Saul, PhD and was published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Second Quarter 2002, Volume 17, Number 2, pages 122-124. Reprinted with permission.
BOOK REVIEW from CancerActive.com – HEALING – THE GERSON WAY Defeating Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases
I was delighted to be given a first copy of this book to review for the UK reader. The Gerson Therapy has always intrigued me. We looked at it when my daughter Catherine developed her brain tumour – and the Gerson Community were honest enough to tell us that inflammation is a natural step in the recovery process and doesn´t always benefit a brain tumour patient. Next I met Oxford Don Michael Gearin-Tosh when we both shared a speaking platform. The Gerson Therapy helped him vastly outlive the predicted 18 months his Doctors had foretold for his multiple myeloma. (He passed away through a totally unrelated issue some ten years later – his cancer still well under control).
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I also went to meet Charlotte Gerson when I was on my way to a speaking date in America.
But I suppose the turning point, when my intrigue turned to genuine interest, was when HRH Prince Charles innocently stated in the middle of a speech that he had a very good female friend who had managed her breast cancer for some seven years solely by using the Gerson Therapy, and ´wasn´t it about time the Medical Profession researched this Treatment properly so we could all know how it worked´. The attacks on him in the media were incredible – famous Professors basically telling him to shut up and leave medicine to them. While a second group of Medical Professionals were quoted in the press saying things like ´Vitamin C doesn´t cure cancer´ or ´How could anyone suggest that coffee cured cancer?´ These latter attacks were simply ignorant – I had written reviews on The Therapy and Gerson made no such claims. So a Medical Profession paralysed by apoplexy and ignorance? There must be something to this Therapy then!
Next, when speaking in London I had some rumblings in my audience. Afterwards I was introduced to the source Beata Bishop, who stated clearly that she´d been dragged along to hear me expecting the usual rubbish but had been pleasantly surprised by what I had to say on cancer – I was informed later by her colleague that this was praise indeed. Beata developed her own cancer 22 years before and, after the orthodox approach had failed her, she turned to Gerson with such wonderful results that she helped introduce the Therapy to the UK. I also interviewed Professor Lawrence Plaskett, vice Chair of the Nutritional Council who was adamant that the Therapy was fundamentally sound but just needed some updating. This was a task he had undertaken using the latest research back in the nineties.
I have written a number of articles on the detail of the Gerson Therapy they are all listed at the end of this article and are on our web site but then as we always say CANCERactive, our aim is to bring you the Whole Truth so you can make more informed choices.
THE MUST-READ BOOK
This book is quite simply a ´must-read´ book for anyone who is interested in, or has considered using the Gerson Therapy, or for anyone looking for an alternative to Medical orthodoxy and drugs. Moreover it covers not just Cancer but Heart Disease, Diabetes, Immune Deficiency disease, Asthma, Lupus, Crohn´s Disease, Arthritis, Migraine, Multiple Sclerosis and more indeed just about any illness in this modern world; Gerson Therapy claims to help them all. And using the core of it as a prevention agent is also an option.
CORRECTING THE MODERN WORLD IN YOUR BODY
The twin principles of cause behind the Gerson Therapy are those of Toxicity and Nutritional Deficiency. Both are ever increasing in our modern world and this book has a section on the current dangers that result in a poisoning of our cells, including our immune systems. Various toxic factors from pesticides to aspartame, fluoride and EMF´s are covered, as is the deficiency of our modern diet. But the key to Gerson is to understand the effects of the depletion of Potassium and the heightened levels of Sodium in our bodies. Readers will know I´ve covered exactly this many times in icon and in my book, the Tree of Life.
Healing The Gerson Way covers important elements of the diet, from juicing to meals (there is an extensive recipe section) and from supplements to the infamous ´coffee enema´ and exactly what it all sets out to achieve. (UK Medical Professors could do well to read this book!!) Moreover, the very criticisms about ´keeping up with modern research´ leveled by Plaskett and others are more than addressed, especially as Charlotte goes further in suggesting that sadly some of the components suggested by her father in the 1930´s and 40´s are just not as untainted or effective nowadays. This book covers exactly what changes are incorporated in the Modern Gerson Therapy. Whether the Therapy is more effective now, the same or less so because of the changes is for you to judge. You should also realize that this is a Therapy, not merely a Diet and patients are advised what water to drink, to use organic food and even what toiletries to avoid.
One perennial criticism by the Orthodox Medical Profession is the lack of controlled double blind placebo matched clinical trials or whatever is in vogue this month but then the new ´tumour-busting wonder drug´ (their words not mine) we covered recently in icon didn´t have those either just research on how 45 people taking the drug had fared. So too with The Gerson Therapy this book contains a number of case histories of people who ´recovered´ from a variety of diseases using the Therapy, and references to many, many more. You may decide anecdote and case histories are not enough for you, or you may decide after reading this book that a ´Living Proof´ is all the evidence you need. This book gives you a fair choice.
Other sections you will find highly informative are the ´Frequently asked Questions´ chapter and the ´Laboratory Tests Explained´ chapter at least this might overcome the Medical misconception that Gerson Therapy is just about drinking a few organic vegetable and fruit juices with no added science.
This book is honest, and that honesty extends to telling you that this Therapy is quite hard work it even gives timetables for what to do and when. It also tells you what diseases can but also what cannot be treated. For example some cancers do not respond if the patient has already had chemotherapy.
Finally, there is also a small history on the trials and tribulations of Dr Max Gerson himself how Doctors who came to work with him were threatened by the Medical Community, how case histories were misplaced and even Senate hearing notes altered.
BUILDING THE TERRAIN
If I had a criticism (surprise might be a better word) it is that the book did not really mention the role or stimulation of Beneficial Bacteria in the gut, which increasingly seem from my research to be the Directors of the immune system. Indeed, it did not really mention yeasts, microbes, parasites at all just a passing reference to Pasteur who believed that modern allopathic medicine should be about destroying the germ (the source of modern diseases), while Antoine Bechamp, his ´contemporary and ´opponent´ believed what really mattered was the condition of the organism being attacked. Unfortunately for the modern world, Pasteur changed his mind too late on his death bed – where he said, ´The germ is nothing, the terrain everything´.
The Gerson Therapy is based on eliminating all those factors that damage or weaken the ´Terrain´, whilst re-building the immune system and the cellular environment to their perfect, clean and fully functioning state. In this way, by healing the whole body, the authors argue, the Terrain can more easily deal with any ´germ´ that comes along. Most usually ensuring everything is functioning as perfectly as nature intended, is enough to kick out most diseases.
You need to be clear that the Therapy is a discipline; (and, I quote): ´The Gerson Therapy is a finely tuned precision instrument, whose every component plays an important role and affects other parts. It is not for everyone but at last, this book will at least tell you the whole story and ´from the horse´s mouth´.
I really do hope someone does try to put some research numbers on to this updated Gerson Therapy. I feel it is very sad that cancer patients are left in the dark about its abilities. I would add one piece of maths of my own: If 30 per cent of cancers (according to the World Health Organisation) are caused by ´Poor Diet´, and the Gerson Therapy could correct just 1 per cent of those, roughly 1,100 people per year would benefit. This should be compared with that 20,000 per year ´wonder drug´ Herceptin, where the recent study covered in our magazine concluded that about 1,300 people would benefit.
It is not my intention to take you through the Therapy or any part of it. This is a book review and if you have any interest in nutrition and healthy eating this is a book you should have in your library.
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