While every situation and every case is unique depending on how far the disease has progressed before starting the therapy, the metabolic strength of the individual and how much pre-treatment he/she has had, the Gerson Therapy has shown repeatedly good results treating the following conditions: melanoma, lymphoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE).
Certain types of cancer do not respond well or even not at all. These include acute leukemia, pancreatic cancer after treatment with chemotherapy, and brain cancers other than early stage astrocytoma. While uncommon conditions of a congenital or genetic origin have not been explored, in these situations overall health may be enhanced and in isolated instances (autism, Down Syndrome) we have even seen return to normality. Parkinson’s disease, especially after the use of dopamine drugs, does not respond well to the therapy. Neither does ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The Gerson Therapy must not be administered to organ or stem cell transplant recipients or people on kidney dialysis.
You will find more details in Charlotte Gerson and Beata Bishop’s book, Healing the Gerson Way.
In Dr. Gerson’s day, patients usually could wean themselves off the therapy after 18 months, but this is no longer sufficient. It has become evident that most oncological situations require 2-3 years of strict therapy for the patient to heal completely. In some cases, where the patient’s constitution has been irreversibly damaged by toxic treatments, they will have to stay very close to the program indefinitely.
This varies from patient to patient. In cases of melanoma and lymphomas we have seen cases of fast tumor reduction. Bone cancers and bony metastases take the longest to heal. Multiple sclerosis (MS) takes at least several months to respond, and the symptoms often appear worse before they improve. This is not to say that when patients see improvement they are ready to discontinue the treatment. It is of utmost importance that patients continue the full therapy according to their doctor’s instructions for the full length of time, not just until symptoms improve.
The Gerson clinics cannot accept insurance plans. Patients need to ask their carrier if they can receive reimbursement. Unfortunately, most HMOs and Medicare/Medicaid do not cover any part of treatment at the Gerson clinics. This is true also for Europe and Asia. In addition, the major costs of the therapy are groceries, home help, supplements and equipment, not items usually covered by insurance.
Radiation therapy is often effective for relief of bone pain or to shrink a tumor to enable surgical removal. While it does have some negative effects, radiation, used as sparingly as possible, can be an appropriate intervention while on the Gerson Therapy.
We cannot give a simple yes or no answer to this question, because it depends on the needs of the individual patient. The decision of whether or not it would be appropriate to combine the Gerson Therapy and chemotherapy is a complex one, and should only be made on a case-by-case basis, under the supervision of a qualified Gerson doctor. Chemo may relieve tumor pressure on an organ, surrounding tissue or a passage whose blockage is life threatening. It may buy the patient time, by lowering the tumor presence while the therapy can begin to act.
It is important to note that the Gerson Therapy was specifically developed as a treatment for cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. Following the full Gerson Therapy is not necessary or advisable for someone who is simply seeking to enhance their overall health. Dr. Gerson created a very strict treatment after doing extensive research on those who were chronically ill. However, the diet would be too limited for someone using it strictly to promote optimal health. If someone has no chronic illness they may be able to use foods that are prohibited like coconut, avocado and olive oil without issues.
Individuals who are generally healthy and are not attempting to treat a chronic health condition do not need to follow the very restricted diet, but they can incorporate many of the nutritional principles of the therapy into their daily diet and lifestyle. Components of the Gerson Therapy, when used judiciously, could be beneficial to anyone, sick or well. For example, juicing, eating an entirely organic diet, and using detoxification methods such as coffee enemas can certainly be used to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Gerson outlined his recommendations for general health in Chapter III of A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases. Overall these are valid, but we feel nowadays to allow 25% of foods to be at the patients choice is too lenient. People are less healthy and the environment more polluted than in Dr. Gerson’s time. A naturopathic doctor could help tailor the diet to suit your individual constitution but it is generally a good rule to follow Gerson principles for about 90% of the food consumed.
We are often contacted by women asking about the Gerson Therapy in relation to women’s reproductive health. Given the number of cases of ovarian cancer, endometriosis, breast cancer, infertility and PMS resolved by the Gerson program, we feel we can safely say that the therapy is effective in improving female reproductive health. Patients however should discuss these problems with a trained Gerson doctor.