Gerson Juicing, Following the Gerson Protocols For Detoxification
Gerson Juicing is part of the Gerson cancer therapy, an integrated set of medical treatments which has been used to treat many stages of advanced cancer. Essentially, Dr. Gerson in the course of 30 years of clinical experimentation applied various combinations of treatments on cancer patients, always retaining that which was successful and discarding that which was not. Thus, an integrated pattern of treatment which treated many cases of advanced cancer evolved.
Vegetable juicing is making a comeback.
When we look back at the early 20th century naturopaths, we find that juicing and diet was the mainstay of treatment – in fact they said that unless you consumed at least 4 pints (2 litres) of juice daily then you could expect no long-term improvement. The diet was referred to as the mucousless diet, a diet that would loosen hardened deposits in the body, remove them to the outside restoring vitality and the healing potential of the tissues – in modern-day terms detoxing.
That was, of course, in the days before nutritional supplements and currently we find ourselves in the heyday of pill-popping. But is our health improving? We spend hundreds of dollars on nutritional aids, then rush next door to the supermarket to fill our shopping carts with every chemicalized, processed, preserved type of dead food that makes life a convenience.
The truth is that nutritional deficiencies and toxicity go hand in hand. If you treat deficiencies without addressing toxicity, you make little headway and likewise if you treat toxicity without addressing deficiencies then no long-term benefit will apply.
Vegetable juicing address both toxicity and deficiencies simultaneously.
Organic vegetables are rich in nutrients goes without saying. However their ability to detoxify the body is outstanding. Have you ever unblocked your drains with caustic soda? Those of you who know the power of this compound, sodium hydroxide, in dissolving grease to the satisfying glug of the drain as it breathes its first gulp of air. Vegetable juices work in the same way. They break down to potassium hydroxide, a more powerful cleanser than sodium hydroxide. As the cells are bathed in this alkaline cleanser they take up the potassium and release the acidity (toxicity) which can be safely disposed of by the lungs and kidneys. Vegetable juicing is the only way to achieve this. Don’t be fooled into taking sodium preparations such as sodium bicarbonate, which although an alkaline compound, the sodium will poison the cells and increase acidity.
Once the toxicity is removed the body is cleansed and the self-healing process begins. You are truly pulling the weeds of disease up by the roots not merely clipping at the heads.
Juicers and Juicing
Juices at the Gerson Hospital are a critical aspect of the regimen providing most of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals and other nutrients essential to healing along with adequate fluid intake. We are often asked why patients cannot simply eat the foods instead of making them into juices, as there is no fiber content to the juice, and invariably some nutrition is lost in the juicing process.
Part of the answer can be found in the fact that the typical Gerson Therapy patient will ingest thirteen 8 ounce glasses – about 104 ounces of juice daily! This tremendous influx of liquid provides the nutritional equivalent of almost seventeen pounds of food a day. It is then obvious that the consumption of that quantity of food on a daily basis would be impossible.
A secondary reason for the use of juices, has to do with absorption and utilization of all of the nutrients found in the foods from which the juices are made. Patients suffering from degenerative diseases almost always have difficulty properly digesting and absorbing food. This can be a result of toxicity, malfunction of the digestive system, a decrease in stomach acid production, or a variety of other causes. This digestive weakness is the same reason that many patients have difficulty digesting and absorbing vitamin and mineral supplements in pill or capsule form.
In the patients Dr. Gerson treated, he found it necessary to find ways of dramatically increasing absorption of nutrients in order to effect healing, and produced what he believed were remissions of otherwise terminal cases that he treated. His clinical experimentation showed that fresh juice from raw foods provided the easiest and most effective way of providing high quality nutrition and most importantly, produced the best clinical results.
We continue to evaluate the effects of the juices, considering other juices and juice products. We also look for ways to both enhance the healing process and minimize hardship in the practice of the therapy. As of yet, we have not found any way to reduce, substitute, or eliminate any of the juices, or the necessity of preparing them fresh at the time of consumption. We are reluctant to make changes without a complete understanding of the underlying processes, and it is difficult to justify risking lives for the sake of experimentation when we have a protocol that has been extremely effective in treating and healing degenerative diseases.
Questions also arise about the functions of the juice in the healing process, the choice of the specific juices, the way in which they are used and the necessity of making the juices fresh. During the course of Dr. Gerson’s thirty years of clinical practice, his therapy changed considerably, and a review of the case files for each of the cases he treated reveals considerable variation over the life span of his developing treatment regimen in the quantity, volume, and type of juices prescribed. Over the years, many patients have successfully used nothing more than the single table of juices and medications published in Dr. Gerson’s book A Cancer Therapy as a road map to healing.
While most treatment protocols prescribed by Gerson physicians will follow the revised guidelines in this book, patients under the care of experienced Gerson physicians (such as CHIPSA: The Gerson Hospital) may see their “juice prescription” changed in response to blood results, healing reaction responses, or other symptoms. Severely damaged or weakened patients often require changes in the medications and juices on an almost daily basis during the first weeks of the treatment.
We do not clearly understand the process of exactly how the juices enhance healing, except for the obvious vitamin, mineral, enzyme, and trace mineral supplementation they provide. The nutrient supplementation alone is probably not enough to explain why there is a difference between juices consumed immediately after preparation and those consumed several hours later. Clearly, oxidation causes loss of certain vitamins and enzymes. There has been much discussion of the enzyme activity in the juices when they are fresh, and the importance of these enzymes in numerous biochemical functions. Yet, as any biology student knows, the enzymes are immediately destroyed on contact with stomach acid.
What makes the difference in healing response between the fresh juice and the hours-old juice? One possibility is that some of the enzymes present in the fresh juice are absorbed directly in the mucous membranes in the mouth and esophagus, before reaching the stomach. This theory is born out by the observation that patients fed through a naso-gastric or stomach tube do not respond favorably to the Gerson Therapy.
Another possibility, from the esoteric medical literature (dealing with human and plant energies) is that there is a form of plant “vital force” present in the juices when freshly made, and that this “vital force” affects the patient, and promotes healing at the energetic, or physic, level rather than at the cellular/biochemical level. We have little evidence to support either assumption but we don’t want to rule out any possibility that gives us greater understanding.
In addition to the nutritional supplementation, the juices also serve, by virtue of their high liquid content, to help in flushing the kidneys. However the process occurs, it is important to recognize that the healing that comes as a results of the intake of fresh juices is consistent, and has been validated. That, along with the long-term positive outcomes that we regularly observe, is, in our opinion, enough reason to follow Gerson’s original directives in this regard.
What about the deficiencies you may ask?
Will vegetable juices really be as good as taking supplements? The answer is – better. You see it is not the supply of nutrients that is the problem but rather, their placement. Take an acid environment, for example, such as a cup of lemon juice and add some milk. What happens – curds form or more precisely, the calcium is leeched out of the milk and precipitates to form salts. Likewise, toxicity within the body generates acidity and in this environment calcium cannot be used and hardening occurs outside the skeleton; bones weaken and soft tissues calcify. Putting more calcium into the system without reducing the acidity will only serve to accelerate the problem. And it doesn’t stop there. As the problem deepens the muscles and nerves become affected and we have the onset of asthma and later, when the brain becomes involved, ADHD.
We inherit these constitutions, consequently we can see disease moving forward in leaps and bounds with each generation, sometimes within the same generation as eczema gives rise to asthma or allergies and then hyperactivity.
Vegetable juicing will establish an environment where nutrients can be used by the body.
The nutrients are rich in supply and taken directly to the cells. Iron levels will normalize very quickly just on green juices alone. People are amazed when shown how just 100g of fresh spinach and 50g of parsley, when juiced, will yield more iron than 300g of beef and more calcium than 300g of milk. What’s more – juicing really works; you build your blood and feed your tissues and naturally your energy rises.
In our enthusiasm over the nutrient value of organic vegetables and their detoxifying capacity, we mustn’t forget the oxidizing enzymes. Freshly prepared juices are a rich source of live enzymes. These enzymes are not only essential to the digestive process but they are absorbed and recycled to the digestive tract. On their journey, they are able to scavenge debris and effectively vacuum clean the blood of fungus, bacteria and undigested food particles which may have escaped digestion. These enzymes are so important to the healing system that Max Gerson, a physician famous for his successful cancer therapy, found that patients using centrifugal-type vegetable juicers did not respond to the therapy unlike those who used a grinder and press.
There are two factors to bear in mind here: centrifugal juicers tend to kill the enzymes and the juices are generally nutrient-poor, a good proportion being left in the moist pulp. The test of a “live” juice is how long it retains it’s colour before it goes “brown”. If you are going to seriously juice we would recommend a more expensive juicer that masticates and presses with a slow RPM (keeping enzymes intact and generating no heat) that guarantees to juice the more fibrous green vegetables and grasses. You will find that it will more than repay itself both in the quantity of juice extracted and in its mineral quality which can nearly double that from the more traditional juicers.
We recommend starting at three juices a day – two apple and carrot and one green juice. Mix equal quantities of vegetable to apple so for each 250ml juice use 250g apple: 250g vegetable (carrot or a combination of greens). A good combination of greens would include 1/4 green capsicum plus a selection of 2 or 3 of the following: silver beet, parsley, wheat grass, red or green lettuce (not iceberg), red cabbage, beet tops, watercress. I don’t tend to recommend beetroot as it is very strong and can act as an emetic. Be sure to buy organic produce for juicing as you don’t want a concentrate of a cocktail of chemicals.
Did you know that apples have usually been sprayed around 22 times before they reach the shops and commercially grown carrots are often used as a crop to “clean” the soil? Maybe this property is why they are so effective in the detox process. Bottled juices won’t do – they are “dead”. You have to kill the enzymes in order to preserve juice whether through pasteurisation (heat treatment) or common pickling devices such as using whey which denatures the enzymes.
Start gently on 3 juices a day and build up to six. It’s a good idea to buy your vegetables in bulk to last the week. There are quite a few good organic retailers who will deliver to your door and make life really simple for you. On a weekly basis you will need to order around 10Kg of both apples and carrots, 4 bunches of silver beet, 4 green capsicum, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 bunches of watercress, 1 bunch of beetroot and a red cabbage. The Peak Fresh bags from any supermarket will prevent your greens from going slimy in the ‘fridge.
The benefits are enormous.
The green juices in particular will build your blood, carry oxygen to the tissues and irrigate the system removing stagnation. Go slowly, as your liver may need a little help in the detox process.