Amazing how life takes you places that you ask to go… When I was in undergrad at Bastyr University my roommate at the time had just finished a rotation at the Gerson Institute in San Diego before starting school to become a naturopath. The Gerson Institute uses the protocol of Max Gerson, MD to treat cancer and other chronic diseases using nutrition therapy. At the time my father was diagnosed with stage IV sarcoma and was struggling to stay alive doing conventional cancer treatment: radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. His oncologist at the time was absolutely opposed to any “alternative” treatments. Unfortunately my father passed away 2 years after his diagnosis and because he was only 48 at the time; I have always thought, “what would I do if I was diagnosed with cancer?” I continued to see Gerson Therapy researched in different books and watched the documentary The Gerson Miracle, and I thought this is a place I want to study or visit sometime in my life. Well I got my wish sooner than I thought…
Since I have been vegan for 20 years and my partner Dan has been vegan for 10 years I honestly felt like cancer is something we would never have to face. Then December 12, 2017 my partner was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer… what a shock to stay the least!!! Dan is young, healthy, physically active, and one of the most positive people I have met in my life. So after letting the news sink in and meeting with the chemo and radiation oncologists Dan decided he wanted to go to the Gerson Clinic, or Health Institute de Tijuana. The day after his diagnosis we started the Gerson Therapy at home. This is a diet therapy with no SOS (salt, oil, sugar), eating cooked oatmeal for breakfast every morning, Hippocrates soup with lunch and dinner, and all fresh (no frozen or canned) vegetables and fruit. The Gerson Therapy involves prescribed juices (since food is our medicine), coffee enemas, and some supplements. Here is a video of the 4 basic components of the Gerson Therapy: diet, juicing, detox and supplementation.
At home we did the Gerson Therapy for 3 weeks until coming to the Health Institute de Tijuana (HIT). In 3 weeks time Dan already had amazing progress… for instance his AST and ALT (liver enzymes) dropped in 1/2 and are now just barely above the normal range. He has metastasis in liver so this is significant!! Now that we are at HIT and it is like a vacation!! It is only 3 blocks from the ocean we get amazing meals prepared for us and juices. There are cooking classes, yoga, meditation, group therapy classes, and the most inspiring people you could meet (patients, nurses, and doctors alike). He is on a specific regimen of juices, and supplements that are prescribed by his doctor. We see his MD every day for 1 hour check ups. He has his vitals taken three times/day and does an IV drip of Laetrile and vitamin C. He gets his blood work done weekly and when we go home we check back in monthly with blood work.
Gerson Therapy is a nutrition based cancer treatment that works by healing the body and boosting the immune system to eliminate cancer and other degenerative diseases. This treatment has been used for over 70 years and even on the shuttle ride down here we met a mom and daughter who beat cancer 6 years prior using the Gerson Therapy. One of the main nutritional components of this therapy are the juices. Here is a recipe for the green juice (please note that they are adjusted accordingly to each person; for instance Dan’s green juice has green pepper omitted to not aggravate GI bleeding).
Green Juice Recipe (from Gerson Institute)
- Dark green lettuces – ¼ to ½ of a head (depending on the size of the lettuce): red and green leaf lettuces, romaine, endives. Iceberg is useless and do not use
- Escarole – 2 or 3 leaves
- Beet tops (young inner leaves) – 2 to 3 leaves
- Watercress – 5 or 6 leaves
- Red cabbage – 2 or 3 leaves
- Green bell pepper – ¼
- Swiss chard – little
- Green apple – 1
Preparation: Greens should be washed taking care to rinse off sand or soil that is often present at the base of the leaves. Shake off water or put in salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Cut off bottom portion of stems of chard or any other fibrous leaves. Chop up because it is quite stringy and hard to pulp. This avoids raising temperature of pulp and killing enzymes.
Using a two-step (grinder/press) juicer, grind and collect pulp in a bowl. When all produce has been ground stir thoroughly, but not so much as to introduce unnecessary air into the pulp.
If you’re using an electric press raise the juice part slowly to avoid having pulp squirt out of cloth and onto the juice person.
Using multiple juicing cloths you can prepare the second cloth while the first one is pressing. Also, some people will fold over the squashed cloth/pulp package and press it again to get a little more juice out of the pulp. Wash juicer after every green juice.
After pressing, the remaining pulp, conveniently packaged in the juice cloth, can be discarded.
The green juice is much more active than the carrot or carrot/apple juices and should be consumed immediately. Dr. Gerson did not recommend storage of the green juice for any length of time before consumption as it deteriorates rapidly.