Monday, February 28, 2011

Apples to Oranges

                                                            Gerson Therapy

       Max Gerson was a German physician who began practice in the early 1920's. His name is best known for his methods and regimen for treatment of various diseases and sickness with diet and nutrition. As a resident physician Gerson had suffered from migraine headaches that he decided to try to resolve by means of dietary change, eliminating certain foods and adding other healthy, nutrient rich foods. This approach of treatment eliminated his headaches all together whereas the pharmaceuticals he had previously taken and prescribed to his patients daily only addressed the symptoms and in most cases temporarily. Gerson began prescribing his migraine treatment to his patients with much acknowledged success. One of Gerson's earliest patients reported that their skin lesions caused by tuberculosis had cleared up while on Gerson's diet, something that no other "modern treatment" had helped to cure or even suppress. Pulmonary surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch heard of his success and  invited Gerson to conduct a clinical trial of his therapy at Sauerbruch's tuberculosis ward in Munich, Germany. Gerson conducted treatment on 450 Tuberculosis patients with 446 patients that fully recovered, a percentage so unheard of that it was immediately disputed as lie and discredited by skeptical peers and further denied by the large pharmaceutical companies that ran all of the major hospitals. 
      This was just the beginning of Gersons battle, skeptical public, "Big-pharma-paid doctors", and money motivated pharmaceutical manufacturers became the enemy of Gersons ideas and the "alternative medicine" label soon became synonymous with his name. Some side with the big pharmaceutical companies, including most hospital doctors who are forbidden by law to prescribe any dietary or nutritional treatment to their patients in the U.S., and on the other hand are offered "bonuses" as encouragement for prescribing the manufacturers new products. Political physicians condemned Gerson publicly. Some patients have researched Gerson treatment and found record of overwhelming successes with no risks such as that of chemotherapy, abrasive surgeries, or dangerous chemical medications and realized there is no threat of worsening their condition and everything to gain. Though Max Gerson passed away in 1959 the battle still remains. Gerson therapy is still treated as "Quack-medicine" and the big drug companies are still amongst the most powerful in the world, "treating every ill with a pill".

      In observation while using fresh fruit and vegetable juices Gerson had proposed that artificial fertilizers and pesticides were fueling what he called an epidemic of degenerative diseases, and began to advise his regional government on agricultural practices.Third party scientific research made it apparent that fruits and vegetables that were commercially treated were significantly lower in nutrients and came with their own brand of poison in the applied pesticides and growth steroids. Some people dont mind the extra chemical applications in their fruits and vegetables, then again some people aren't bothered by second hand smoke from tobacco but are well aware of and wouldn't deny the hazardous effects that it can have on the body. Gerson's treatment revolves around fresh fruit and vegetable juices administered hourly to patients to help more immediately address the bodies toxicity and deficiencies, focused on the liver and kidneys, the bodies filtering organs. The idea is to help the body rejuvenate to a point that its natural, instinctual healing functions are restored with the help of vitamins, minerals and liver detox.

      Then there is the ever controversial coffee enemas. The vast majority of anti-Gerson articles and slander campaigns focus their assault on Gerson's less than traditional coffee enema regimen, such a taboo makes an easy target. The coffee enema is a treatment used to help the liver filter by the caffeine absorbed by the colon's hemorrhoidal vein to the portal system then to the liver. The caffeine stimulates the livers bile ducts to open, releasing toxins into the intestinal track for excretion. As strange as this sounds, is one to choose to have poisonous radiation pumped through their body as in chemotherapy, killing both good and bad cells with unpredictable results or coffee enemas, just sort of weird and hard to understand? In the case of a patient with an inoperable, incurable disease with terminal diagnosis the choice is almost not an option, they do whatever the doctor has prescribed. Why would we be so quick to write off the research and success of one of histories greatest medical visionaries but except the notion that a disease is "just incurable". Many people with disease live and die in a hospital and are never once made aware of the importance of nutrition and detox, instead they are fed jello, white bread, ginger-ale and pills . If the intake of vitamins and minerals can undoubtedly prevent disease then why is it so hard to think that the same factors cant help restore the bodies natural healing functions? - K.C.C.

Letter from the editor -

Whats up,
    I am interested in this stuff mostly because it is focused on the "healing power" of good food. This therapy is based mostly on raw food diets and juicing ingredients in their purist form, just straight up food. With all the seasoning and techniques in the world there would be nothing for a chef to prepare without the blessings of our farmers. Many people are becoming aware of the Gerson treatment lately due to the documentary "The Beautiful Truth" by director Steve Kroschel featuring commentary from Charlotte Gerson in 2008. The film was both informative and touching and inspired me to do my own research on the topic. With further investigation into Gerson therapy I only found a couple things that I personally would have a lot of trouble with; the "coffee enemas" and the rule that there is to be no consumption of SALT while in treatment!  One of my favorite quotes I've heard "Salt is the engine of flavor" - Geoffrey Zakarian on Chopped. So true! Salt is essential but I guess in the case of fighting a serious disease I could go without. To learn more check out the sites below or fish around in the library or online there's plenty of info out there. Glad to share, sharing is caring. Thanks for reading, go eat a carrot! - K.C.C.

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