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Dr. Max Gerson

Max Gerson, M.D. was born on the 11th October in 1881, in Wongrowitz, Germany. He attended the University of Breslau in Wuerzburg and Berlin, and finally got his diploma in the University of Freiburg. Dr. Gerson regularly suffered from migraines so he decided to make different dietetic experiments to prevent his headaches. Finally, one of his patients was treated with this “migraine diet” not for headaches but for skin tuberculosis and the diet proved to be effective. This success led Dr. Gerson to do more research on this diet and to further develop it, so soon he could successfully heal many of his tuberculosis patients.

Soon his successful experiments came to the attention of the famous surgeon, Ferdinand Sauerbruch, M.D. By the help of Dr. Sauerbruch, Dr. Gerson established a special skin tuberculosis treatment program at the Munich University Hospital. In a carefully monitored clinical trial, 446 out of 450 skin tuberculosis patients treated with the Gerson diet recovered completely. Both Dr. Sauerbruch and Dr. Gerson published articles in the world’s leading medical journals on Dr. Gerson’s therapy as the first cure for skin tuberculosis.

At this time, Dr. Gerson made friendship with the Nobel prize winner Albert Schweitzer, M.D. In that time Dr. Schweitzer was interested in Dr. Gerson’s treatment as his wife, Helen Schweitzer-Bresslau (1879-1957) was continuously and unsuccessfully treated with lung tuberculosis. In 1930, after 7 years of suffering, Helen followed the Gerson therapy in Dr. Gerson’s clinic, and after 9 months she was completely recovered. The two doctors remained close friends for life. Dr. Schweitzer also followed the Gerson protocol when he had advanced diabetes and he was successfully healed with Dr. Gerson’s nutritional treatment. Dr. Schweitzer kept an eye on the development of Dr. Gerson during the years, and he could see that the therapy was successful in case of heart failure, kidney disorders and finally in the treatment of cancer.

To avoid the reign of Adolf Hitler in Europe, Dr. Gerson immigrated to the States with his family, and finally settled down in New York. In 1938, Dr. Gerson was licensed to practice in the state of New York. Then for twenty years, he treated cancer patients who had already accepted dying after receiving all the possible conventional treatments that all had failed.

In 1946, Gerson demonstrated some of his recovered patients to the Pepper-Neely Congressional Subcommittee. The Committee held the hearings to fund research into cancer treatment. Although only a few peer-reviewed journals were receptive to Gerson’s radical nutritional ideas, he continued publishing in European journals on his therapy and demonstrated the histories of his healed patients to the public. In 1958, after thirty years of clinical experimentation, Dr. Gerson published A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases. This medical monograph gives details of the theories and practice of this treatment, as well as the results achieved by this great physician. Gerson died in 1959.

It was 50 years ago when Dr. Gerson stated that appropriate nutrition leads to health. Although his ideas were rejected in his own time, today several studies have proved that he was far ahead of his contemporary medical fellows in his experiments. The best solution to our health problems can be an appropriate diet, and his friend’s words can dress him in the robe of a prophet:

“…I see in him one of the most eminent geniuses in the history of medicine. Many of his basic ideas have been adopted without having his name connected with them. Yet, he has achieved more than seemed possible under adverse conditions. He leaves a legacy which commands attention and which will assure him his due place. Those whom he has cured will now attest to the truth of his ideas.”

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