Max Gerson died in 1959. He was eulogized by one of his long time patients, Albert Schweitzer.
I must confess that I probably never would have bought his book had I not read Albert Schweitzer’s comment. I would like to first present information from his book without declaring its title. I would like you all to discover this man in the same manner in which he was revealed to me. Evidence and information presented in his book is profound especially given its publication was in 1958.
Thomas Edison believed that, “The doctors of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This is the story of one such doctor. The following are excerpts of his 1958 book.
At this time, of course, it is not possible to replace a century-long pessimism with an overwhelming optimism. We all know that everything in biology is not as precise as in mathematics or physics. I fear that it will not be possible, at least in the near future, to repair all the damage that modern agriculture and civilization have brought to our lives. I believe it is essential that people unite, in the old conservative manner, for the humanitarian purpose of producing nutrition for their families and future generations as natural and unrefined as possible.
The amount of damage done by chemical fertilizers, spraying, and insecticides which lead to a chronic poisoning of the soil can be estimated when we realize how many poisons go into the fruit and vegetables we eat, into the cattle, the eggs and butter we consume and the milk which we and our children drink.
For the future of coming generations, I think it is high time that we change our agricultural and food preservation methods. Otherwise we will have to increase our institutions for mental patients yearly, and we will see the hospitals overcrowded with degenerative diseases even more rapidly and in greater numbers than the hospitals themselves can be enlarged.
Seventy years ago, leukemia was unknown in the United States. Fifty years ago, lung cancer was so seldom observed in clinics and autopsies that every case was worthy of a publication. But today-what a change for the worse. (O quae mutatio rerum.)
The coming years will make it more and more imperative that organically grown fruit and vegetables will be, and must be, used for protection against degenerative diseases, the prevention of cancer, and more so in the treatment of cancer.
I am more than ever convinced that biochemistry and metabolic science will be victorious in healing degenerative diseases, including cancer if the whole body or the whole metabolism will be attacked and not the symptoms.
The family has to give up some of the social life and do this humanitarian work with deep devotion. The decline in our modern life is evident by this lack of devotion for the sick members of the family.
page 3, 142, 143
Scientists Term Radiation A Peril to Future of Man
A Cumulative Effect
Shock and surprise were expressed by the committee on genetics in its finding that the American public was using up about one third of the safety limit in medical and dental X-rays. Its members called on the medical profession to reduce the use of X-rays to the lowest limit consistent with medical necessity.
This committee also urged a national system of personal records whereby every American would know his total amount of exposure. The effect of radiation is cumulative, it is said, no matter how long the period over which it is experienced.
The six committees studied the radiation problem in the fields of genetics, pathology, meteorology, oceanography, and fisheries, agriculture and food supplies, and disposal and dispersal of radioactive wastes….
Pathological effects: Dr. Shields Warren, Chairman — Recommendations will be made in the future. The committee concluded in agreement with geneticists that radiation, no matter how small the dose, shortens life in some degree…
Dr. Weaver’s genetics committee recommended as a general population safety limit that exposure to radiation should be held down to 10 roentgens for the first 30 years of a person’s life. A roentgen is a unit for measuring the harmful gamma ray from medical and dental X-ray equipment, nuclear weapons explosions and from natural causes like cosmic rays and natural radium.
As a result of medical X-rays it is estimated that each person in this country receives on the average a total accumulated dose to the gonads or sex glands about three roentgens in 30 years. “Of course, some persons get none at all; others may get a good deal….” Dr. Weaver declared it was “stupid genetically” to use X-ray for the fitting of shoes. He was referring to the X-ray devices that have become common in shoe stores and into which children often stare in awe, sometimes without regard to time at the shadows of the bones of their feet.
Dr. Weaver also condemned obstetricians who make X-ray pictures of pregnant mothers to show them how “beautifully formed” is the skeleton of their baby without realizing the “hazards” of the dose of three or four roentgens that is being administered.
In addition to six long summary reports of the committees, the scientists also issued “a report to the public” in the simplest language possible. Here the layman may now read how radiation damage inevitably results from exposure, no matter how small the dose.
Radiation causes mutation or harmful changes in the genes or germ lines of the reproductive organs. Damage manifests itself in shortening of the life span, reduces the ability to produce children, and sometimes, but not often, produces deformed children.
Even if the mutations is in one gene, there is some harmful effect that mutation will go on through every generation until the line that bears it becomes extinct.
The report explained how “every cell of a person’s body contains a great collection, passed down from the parents, the parents’ parents, and so on back, of diverse heredity units called genes.”
The layman’s report went on to explain:
“From the point of view of the total and eventual damage to the entire population, every mutation causes roughly the same amount of harm. This is because mutant genes can only disappear when the inheritance line in which they are carried dies out. In cases of severe and obvious damage this may happen in the first generation; in other cases it may require hundreds of generations.
“Thus, for the general population, and in the long run, a little radiation to a lot of people is as harmful as a lot of radiation to a few, since the total number of mutant genes can be the same in the two cases.”
But damage to future generations due to radiation will be difficult to identify. The study of genetics damage has only just begun, with a report due on genetic effects observed in the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese cities destroyed by American atom bombs in World War II …
The following appeared in an article on radiation in the New York Times on July 21, 1957:
Safety Limit Set
As a safety limit, the National Academy of Sciences has recommended, that the average person receive not more than ten roentgens of man-made radiation to the reproductive organs from conception to the age of 30.
The roentgen is a unit of measurement of radiation dose.
The report also lends new support to the repeated warnings of atomic officials and scientists that man faces a far greater danger from medical use of radiation than he does from the radio-active fall-out from atomic testings
A similar warning came last month from Dr. Leroy E. Burney, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, who said that in view of the increasing sources of radiation in the nuclear age, the time had come to reassess the safety levels of radiation from medical treatment.
In recent years there has been an increasing awareness in the medical profession of the potential danger of radiation from X-ray treatments, and steps have been instituted to limit the radiation dose.
We have learned in recent years that spraying with modern insecticides is doing more damage to our food and to our bodies. I cannot emphasize too often that our nutrition is our external metabolism. Whoever is interested in this field may read the Hearings Before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Use of Chemicals in Food Products, House of Representatives Eighty-First Congress, Second Session. There is clearly described in the hearing of Dr. Biskind what he observed in this field and what he recommended ought to be done.
The following is a brief survey of this hearing: “The introduction for uncontrolled general use by the public of the insecticide DDT, or chlorophenothane, and the series of even more deadly substances that followed, has no previous counterpart in history. Beyond question, no other substance known to man was ever developed so rapidly and spread so indiscriminately over so large a portion of the earth in so short of time. This is the more surprising as, at the time DDT was released for public use, a large amount of data was already available to the medical literature showing that this agent was extremely toxic for many different species of animals, that it was cumulatively stored in the body fat and that it appeared in the milk. At this time a few cases of DDT poisoning in human beings had also been reported. These observations were almost completely ignored or misinterpreted.
“In the subsequent mass use of DDT and related compounds a vast amount of additional information on the toxicity of these materials, both in animals and in man, has become available. Somehow a fantastic myth of human invulnerability has grown up with reference to the use of these substances. Because their effects are cumulative and may be insidious and because they resemble those of so many other conditions, physicians for the most part are unaware of the danger. Elsewhere, the evidence has been treated with disbelief, ignored, misinterpreted, distorted, suppressed or subjected to some of the fanciest double talk ever perpetrated.
“Early last year I published a series of observations on DDT poisoning in man. Since shortly after the last war a large number of cases had been observed by physicians all over the country in which a group of symptoms occurred, the most prominent feature of which was gastroenteritis, persistently recurrent nervous symptoms, and extreme muscular weakness.
- Dr. Gerson then goes on to site the case studies in great detail.
pages 163 -164
The Significance of the Content of the Soil to Human Disease
The familiar expression “mother earth” is justified. When we take from and rob the earth we disturb the natural equilibrium and harmony, producing sickness of the soil, sickness of the plants and fruits (the common nutrition), and finally sickness of both animals and human beings.
As a physician who has spent much of his life investigating the nutritional aspects of disease, I have often had occasion to observe a definitive connection between dietary deficiencies and a sick or poor quality soil.
The relationship between soil and plants on the one hand and animal and human nutrition on the other is to me a fascinating subject. This relationship is a natural cycle in which one may distinguish two great parts:
I. The first part, which may be called “external metabolism,” is comprised of the following:
(a) Plants and their fruits.
(b) Composition of the soil in which they grow–thus being the real basis of all nutrition.
(c) Transportation, storage, and preparation of these food stuffs.
II. The second part, known as “internal metabolism” consists of all the biochemical transformations that take place when such foodstuffs enter the animal body and support the nutrition and growth of its cells and tissues.
When foodstuffs are ingested, their metabolism is influenced directly by the biochemical changes of the individual body and indirectly by the condition of the soil from which they came. The type of metabolic change thus directly affects nutrition and growth of body tissues. There is an external and internal metabolism upon which all life depends; both are closely and inextricably connected with each other; furthermore, the reserves of both are not inexhaustible. There are, of course, some exceptions, about five to ten percent of the population who have an extraordinarily well-functioning reabsorption and good storage capacity apparatus.
This is to emphasize the great importance of metabolism to human health, i.e., the soil as the basis of life which is generally neglected to a great extent.
There are then numerous soil studies illustrating relationships between soil health and plant and animal health.
We must conclude from these observations that unless the soil is cared for properly, the depleted soil with its abnormal external metabolism will bring about more and more abnormalities of our internal metabolism, resulting in serious degenerative diseases in animals and human beings. The soil needs activity–the natural cycle of growth; it needs rest; it needs protection from erosion; and finally, it needs less and less artificial fertilizer, but more and more of the use of organic waste material in the correct way, to maintain the soil’s productivity and life. Food produced in that way–we have to eat as living substances, partly fresh and partly freshly prepared, for life begets life. Organic gardening food seems to be the answer to the cancer problem.
page 175-176, 185
Paracelsus’ Dietary Regime
The body needs nutrition through which it is bound to nature. However, that which we have to give to the body as nutrition also contains toxins and damaging substances…
The human being has to acquire knowledge of what to eat and drink, and what he has to weave and wear, because nature gave him the instinct of self-preservation. For the things that one does for the prolongation of one’s life are ordained by Great Nature. If someone eats what is useful for his health and avoids other things that may shorten his life then he is a man of wisdom and self-control. All that we do should serve to prolong our life….
In themselves, the statements of Paracelsus about diet are not uniform but one can notice everywhere in them the thought that combines them; their chemical effect. Everywhere in his writings it can be perceived how he would like to dissect everything into the finest particles (atoms) and find an interpretation; it seems as if he would like a penetrating power to enable him to look into things microscopically. The layman only sees the surface; the physician must be able to visualize the inside and the hidden facts which combine to form the whole, regardless of whether it is a piece of wood or bone. Marvelous are his ideas about the chemical reactions and his passionate love for all chemical occurrences which he applied to the reactions of the body long before his time. Paracelsus seeks to develop everything from its origin. In that he always observes three things: the heaven, the earth, and the microcosm; it is similar with healing. Man can only be comprehended through a microcosm; not through himself alone. Only knowledge about this harmony perfects the physician.
This short condensation does not take a critical stand in the historical sense towards the statements of Paracelsus as measured against the knowledge of his time. It merely seeks to show how stimulating his writings are and the wealth of ideas which shines through everywhere, how intense his urge to find causal connections in accordance with the eternal laws in nature outside of the body and the same laws ruling inside the microcosm.
The Concept of Totality-Decisive in Cancer and Other Degenerative Diseases.
Cancer is a chronic, degenerative disease, where almost all essential organs are involved in the more advanced cases: The entire metabolism with the intestinal tract and its adnexa, the liver and pancreas, the circulatory apparatus (the cellular exchange supporter), the kidneys and bile system (as main elimination organs), the reticulo-endothelial and lymphatic system (as defense apparatus), the central nervous system and especially the visceral nervous system for most metabolic and motoric purposes.
Dr. Nicholas was probably one of the first in our time who recognized the “concept of totality” as applied to disease. He combined the following clinical appearances: Emotional, nutritional, poisons, infections, accidents and inheritance as underlying causes for diseases: “No wonder we are all sick….and science is no longer science when it attempts to violate God’s natural law.”
Some cancer biologists are of the opinion that “cancer is a phenomenon co-existent with the living processes,” “that the cancer cell is not something living exclusively from the body,” and that the cancer cell is not a special “system isolated from the living organism.” They are united with and part of the whole body.
It has been emphasized before that cancer develops in a body which more or less has lost the normal functions of the metabolism as a consequence of a chronic daily poisoning accumulated especially in the liver.” It is important to realize that in our body all the most innermost processes work together, depend on each other, and will be deranged with each other in diseases. That is the reason why all of them together have to be attacked for healing purposes at the base and in combination. My clinical experiences revealed that this is the surest way to success of a therapy. Most parts of the general metabolism can be found concentrated in the liver. The biological function of the liver itself, however, depends on the proper activity and correct cooperation of many other essential organs….
Medical science has eliminated the totality of the natural biological rules in the human body, mostly by dividing research and practice into many specialties. Doing intensive, masterly specialized work, it was forgotten that every part is still only a piece of the entire body.
In all textbooks, we find that single biological processes have been studied and overestimated statements made about them. The symptoms of a disease have become the main problem for research, clinical work and therapy. The old methods sought to combine all functional parts in a body into a biological entity, have been pushed aside almost involuntarily, in the clinic, and especially in institutions of physiology and pathology. Finally, that idea became very remote in our thinking and therapeutical work. The opinion of the best cancer specialists is, as Jessie Greenstein stated, “Emphasis must be laid on a direct study on the side of malignancy itself,” despite the fact that his book is an excellent collection of physiological changes in the other organs, especially the liver. In my opinion, the application of the concept of totality can help us find the true cause of cancer; it could be best worked out in practical examples, not in animal experiments where every little symptom is observed singly (by itself).
In the nutritional field, observations for centuries have shown that people who live according to natural methods in which plants, animals and human beings are only fragments of the eternal cycle of Nature do not get cancer. On the contrary, people who accept methods of modern nutrition on an increasing scale become involved in degenerative diseases, including cancer, in a relatively short time.
In later medical history, the best known cancer-free people were the Hunzas, who live on the slopes of the Himalaya mountains and who use only food grown in their own country and fertilized with natural manure. Imported food is forbidden. Very similar is the story of the Ethiopians who also have natural agriculture and living habits which seems to prove that this type of agriculture keeps people free of cancer and most degenerative diseases.
The damage that modern agriculture brings into our lives begins with the soil, where artificial fertilization leads to the displacement of mineral contents and changes in the flora of microbes combined with the exodus of the earthworms. Consequently, frequent erosion of arable land takes place. These changes bring about, at the beginning, an irritation of the plants; later they cause their degeneration. Spraying with poisonous substances (insecticides) increases the poisons in the soil, and these poisons are transferred to plants and fruits.
We must conclude from these and many other observations that the soil and all that grows in it is not something distant from us but must be regarded as our external metabolism, which produces the basic substances for our internal metabolism. Therefore, the soil must be cared for properly and must not be depleted or poisoned; otherwise, these changes will result in serious degenerative diseases, rapidly increasing in animals and humans beings. The soil needs activity–the natural cycle in growth and in rest–and natural fertilizer, as we have to give back that which is necessary to replenish the consumed substances. This is the best protection against erosion; it also maintains the soil’s microbic flora, productivity and life. Food planted and grown in this way must be eaten partly as living substances and partly freshly prepared, for “life begets life.” Very significant are reports about Eskimos who get degenerative diseases and cancer in those parts of their country where canned food and unnatural nutrition were introduced and accepted.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who built a hospital in Lambarene, Central Africa, 40 years ago, reported in his letters of October, 1954, the following:
“Many natives, especially those who are living in larger communities, do not live now as the same way as formerly–they used to live almost exclusively on fruits and vegetables, bananas, casava, ignam, taro, sweet potatoes and other fruits. They now live on condensed milk, canned butter, meat-and-fish preserves and bread.” Dr. Schweitzer observed in 1954 the first operation on appendicitis on a native of this region.” …. The date of the appearance of cancer and other diseases of civilization cannot be traced in our region with the same certainty as that of appendicitis, because the microscopic examinations have only been in existence here for a few years…. It is obvious to connect the fact of increase of cancer also with increased use of salt by the natives…. Curiously enough, we did not have any cancer cases in our hospitals before.”
Dr. Salisbury reported, concerning the Navajo Indians, that he had, in 23 years, 35,000 Indian admissions in the hospital, with only 66 cases of cancer. The death rate among these Indians is one out of 1,000, while it is about one out of 500 among Indians who have accepted part of the nutrition of modern civilization.
The Bantu population of South Africa has 20 percent primary liver cancers. Their diet, of a very low standard, consists chiefly of cheap carbohydrates, maize and mealy meals. Seldom do they have fermented cow’s milk. Meat is eaten only at ceremonies. Two physicians, Dr Gilbert and Dr. Gilman, studied their nutrition habits in animal experiments and placed stress on the diet of the Bantus as a cause of cancer…..
To the great complexity of the biological functions of the body belongs also its capacity of adaptation. A healthy body can adapt itself to different types of nutrition. It reabsorbs the necessary minerals, vitamins, and enzymes as we know from experiments to determine the time for the clinical appearance of one type or another of vitamin deficiency. A sick body has lost this capacity. The deficiencies cannot be restored as long as the essential organs are poisoned. That is true in cancer also, as demonstrated by clinical observations.
Cancer, the great killer, will be prevented and can be cured if we learn to understand the eternal laws of totality in nature and in our body. Both are combined and have to be united in a effective treatment for cancer; in that way we can learn to cure cancer in a higher proportion, even in advanced cases. The limitations of the totality of functions of the whole body, however, also come into action here. The totality of functions is lost if one or another vital organ is too far destroyed. I saw, in several patients, tumors of the abdomen absorbed, and in others, hundreds of nodules and nodes on the skin and some as the base of the brain eliminated, but the patients died of cirrhosis of the liver in a period of one to three and a half years afterwards.
I highly recommend reading this fascinating book. I will end this excerpt with his list of necessary foods & forbidden foods and consumer products given to his cancer patients.
Use: Stainless Steel, glass, enamel, earthenware, and cast iron.
Use: A separate grinder and a separate press.
Do not use: One-unit machines such as liquifiers, centrifuges, juice mixers or masters, etc.