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Charlotte Gerson founded The Gerson Institute in 1977. It is a non-profit organization located in San Diego, California, dedicated to the alternative, non-toxic treatment of disease, using the Gerson Therapy. The Gerson Therapy is a safe, natural treatment developed by Dr. Max Gerson in the 1920’s that uses organic foods, juicing, coffee enemas, detoxification and natural supplements to activate the body’s ability to heal itself. Over the past 60 years, thousands of people have used the Gerson Therapy to recover from so-called “incurable” diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
Caryn Hartglass: Hi. I’m Caryn Hartglass, and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. It’s all about food—the name of this show talks about food and how food affects health, environment, and the treatment of animals. We create a community, a community of people who are interested in improving their own health and working towards creating a sustainable environment for all life on earth. When I talk about creating a community, there are many people discovering alternative methods for improved health, for better quality food, for cleaning the environment, for protecting all the things that are precious to us on this earth. The guests that we have on this show talk about the specific things that they’re working with. I have a really wonderful guest with me today, Charlotte Gerson. Are you with me, Charlotte?
Charlotte Gerson: Yes Caryn, thank you. I am.
Caryn: Good morning—
Charlotte: Good morning.
Caryn: —and thank you for calling in this morning because it’s pretty early for you.
Charlotte: Yes it is.
Caryn: It’s almost six in the morning in Mexico, right?
Charlotte: No, I’m not in Mexico, I’m in California.
Caryn: Oh you are, okay.
Charlotte: Pacific is in Mexico.
Caryn: Okay, but you’re in California, right?
Charlotte: I am in California, just on the other side of the border.
Caryn: Okay, great. Well, you have a really wonderful story. You’re doing some phenomenal work and I know an hour isn’t going to be enough time to touch on all of it, but we’re going to try and do some of that. Charlotte is carrying on this incredible work that was started by her father, Dr. Max Gerson. Let’s first just briefly talk about your father and how he got on to this task of healing with natural foods.
Charlotte: Well it was interesting. He was always interested in the earth and life. Already as a little boy when he was seven, he loved to play in his grandmother’s garden. She was growing plants and foods and flowers. She was also an experimenter and she had heard about the special materials to restore nutrients to the earth, fertilizers. She had tried a little bit on a patch of plants, and he watched in amazement that the earthworms from that little patch left that area, crossed the garden path, and went to the places that had the natural fertilizer. He was only six or seven years old; he never forgot that. He himself was also interested in the earth and plants and flowers and so on, but he studied medicine. He did have a genetic problem. His mother was suffering from migraine headaches, and by the time he was done with his studies and internship and residency, he was suffering from very serious migraines often two or three days a week. He couldn’t function. He found out that his doctors and teachers and professors, nobody knew what to do about migraines. He was even told, “You’ll feel better when you’re fifty-five.” “But I’m twenty-five!”
Caryn: If you last that long.
Charlotte: So he decided he’d have to find his own way. He did. He searched and searched. It took many years. He finally found a little note in an obscure little journal that a woman had changed her diet and her migraines had improved. Diet? Diet? Nobody told him anything about diet in medical school. This was roughly in 1905 to 1910 and well over a hundred years ago. So he started to experiment with that, and he found what it really takes to stop his migraine attacks. It was vegetarian diet without salt. When he did that, according to what he had found out, he was free of migraines. He started to treat patients the same way, and he found that it helped them. Their migraines could be controlled. Until he found one patient who came back to him and said, “Dr. Gerson, my migraines are gone, but I also had skin tuberculosis and that’s healed.”
Caryn: By the way.
Charlotte: Yeah, by the way. My father said, “Oh no, that’s not possible. It’s incurable. It must have been a mistake.” But no, the guy produced a laboratory test clearly showing tubercle bacilli and his lesions. Well, my father was amazed. And then he started to treat skin tuberculosis and it worked! And he couldn’t understand the connection. Anyway, he eventually understood and he decided that it wasn’t just skin tuberculosis. If he could heal that, why not other forms? He started to treat also lung tuberculosis and others. And he was invited by professors in Berlin to demonstrate his work. That’s when he found that the dying lung tuberculosis patients, when he was able to heal them with his diet—and he was able to heal a large percentage which was incurable by the way, and this was before the days of antibiotics—he found that many of them had other problems like asthma and allergies and blood pressure problems and kidney damage and things like that. When he healed their tuberculosis, also all of those problems disappeared. That’s when he parted company with orthodox medicine. That’s when he understood that he was no longer just treating a disease or even healing a disease, but he was helping the body to heal itself. That’s how he then carried on and found that he could heal all the other so-called incurable diseases because he was restoring the body’s ability to heal itself.
Caryn: Yeah, this is really a very, very critical concept that I would like to think our medical community is just starting to embrace, but it’s going to be a long journey before it’s mainstream. It’s true that everything is connected. The name of this show is It’s All About Food because everything is really connected to our food choices and—
Charlotte: And the earth and nature.
Caryn: —and the earth and other species. It’s just all connected. I love the little story you just told at the beginning about the earthworms. There’s so much intelligence in all living beings that we ignore.
Charlotte: That’s right. They know. And because they know, they have survived all these centuries and we are not doing so well in that department.
Caryn: That’s right. But you are doing very well. I’ve seen some videos of you, and you’re very vibrant and your eyes are crystal-clear and very articulate. You’re going to be eighty-eight very soon?
Charlotte: Yes, in a few weeks.
Caryn: Yeah. Well. I wish you a very happy birthday when that happens.
Charlotte: Well thank you.
Caryn: So then you grew up in this—
Charlotte: I grew up in a vegetarian, salt-free home.
Caryn: How was that for you as a child, because no one else was doing that?
Charlotte: No problem. There were other kids to play with. One didn’t go out so much. One didn’t spend nights at friends’ homes and things like that. It wasn’t really a problem then in my home. Later on it became a problem when we had to leave Germany and so on. It was a different story.
Caryn: Yeah. That’s a whole another story. I imagine it would make a very compelling movie.
Charlotte: Yes it did. It would. This is the situation. My son, Howard Straus, wrote a very excellent biography of my father’s life. Most interesting because it spans two world wars, and his discovery of the earth and the soil and the healing mechanism, and he shows very clearly how bit by piece, Dr. Gerson built on what he had found out and expanded and was able then to heal the so-called incurable diseases, including terminal cancers. That’s the important point. The body can be made to heal with the right nutrients. But you see Caryn, and you’re pointing out that it will be very difficult for the mainstream to accept this because, very simply, they can’t make money on it. It’s natural.
Caryn: That’s right. We’re going to get right to that. I just wanted to mention too that your father focused in on this important information at a time when the health crisis wasn’t even where it is today. Things have only gotten worse. People may not have been eating well when he started developing his program. But we’re eating more processed food, more junk food, more salt, more processed fats.
Charlotte: Absolutely. It’s much worse. And then there are much worse substances that are poisoning our earth and it all started with DDT, which was only widely used in the middle of World War II in 1943 when they started to spread all this toxic stuff on the earth and poisoned… Dr. Gerson pointed out where, after only about eighteen months of DDT use, it was so widespread it was found in beef, it was found in butter and milk, it was found even in mother’s milk! That’s what we are facing nowadays. More and more and more drugs and chemicals and poisons. When I first arrived in this country with my family, I was only thirteen, fourteen years old, and I remember distinctly—you know that time in those years when you are that age, you remember numbers—I remember distinctly street corner, great big poster saying, “one person in fourteen dies of cancer.” Well you know what it is today. We’re very close to one in three.
Caryn: Yeah. Oh sure, everybody’s got it. Pretty much. It’s like hearing about the common cold now when people say, “Guess what, I was just diagnosed with cancer.” It’s all around us and it is totally unnecessary. At least for most of them.
Charlotte: Yes. And it is reversible. This is something orthodox medicine says is incurable. We can make you comfortable and kill the symptoms and with drugs they just poison the body more.
Caryn: Well, we’re going to talk about the Gerson Therapy. But when you talk about the word “curing,” I was just thinking about this before we started this show, that maybe the word “cure” isn’t what we want. We don’t want to talk about cures because you can fix a particular health problem, but if you don’t stay on a certain path, anything can come back. So a cure is kind of a dynamic thing, and unless you’re always continually nourishing your body and taking care of your body, that’s the only way to really stay on there.
Charlotte: Well, you really should do that.
Caryn: Right. But you could be “cured,” but then some point later a problem can return if you’re not—
Charlotte: Well why did it come in the first place?
Caryn: Yeah. Because of toxins and deficient nutrients.
Charlotte: You were not born with a disease, very, very, very rarely.
Caryn: Unfortunately, children are born more now with diseases too because the parents are diseased and what they’re nourished with all through pregnancy is littered.
Charlotte: That’s true. Yes, it’s very bad. Like when eighteen months after DDT was introduced, this was in 1945, we are now raising the second and third generation of children who are already in utero who are already poisoned with DDT worse, much worse because the bugs developed a resistance to DDT and they have to keep making more toxic, more highly poisoned materials to kill the bugs. But our bodies don’t—they’re much too complex. They don’t adjust to this poisoning.
Caryn: Right. So you decided to become a nurse.
Charlotte: I’m not a nurse, no.
Caryn: Oh. I thought I read that you were a nurse.
Charlotte: I would like to possibly call myself a nutritional representative or something like that. I do consulting work on the Gerson Therapy. I don’t have an MD, a PhD, or any other capital letter after my name.
Caryn: Well I know a lot of people that do that don’t know anything about curing or healing, so the letters don’t mean very much. But. What does mean a lot is walking the walk, and talking the talk, and living what you talk about, and seeing the results.
Caryn: Okay. So let’s talk about what it is. The magic behind the Gerson Therapy.
Charlotte: Well, the magic is going back to nature. Using clean food and clean air and clean water so that we don’t poison the body. When we are giving the body good, healthy nutrients, it functions! It’s very simple. It functions. I just recently— My daughter pointed me to a—my daughter lives in Italy and she ran across this article. It’s called epigenetics. They are now showing an idea that is not actually new. Often the so-called new ideas are just revived old ideas. It shows that even genes that supposedly are cast in concrete and if you had the genes, then that was that. No! Even genes can be altered with the right diet or with different diets. It started with the bees to prove it. The queen bee lays thousands of eggs. Virtually all of them develop into sexless workers, worker bees. Except a few. They are coming from the same bee, from the same genetic structure, but the few that are specially fed different nutrients turn into other queen bees that lay eggs. Now how come? That’s the beginning.
Caryn: That’s brilliant. I’d heard of this, but I’d never heard of it that way. And the light goes on. That’s brilliant.
Charlotte: That’s right. Now, the other thing is that they have proven in animals too. That animals, and definitely of the same litter, definitely of the same parents, and so on. If you separate them and feed some real good, nutritious, clean food and the others—the so-called lab child—chemicalized junk, the well-fed ones are healthier, have better dispositions, have resistance to disease even though they are bred for disease, while the others go downhill and die. That’s called epigenetics, and this is new. It is possible to influence the genes.
Caryn: This is really very important information. Personally I believe in meditation and communicating with ourselves. I haven’t looked into epigenetics, but what I do understand is that things are not set in stone and we do have the ability to change things. The power is amazing that we haven’t tapped into. But so many people feel that their genetic makeup is such that their fate is already predetermined.
Charlotte: Yes, well that’s what this epigenetics disproves. It’s not necessarily predetermined. And/or, let’s say nowadays many women are told that their mothers and sisters and aunts and grandmothers had cancer, so they’re likely to get cancer. Not necessarily so. That’s what we are trying to health-wise prove, now that there is scientific research in this area and proof.
Caryn: So the Gerson Institute. You have one particular place or a number of places that offer this therapy?
Charlotte: Well, let me please first distinguish. The Gerson Institute is located in San Diego, and all we do is we field lots and lots of requests for books and information and DVDs on nutrition and health and healing and all of that, and we help the patients understand what they’re doing and so on. But that’s not a clinic. The clinic, the Gerson Therapy hospital, is located in Mexico because there are laws against it in the U.S. There are actually laws that forbid healing.
Caryn: Oh my. Because you can’t treat an illness with food because then it would have to be classified as a drug.
Charlotte: Well yes, but that’s not the way it was stated. The way at the time when Laetrile came on the scene, they started to make a law that anybody who treats or diagnosed or works with cancer with anything except radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy is a felon. These are laws! Is a felon! Goes to jail! Loses his license!
Charlotte: And pays a $10,000 fine. So you cannot—you are not allowed to heal with a nutritional therapy. You cannot treat with it in California. Now some people have managed to circumvent the law, but it used to be absolutely airtight. That’s why the clinic is located in Mexico. The Gerson Institute, it just distributes information, similar to EarthSave and to John Robbins. They distribute information and help people understand how to heal their bodies or where to go. There’s also now a Gerson Therapy Clinic in Hungary. That was opened by a patient who, twenty-eight years ago, had spreading melanoma and the doctors told her she had six months at most.
Caryn: I love those stories.
Charlotte: So she started the Gerson Therapy and has been very well healed, and I dare use the word cured because she’s very much alive and well. Also in her eighties. She not only helped me write the book—she’s a wonderful editor—but she also set up the Gerson Clinic in Hungary. She’s a born native Hungarian, and after she had recovered from her deadly melanoma she went and lectured a lot in Hungary. There are several doctors in Hungary who came to the Mexican clinic, themselves suffering of cancer. So we healed them first. They’re now very able to help other patients. I understand that this clinic is only open a little over a year. They’re already recovered pancreatic cancer patients like we show.
Caryn: Wow. Oh, I love to hear this. So if a person is diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer or a terrible illness and they want to go take advantage of the Gerson Clinic, what happens?
Charlotte: They call the Gerson Institute. They provide them with their latest tests: their MRIs or X-rays or biopsies or surgeries or whatever. They provide the latest tests. Those are sent to the doctors in Mexico. If the doctors feel that these people can be helped. They’re not too, too, too far gone. If they can be helped, they’re accepted at the clinic. Please. Too far gone. This is a different concept for different people because the people who finally come to the Gerson Therapy have usually gone through their doctor first when they have symptoms, and they have received treatments like surgery and often unfortunately chemotherapy and radiation. They have recurrences and they have been told they’re dying. So we get virtually 100% dying terminal patients. And we have fantastic results.
Caryn: And what happens? My understanding is it’s a vegetarian diet with a lot of juicing. What’s the regimen at the clinic?
Charlotte: Well, the basic understanding has to be there first. Of course my father guided the way. He found that all chronic degenerative disease is really caused by two major problems. The two major problems are toxicity and deficiency. Both of which depend on the soil and of course the air and the pollution as well. Since the patients are so seriously poisoned by the pesticides and fungicides and food chemicals and the air and the water and fluoride and cosmetics and all of those things, they have to be detoxified. And, since they’re so seriously deficient because the food is so seriously damaged, they have to be hyper-nourished. That’s not the way orthodox people understand nutrition with animal products. Actually, of course not. But that’s what we use. We use all organic, vegetarian, fresh, living, not processed foods. So everything is fresh, vegetarian, organic, and those materials—especially like carrots and apples and salad greens—they’re made into juice. These terminally ill patients very often come, they have little or no appetite, they’re nauseated, and when we help to first give them some juice and detoxify them with our now famous coffee enemas, they start to eat. They start to drink. They get a fresh glass of juice every hour, which means ten to twelve glasses of juice a day, plus! They’re now being detoxified. Their enzymes are working, their stomach enzymes are working, they have appetite, they can eat! They eat three full vegetarian meals!
Caryn: Yeah, I was reading one of the websites. At all the food, I’m thinking, “Oh my God, there’s so much food here!”
Charlotte: Yes, it is a lot of food. So actually, what goes into the juices, into the meals, plus they get a fresh fruit plate in their room, they get roughly twenty pounds’ worth of fresh, high-enzyme, high-vitamin nutritious food!
Caryn: Oof. Twenty pounds.
Charlotte: And right away they feel better. Being detoxified, the pain disappears. We can stop the painkillers. Right away their tumors start to shrink, and so on and so forth.
Caryn: That’s interesting because I’ve heard a lot of different people talk about detoxing and often how people may not feel well for a while as they detox because of all the bad things that are coming out. Are you saying there’s less of that in the way that you do it?
Charlotte: Very much less, but some. Usually the first week the patients feel so much better, and they’re tremendously encouraged and they have positive outlook again after being told they’re dying and they really feel better. But then actually the body does start to release a whole lot of junk. And unfortunately that junk has to be released by the liver and gets out through the intestinal tract, which is very long. A little of this poison substances are reabsorbed, and that makes them feel poorly. But usually these so-called healing reactions, or flare-ups, are quite short. They’re only maybe a few hours at first because that’s all the body can muster at first for healing. Later on they’re a day or two. And then they feel so much better after these healing reactions. They don’t last long. Because of the intensive coffee enemas—you may not believe this, but we have to give these patients an enema every four hours.
Caryn: It’s interesting that you brought up coffee enemas. I love the fact that it’s made from a plant, to start with.
Charlotte: Yes, yes. And distilled water. Everything we plant, the coffee is organic and unsprayed and the water that goes with it is distilled and clean and no fluoride. All of it, every little detail matters.
Caryn: What is it about coffee that makes it work so well as an enema?
Charlotte: Well, that’s very interesting. There are several things. It has been shown—we had an Austrian physician come here and he studied this when he went back to Austria—coffee contains several things. For one, interestingly, a lot of potassium. People are so poisoned with sodium, and sodium blocks enzymes so that their bodies can’t function. Everything in the body functions on enzymes. Sodium is an enzyme inhibitor. Being inhibitor, enzyme inhibitor, that’s also definition of poison. Actually, sodium—salt—is poison. The counteraction to sodium is potassium. People are so potassium-depleted because of food preparation and food processing that they have to be restored of potassium. Once that happens they feel better and their colon functions better. So for one thing, coffee beans are extremely high in potassium.
Caryn: I did know that.
Charlotte: That’s important because with excess sodium, muscles cramp. The intestinal tract, you can’t control those muscles; they’re outside our control. If you give enemas to people who are high in sodium, the colon cramps and that can be very uncomfortable. But with the Gerson Therapy where we introduce a great deal of potassium, the cramping disappears.
Caryn: This is really fascinating to me because—and I don’t know if there’s any connection to any of this but—when people have a colonoscopy or have a variety of different intense forms of diagnosis, you have to clear out the whole body and they give you these horribly strong saline solutions made with sodium.
Charlotte: Yes, not only that but because they are so high in sodium, they give you painkillers when you have a colonoscopy. Because they tell you you’re going to have pain, you’re going to cramp. Just for the heck of it one day I decided—I’m on Medicare—I have a colonoscopy. They were going to give me a painkiller. I said, “No, no, no, don’t give me that. I won’t cramp.” And of course I couldn’t explain this while I was lying on that table. Besides, they don’t believe me. But I did not get this painkiller drug and I didn’t cramp of course, because I don’t have sodium in my system. I was born in a sodium-free home. I never, never, never eat salt and eat a lot of potassium. So I did not cramp and that’s the whole proof of it.
Caryn: Now there is some sodium in some plant foods.
Charlotte: But that’s not the only thing that coffee contains. The caffeine is the important substance. It travels by enema. It travels into the part of system directly to the liver and bile and it allows the bile ducts to open. It forces those ducts open and for the bile to discharge the accumulated poisons. That’s how it really works.
Caryn: This is really fascinating. All the people that are coffee lovers out there, now you really know where your coffee should be going.
Charlotte: Yes. Because if you drink it, it changes the thing entirely. If you drink it, the coffee has certain aromatics and it has certain oily substances. That, rather than opening bile ducts—this has all been examined by doctors and all that—instead of opening bile ducts it cramps and spasms them and stops them. So the coffee you drink isn’t going to do the job for you.
Caryn: Okay, so that’s the detoxing portion. Now let’s talk about the deficiencies that people have and how you treat that.
Charlotte: Well, the deficiency is largely first treated with the juices. Of course making a glass of juice from carrots and apples. There are various juices given carrots and apples combination, and always apples because they contain pectin. It makes them highly digestible as well as apples are high in potassium again, which we need, and which the patients’ bodies are so deficient in. The carrots, on the other hand, are extremely high—would you believe—in vegetarian proteins. They provide the protein. That’s not a thing the patients ask, “Well where am I getting my protein?” They’re not getting animal protein, but the carrots are high in proteins and in minerals and in enzymes, and the apples add to that in the potassium. That’s one of the juices we give, five glasses, eight ounces each. We give three glasses of just carrots by themselves, carrot juice. We give four glasses of green juice. The green juice largely consists of green lettuces and a little green chard, a little green pepper, a little red cabbage, and again an apple for digestibility and for potassium. The patients get just one glass of orange citrus juice because it’s an accommodation. The fruit juice is not nearly high enough in nutrients and minerals and enzymes and proteins. But other juices are high in proteins.
Caryn: Right. Oh, this is really very fascinating. And the apple—we can’t say enough, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Charlotte: Yes. You know, this folk wisdom is never very far from the truth.
Caryn: But they have to be organic.
Charlotte: Yes. Everything has to be organic.
Caryn: Everything has to be organic. Now I’m a big proponent of green juice, and I have sixteen ounces of green juice a day. But I’ve been leaving out the apple for the most part, and I think I’m going to start putting them back in because it certainly sweetens it up a little bit.
Charlotte: Caryn, I’m assuming that you’re in pretty good health where you can leave out the apples and your stomach will still handle it without too much trouble.
Caryn: Well, you know my personal history. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about fifteen and then at thirty I became a vegan, and I was on this health path. And then at forty-eight I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Charlotte: Uh-oh. You didn’t get organic food?
Caryn: Well I was eating some, but not intensely. I’ll never really know how it happened. I was a chemical engineer for twenty years, exposed to a lot of chemicals, and I used a lot of tampons when I was a teenager, and I understand there’s a lot of dioxin in tampons.
Charlotte: Not only that, but you know they provide them with extra material so that you bleed longer and harder so that you’ll use the tampons longer.
Caryn: Oh gosh, that was me. I had very long, heavy periods.
Charlotte: Yes, well the tampons will do that.
Caryn: I know that now. I didn’t know that when I was a teenager. I’ve been clean for two-and-a-half years, but one of things that I do is I’m religious about my juicing. I don’t use salt anymore, and my fats are from avocado and raw nuts and seeds.
Charlotte: Yes, but if your water is fluorinated—
Caryn: Oh, no no no no no. I filter distilled and vitalize my water.
Charlotte: Very important. Filters do not remove fluoride. Fluoride is such a tiny molecule, it goes through the filter systems and reverses osmosis and all that. Particularly dangerous are the showers.
Caryn: Are the what?
Charlotte: Showers. Washing. Showers in the morning.
Caryn: Oh yes.
Charlotte: Because obviously you’re naked, nice warm water, your pores open and you absorb huge amounts of fluoride and they block the thyroid gland. With the thyroid gland, they block the immune system. Very, very bad. Very dangerous.
Caryn: Yes. I have a filter on my bathwater as well.
Charlotte: My dear lady, but the filters don’t remove the fluoride. Fluoride goes through filter systems.
Caryn: I don’t think we have fluoride in New York water.
Charlotte: New York system has been fluoridated for thirty years.
Caryn: Oh okay. Well, how do we get it out?
Caryn: So… In the bathroom, you just…
Charlotte: This is a real problem. How do you wash your body? This is what we have to tell our patients, because if they use fluoridated water they do not recover. If they shower in it. They do not recover.
Caryn: Okay. That’s a very interesting point and something that people should be very mindful about.
Charlotte: Absolutely. Okay. The first thing to do is to understand it. Then what you do, you provide yourself preferably with your own little filter system—not filter system, I mean distilling system. You use a gallon of distilled water, warm it, and then put it in a sink or basin and use a sponge bath and/or you buy yourself a camping shower. You fill this up with distilled warm water and then you can take a shower. But other than that, if you shower and bathe in fluoridated water, even with filter systems until the moon comes out, it won’t help you.
Caryn: Well. It’s all connected—
Charlotte: That’s two areas where people are absolutely uninformed. One is salt, sodium. Everybody knows, the public knows and understands that sugar is bad, and it certainly is. I’m not promoting sugar by any means. Absolutely sugar is bad. But nobody tells you that sodium, that salt is a killer.
Caryn: Yeah. I had understood from some of the readings I’ve read by Dr. Joel Fuhrman about avoiding salt and what it can do for blood pressure, but I never understood the connection with cancer.
Charlotte: Cancer cannot grow without sodium. In order to grow and thrive, tumors need three things: animal proteins, fats, and salt.
Caryn: Now, are there any good fats in your opinion?
Charlotte: One. Flaxseed oil.
Caryn: Flaxseed oil.
Charlotte: It’s very high in the omega-3s and very low in the -6s, and it helps to dissolve plaque in the arteries. With the Gerson Therapy you reduce plaque, you reduce high blood pressure, you get rid of age-onset diabetes, which also depends on cholesterol and so on and so forth. That’s when you really deal with the underlying problems. You deal with all the diseases because you help the body function normally.
Caryn: Now I know people come in, and they’re at various different stages and have different symptoms and diseases, but how long does it take for people to start feeling better? Is there like a timeframe when people really feel like they’re healed?
Charlotte: Well, wait a minute, wait a minute. You are asking two different questions there. How long does it take ‘til they feel better? Usually two to seven days. They feel much better. By no means cured.
Charlotte: Okay. Dr. Gerson felt that cancer was the most severely degenerative disease, the most serious disease because it takes the breakdown of the body systems. The most severe breakdown. You see, the body has such powerful defenses—the immune system, the enzyme system, the hormone system, the mineral balances, the liver, the pancreas, and so on. All of these work together that if and when they work, cancer is impossible. I can repeat that. When the body’s defenses are in place and work, cancer is impossible. So in order for cancer to develop you have to damage these systems to a fair extent. Because you can damage them some and have some chronic degenerative problem—not cancer. But when you damage them enough, and only then you’ll get cancer. So you cannot, after a lifetime of ruining your defenses, you cannot cure in a day or two or in a week or two. Dr. Gerson pointed out that you first make the body feel better and able to assimilate all the good nutrients, getting rid of all the poison that’s blocking the tissues and the hormone systems and the organ systems. That takes two years. So to answer your question, to start to feel better can be a matter of hours or days. To start to really, really have your body restored back where your defenses work, really work and work well, and where you can change your diet and not be on a restricted diet, it takes two years.
Caryn: Well it’s really important to understand, and it goes against everything in today’s lifestyle because everything is a sound bite. Everything is a quick fix. Everything is instantaneous, and we’re so unsatisfied when we have to commit to something.
Charlotte: —only about the so-called fun part of it.
Caryn: Excuse me?
Charlotte: Don’t leave the so-called fun part of it. It has to be instantaneous and fun. One of the most dangerous word combinations in the English language is the fun drugs. You have to have drugs to have fun, right? This is terrible.
Caryn: That’s right. It’s true. A lot of people can’t socialize and can’t relax unless they have a drink, an alcoholic beverage or something to make them more interesting.
Charlotte: The street drugs are even worse than alcohol. And the children are taught if you really want to have fun and enjoy, you go to the Big Mac and you get yourself a “fun meal” and you get fun games or toys with it. The worst food they can get.
Caryn: I think we see this because more and more people are depressed and unhappy. This is not a lifestyle that nourishes the body or nourishes the soul, and when you get back to things that’re as nature intended, we’re not only physically healthier, but we’re emotionally healthier.
Charlotte: Oh absolutely.
Caryn: Now I just wanted to ask: how do you feel about grains, whole grains in the diet?
Charlotte: Well, this is a very interesting question because grains are… I do not consider them living nutrients. I consider them dormant. Okay? Like for instance, grains and any dried legumes, also grains, nature’s way to produce food for the next generation when the winter comes and nothing can grow. How do you keep grains and seeds for the next generation? This is most important. Nature endows these grains with an enzyme-inhibiting substance that puts them to sleep. They don’t spoil, but they don’t grow.
Caryn: Yeah. It’s amazing.
Charlotte: They have even taken out of Pharaoh’s tombs, they have found grains in there, and they plant them and they grow.
Charlotte: Okay, so they don’t change until you put them in a moist soil with sunshine and so on. Now. Because they have these so-called enzyme inhibitors, they also as you eat them, they slow down your enzyme systems. They’re not good. They’re not real terribly harmful, but they are damaging to patients whose enzyme systems are already badly damaged and not working well and they don’t digest well, and you don’t want to further slow down and inhibit their digestion with these enzyme systems that are blocked by nature.
Caryn: Right. This makes it harder to absorb nutrients that are going to nourish and strengthen the body.
Charlotte: Yes, and it causes digestive gas and problems and difficulties. So we discourage grains. We even allow a little bit of bread. People miss it. If it’s organic, if it’s salt-free, there is such a thing, there’s a 100% organic salt-free rye available.
Charlotte: That’s passable. It’s a food that we can allow, a little. But we try to cut that down to a minimum because it’s not a living food. It slows digestion and enzyme systems, and we don’t want to do that to patients.
Caryn: Right. What about legumes? Are they okay if they’re soaked?
Charlotte: Same thing, no. Soaking and cooking them, they still contain these enzyme inhibitors. That’s why we also discourage even things like lentils and split peas and chickpeas, you name it.
Caryn: Okay, very interesting. Are you familiar with Celiac disease?
Caryn: Now I know you’re not encouraging the consumption of wheat, but do you have any thoughts about what’s going on with people that—
Charlotte: Same thing as everything else: toxicity and deficiency. They don’t have the enzymes to handle wheat. Basically, you can boil down almost any disease right down to the same two problems.
Caryn: Toxicity and deficiency!
Caryn: That’s brilliant.
Charlotte: For instance, fibromyalgia. It’s nothing but toxicity. We had a young woman who, at sixteen, was barely able to move. She was in so much pain for six years until she accidentally happened to work for a Gerson patient and she was watching his diet and his enemas, and took it for just a few days and she was cured! Just a few days after six years of drugs and pain and misery and agony.
Caryn: The body is amazing. It is really amazing, how much crap we are able to manage is amazing. And then once you take care of it, how it bounces back is just—
Charlotte: So quickly. Well this was a young lady. By the time she was twenty-two, she had suffered six years. To me it’s absolutely a miracle how people even survive to the age of fifty.
Caryn: How do you feel about sprouting?
Charlotte: Oh, that’s a whole different subject again. That’s very different. We had a group of people who were in a setting they call the halfway house. They got all the good nutrients and all the food prepared because they couldn’t go home. They started to read a lot and they decided that sprouting would be a good idea. They’re fresh and living food. But aim number one: do you know that animals do not eat sprouts?
Charlotte: Now why not?
Caryn: Why not?
Charlotte: Okay, let me tell you. So these ladies started to eat sprouts—sunflowers and various sprouts—instead of the nice mixed green salads that we provided for them. Their diseases recurred. We found out later also that if we use sprouts in juices for our patients, they had problems. It was tested. They were laboratory tested, what’s wrong with sprouts? It turned out that the fresh, new living sprouts contain an immature amino acid, a protein substance. That immature amino acid is called L-canavanine. They find that when you feed healthy monkeys like twenty percent lab chow and eighty percent sprouts, they develop lupus.
Charlotte: It turns out that this L-canavanine is a heavy immune suppressant. So don’t touch sprouts. Animals know better. Don’t eat it.
Caryn: I like the concept of paying attention to what animals do in nature as a clue. You don’t have to be a brilliant scientist to figure out what’s really right for us.
Charlotte: What’s right because they survive.
Caryn: That’s right.
Charlotte: Except the domestic animals which we feed the same junk that we eat out of cans and jars and bottles and preserved.
Caryn: And cow’s milk.
Charlotte: And cow’s milk. That’s another thing, milk. There are no animals in nature, once weaned, that drink milk. It’s unnatural.
Caryn: Now, people that come for the Gerson Therapy, they know what they’re getting into before they get there, obviously.
Charlotte: We try to make sure that they do. Because there’s no point in their coming and saying, “Oh I can’t eat this, I won’t eat that, oh enemas, I’m not going to do it. Forget it.” Why have them come? We usually try to make sure that they understand the therapy.
Caryn: Yeah. Well, I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to get well and…
Charlotte: They’re surprised.
Caryn: I know. I talk to people all the time about this, and I tell them, “You can heal. You can be well. You don’t have to have this pain, you don’t have to have this particular whatever you have.” And then they say, “Well, what do I have to do?” You tell them, and they’re not interested. They want their gout, they want their pain, they want their discomfort because they want to have their—
Charlotte: Their fun.
Caryn: The fun. Yeah, I don’t know what’s so much fun about pain.
Charlotte: I know. My son tells a story a coworker doing computer work. A young fellow, thirty, thirty-one, in a wheelchair already with multiple sclerosis. My son asked him, “You want to know how to get rid of it?” “Oh yeah, what can I do?” So he explained to him the diet. This young man answered, “You mean I have to give up my Twinkies?” You know what? He didn’t, and one year later he was dead. You’re going to die for Twinkies?
Caryn: If people only cleaned up their taste buds, they would realize that whole fresh fruits are so much better than Twinkies.
Charlotte: They taste better when they’re organic, especially.
Caryn: Yes, of course. So is there any problem of consuming too many fruits because there’s this sugar feeding cancer connection?
Charlotte: No, no, no. Sugar does not feed cancer. Artificial sugar does, but fruit do not feed cancer. There are a lot of people now who try to make people think that the Gerson Therapy can’t work because carrots are high in sugar. They’re not sugar. They’re complex carbohydrates, which is the natural food for the human body. Now. An all-fruit diet is not advisable because fruit by themselves do not contain enough protein. The protein comes from carrots and vegetables. We do use oatmeal, and it also comes from potatoes and we use a fair amount of potatoes. Those are the vegetables that are also high in protein. But they do have complex carbohydrates. If it were true that you cannot feed cancer patients carrots because the sugar feeds the tumors, then each and every one of our patients would die. So how come they get well?
Caryn: Right. Now, oatmeal is okay?
Charlotte: Oatmeal is okay. It’s a very special grain. We give it once—actually the only grain we use quite extensively—at breakfast.
Caryn: I love oatmeal.
Charlotte: Good. But don’t cook it in fluoridated water.
Caryn: No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. I have my double filter, distilled, vitalized stuff.
Charlotte: Good. Okay.
Caryn: You know, there are things that we can do. They’re really not that difficult. Some people might be listening and think this is very overwhelming. But once you make a decision and incorporate a few simple little changes in your life, it really isn’t difficult. It’s easy to become part of a lifestyle, and the benefits—
Charlotte: The benefits are incredible.
Caryn: —are incredible.
Charlotte: I fight for my health every day. I fix only my own food and never go in a restaurant because they use a lot of MSG and they use various other spices and they use depleted, damaged food and goodness knows what.
Caryn: And salt.
Charlotte: Yeah. I never, if I go into a supermarket to buy something, I buy toilet paper. I don’t buy food there. I go into a special store that has all the organic food I want and need, and that’s where— And I fix my own food. I make sure I have my own juices, I have my own soup—the special Gerson soup—and I have fresh, huge bowls of salad. I don’t settle for a little dish of salad. And also some cooked vegetables for variety and for variety of trace minerals.
Caryn: Do you see any positive changes in society?
Charlotte: Tremendous changes. We have run this Mexican clinic now for about thirty-five years. There are DVDs available and they are very plentiful. The public is snapping them up. They want to know because they see that with orthodox medicine they get drugs and drugs and they get more drugs and their loved ones die with their cancer treatments. Their neighbors and their friends, they die with all the supposed best cancer, chemo, and radiation and it doesn’t work. They suffer and on and on. So the public is hungry for this information. Also, they want to take charge of their health.
Caryn: Yeah. That’s the only way to heal. You’ll have to take control.
Charlotte: It’s not, “Doctor please help. Doctor please do something to me.” Because doctors die of cancer too.
Caryn: That’s right. Even more frequently, I think, than the public. We’re at the end of the hour, and I really wanted to thank you for taking this time. This information is so important and so powerful. Is there a website people can go to for information?
Charlotte: Yes. www.gerson.org.
Caryn: That’s G-E-R-S-O-N.
Charlotte: That’s correct.
Caryn: Thank you so much. Great. Well have a very happy eighty-eighth birthday coming up, and I hope you live a very long, happy life. You’re doing a wonderful thing. Thank you so much. I’m Caryn Hartglass. You’ve been listening to It’s All About Food. Thanks for joining me.
Transcribed by JC, 2/22/2016
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