Dr. Gerson’s Green Juice
Many of my Gerson patients will add various “greens” that they have read about to their green juice. Bit by bit they keep sneaking ones in, particularly when ingredients may be difficult to get hold of, and it isn’t until I do a check or inadvertently ask an innocent question that I discover that the Gerson green juice is no longer the medication that it was designed to be. We have to remember that on the Gerson Therapy the food and the juices are the medication and that failure to take all the foods in their correct quantities or according to the recipes is akin to changing the medication. This is also true for the Hippocrates soup. This soup is to the kidneys what the coffee enema is to the liver. It is the high natural sodium content in the Hippocrates soup which supports kidney detoxification. This soup is tremendously beneficial to anyone with kidney stress, pain or infection and I have treated many with these symptoms successfully just with the soup.
So back to the recipes.
Dr. Gerson’s Green Juice Recipe
Dr. Gerson recommended that one procured as many of the various kinds of leaves as possible from his selected list and to use no others. His list included: lettuce, Swiss chard, endive, escarole (a variety of endive, but less bitter), romaine (cos lettuce), watercress, beet tops (young inner leaves), red cabbage, green capsicum (green pepper) and sprouts of seeds and grains. You can see that this list does not contain members of the brassica family (other than red cabbage), nor does it contain celery. So the list is quite specific. You may note with interest that Dr. Gerson allowed the juicing of sprouts of seeds and grains. These are no longer permitted as they have been found to cause immune deficiencies, particularly in those with an autoimmune component to their condition, due to the high level of the immature amino acid, L-canavanine.Many of these vegetables, particularly those that are bitter (such as endives) have a specific action on the liver, and beet tops, which are high in betaine, will stimulate many of the liver detoxification pathways. The actual beetroot does not fulfill this. Dr. Gerson regarded beetroot to be too high in sugar when juiced (it is allowed cooked or grated raw in salads) and it will not fulfill the same function as the beet tops in stimulating the liver.The more variety that you can get from the list supplied, then the greater range of nutrients you will provide the body. However, it is not always possible to get all the ingredients and as such, it is important not to substitute with vegetables that aren’t on the list or create a mix that is too strong and too bitter which could make you nauseous. The rule of thumb is that if your green juice looks anything but green (i.e. brown or dark red) then you will have the wrong proportions. To be on the safe side, use the recipe below until you get used to what your juice should look and taste like.
1 small wedge red cabbage (@ 70g)
1/4 green capsicum (@ 35g)
1 leaf endive
1 leaf chard or young silver beet
2 leaves beet tops
2 sprigs watercress
large handful of cos, green or red leaf lettuce (not iceberg)
1 medium green apple, cored
Explanation of the juice recipe: we use predominantly red or green lettuce (not iceberg) for the bulk of the green juicing, to which we add ¼ green capsicum, a thin wedge red cabbage (no greater than 1cm at its widest), 2 springs of watercress (if you can get or grow this), 1 apple and then just a few young dark green leaves which may be a mix of the ones in the recipe – chard, silver beet, beet tops, endive. If we cannot get any of the recommended vegetables then we do not substitute with others but stick to the ones we can get which will generally be the 4 staples of the green juice: green apple, red or green lettuce, red cabbage and green capsicum and hopefully a dark green leaf.
Why some vegetables are preferred and why some are avoided:
Celery: has a poor potassium/sodium ratio of around 3.25 whereas most vegetables have a ratio between 5 and 10. This means 5-10 parts of potassium to sodium. The juices need to have a high potassium ratio, amplified with the additional potassium salts. The juices are a medicine, taken hourly to flush the cells and allow potassium to gain entry into the cells in order to dislodge the sodium. Sodium inside the cell will suppress oxidation and lead to changes in the conditions at cell level which do not support healing. Therefore, as a medicine, it is important not to disturb the mineral balance by adding vegetables that would reduce this capacity for flushing and cleansing.
The brassica family
(broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, mustard, kale, turnips) are goitrogenic which means that they interfere with the production of thyroid hormone by inhibiting the uptake of iodine by the gland. They can induce hypothyroidism in those predisposed or borderline. However, these vegetables, when cooked, do not have the same goitrogenic capacity. Cooking for 30 minutes significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens. Red cabbage is, however, used in the juices due to its added nutritional benefits. It contains up to four times the amount of phytonutrients than green cabbage, such as the anthocyanin polyphenols, and 6-8 times more vitamin C than green cabbage. The “red” colour of the cabbage is due to its high content of the anthocyanin polyphenols. On the Gerson therapy where we are looking to support thyroid function, it would be counter-productive to include goitrogenic vegetables in juicing, and one should be careful to remain within the guidelines for the red cabbage. Here is a useful link for the health benefits of cabbage
Vegetables high in oxalic acid: Most vegetables contain varying amounts of oxalic acid which is lost with cooking. Oxalic acid, in high amounts, can interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium and it also interferes with the uptake of iron from vegetable sources (non-heme iron). So although foods, such as spinach and parsley, may be very high in iron and calcium, they are also high in oxalic acid which will reduce the bioavailability of these two minerals. Therefore, it is best not to juice vegetables high in oxalic acid (such as spinach and parsley), and stay with the ones recommended and in the quantities prescribed for the Gerson green juice. Cooking these foods will get round the problem of nutrient availability as heat destroys oxalic acid. Oxalic acid may also aggravate certain health conditions, such as kidney stone formation and gout. If you have a high uric acid or are predisposed to either of these conditions, then be mindful about juicing these vegetables. Here are a couple of websites which you may find useful:
Green apples: the green apples are sourer than the red variety; and the sourer they are the better for juicing purposes. Sour apples are higher in potassium malate and higher in pectin (good for chelating heavy metals), they can also extract higher amounts of nutrients from the pulped vegetables due to their higher acidity, so you end up with a more nutrient-rich juice. Dr Gerson added three potassium salts to the juices: potassium acetate, potassium gluconate and potassium mono-phosphate. He did not add potassium malate as the green apples delivered sufficient amounts of this potassium salt. The combination of these four specific potassium salts encouraged a faster elimination of sodium and toxins from the cells and sped up the detoxification and healing process. In colder climates cooking apples may by used, such as the Bramley apple.
Dr.Gerson spent 6 years and 300 experiments perfecting the potassium blend to achieve the results he was looking for. He also spent many years experimenting with the exact blend of vegetables for the green juice to fulfill the criteria of his program. The green juice, in addition to supporting cellular detoxification, will also build the blood and support liver detoxification. It will also support the bones being high in both calcium and vitamin K. If you get the recipe wrong then you could risk ending up with a sodium-rich juice that will oppose the potassium shift, a juice that may suppress the thyroid or inhibit the uptake of valuable nutrients such as calcium, iron and magnesium.
Use the following vegetables and cover with water. Do not peel any of these vegetables, just wash and scrub well. Cook slowly for 3 hours and then put through a food mill (mouli) in small quantities. Discard the fibres. The soup should be no thicker than a thin cream that can be drunk from a mug. You may keep it in refrigerator but store for no longer than two days. Using a blender to puree the soup is not acceptable as the aim is to remove all the insoluble fibre so that the soup functions like a juice in its capacity to aid kidney detoxification. You will find that if you make the soup in this way that you can drink it with your lunch without it filling you up and you should be able to eat the required amount of vegetables at both lunch and evening meal. Follow this YouTube
link to see how to make it.
1 medium celery knob (or 3-4 stalks of celery stalks).
1 medium parsley root (use parsley if not available)
2 small leeks
2 medium onions
A little parsley
Garlic as desired
These links will be helpful for those following, or interested in, the Gerson Therapy®
Resource Guide for those following the Gerson Therapy®
CFS – Chronic Yin Deficiency
This last posting explains how you rebuild your “capital”, a fundamental process in healing.