In a post debunking the supposed cancer cure-all “Matthew 4 Protocol”, more than one person has left a comment singing the praises of two other protocols: the “Budwig protocol” and “Gerson therapy,” both proclaimed to rid the body of cancer. “Anna” writes:
“Gerson therapy and Budwig protocol check out Tamara St John’s testimony, she too had endstage breast cancer/ believing Gods word for you concerning healing.”
“Budwig and Gerson diets may also help according to numerous cancer winners.”
I don’t doubt that these people are meaning to be helpful, and they’re surely not alone. Charlotte Gerson, for one, sells a book titled “The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses.” Bill Bodri includes the Budwig protocol as one of his “Super Cancer Fighters: Proven Natural Remedies” in the book he sells online.
What’s all the hub-bub about? What are the Gerson and Budwig “cancer cures”? Is there really convincing evidence behind them?
Fortunately, the National Cancer Institute maintains an exhaustive information pages regarding “Gerson therapy”, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center keeps a thorough watch on the “Budwig protocol.” Here’s what they are, and here’s the systematic evidence regarding their effectiveness:
“Gerson therapy” involves drinking 13 glasses of juice a day and taking multivitamins and a cocktail of other supplements like flaxseed oil. Then there are the coffee enemas. There have been no clinical trials to document the effectiveness of “Gerson therapy.”
The “Budwig protocol” is a diet plan involving flaxseed oil and cottage cheese plus, yes, coffee enemas. You know what I’m going to say: there have been no clinical trials that document the effectiveness of the “Budwig protocol.”
On the other hand, there are documented cases of people being killed by coffee enemas.
From a scientific point of view, there is no convincing evidence that “Gerson therapy” or the “Budwig protocol” do anything to stop cancer. If you believe that scientific evidence through clinical trials provides “convincing evidence,” this should pretty much answer your question.
If, on the other hand, you prioritize stories about someone’s uncle’s mother shared by people you don’t know on the internet, you might decide that Gerson-Budwig-Coffee-Cottage-Cheese therapies are really “convincing evidence” after all.
The popularity of the Gerson-Budwig coffee-enema treatments, even though there is no scientific proof they do anything to help with cancer, is a testament to the power of rumor over systematic observation in our culture. It’s understandable that such rumors can be fueled by desperation and a need for hope, but false hopes are perhaps more cruel than no information at all.