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April 11, 2013
By Brian Martell


April 11, 2013 – Coffee, the beloved beverage of Brian Martell (and many others), has been known to offer health benefits. Brian's a coffee enthusiast, but as he writes in his latest blog, he prefers to reap the benefits of the beverage the traditional way.

April 11, 2013 – Many years ago, Stuart Daw, the founder of Heritage Coffee, came across a news item that just seemed so strange us both that we couldn’t even fathom picking up our pens and writing an article about it; it seemed too indelicate. The news piece, reported from Shanghai, said there was a growing trend in China that saw a marked increase in coffee consumption . . . as an enema. The idea still seems quite bizarre, however, on second glance, there is more to the story than just the squeamish initial response. The first time this idea arose was almost 100 years ago by a German scientist named Dr. Max Gerson. Gerson was looking for ways to treat the untreatable scourge of cancer. His theory was that caffeine had a direct impact on the bile ducts of the liver, dilating them to a larger degree than normal and thus allowing the liver to work more efficiently in what it naturally does: removing toxins from the body. The fastest way to get caffeine into the liver was through the small intestines; meaning that while you and I may love the taste of coffee, the way it was to be administered was as far from our taste buds as possible while still being connected to our digestive tracts. Gerson’s treatment initially was for TB, but he noticed that as he refined the therapy (heavily weighted on a very strict diet, including a total departure from animal protein and other verboten foods high in fat), cancer patients responded well, especially those who were told their situation was hopeless.

The established medical profession, specifically the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States, cautions against the Gerson Therapy, saying it is an unproven treatment or a treatment with no proven benefit. Indeed, there has been much caution raised by various medical associations, but there definitely has been a lack of will to do any type of clinical study to see in either the Gerson Therapy holistically, or if the severed part of the therapy (coffee enemas) has benefit. The studies that have been done have been dismissed by the NCI as non-conclusive and needing more research —– although, the retrospective studies (after the fact) on cancer patients indicated that they did live longer than the average patient with the same affliction. Anecdotally, the Internet is full of testimonials, videos, articles and books attesting to the virtue of this therapy for those who are suffering from cancer. Not quite equal in fervor are those articles cautioning the risks of the therapy. Understandably, those who are afflicted and are facing grim prospects may look to any solution that would see their lives improve, regardless of what the medical establishment has to say. Beyond coffee enemas, the regime devised by Dr. Gerson is quite demanding and requires a high degree of discipline. Those following it must not only follow a strict vegetarian diet, but must also consume 13 juices a day and refrain from using certain spices in their food. Also, there are quite a few pre-qualifiers to assure the patient will not be harmed by the therapy.

While Dr. Gerson enthusiastically advocated in favour of coffee enemas, he was quite negative on consuming it in the more traditional way. I’ll continue to be a big coffee fan, although as far as Dr. Gerson is concerned, it will be backwards.


Comments, questions, feedback? Let’s start a dialogue. Please e-mail Brian at, or leave a comment below. 

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