Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels for nerve signaling. Some sodium is needed in your body to regulate fluids and blood pressure, and to keep muscles and nerves running smoothly.
Without appropriate amounts of sodium, your body may have a difficult time cooling down after intense exercise or activity. When the body is hot, you sweat. If you do not have enough sodium, your body may not sweat as much and you may then become overheated. This could then result in a stroke, exhaustion and dehydration.
Sodium is an energy carrier. It is also responsible for sending messages from the brain to muscles through the nervous system so that muscles move on command. When you want to move your arm or contract any muscle in your body, your brain sends a message to a sodium molecule that passes it to a potassium molecule and then back to a sodium molecule etc., etc., until it gets to its final destination and the muscle contracts. This is known as the sodium-potassium ion exchange. Therefore, without sodium, you would never be able to move any part of your body.
Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine. Most of the sodium in the body (about 85%) is found in blood and lymph fluid. Sodium levels in the body are partly controlled by a hormone called aldosterone, which is made by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone levels determine whether the kidneys hold sodium in the body or pass it into the urine.
Thus I was very disappointed to hear Dr. Max Gerson’s daughter Charlotte Gerson saying, “That sodium is never good, never in any form!” I really have put Gerson in the best light in my writings and his organization does hold the high ground for organic raw juicing but there are some things they say that have no grounding in medical science or clinical reality. Talk to Dr. David Brownstein and he will tell you that often the first thing a patient needs is water and salt but its real salt not table salt he is talking about and prescribing for his patients.
An essential component of Gerson’s cancer therapy is the use of a low Na, high K diet. Dr. Freeman Cope wrote, “The high potassium, low sodium diet of the Gerson therapy has been observed experimentally to cure many cases of advanced cancer in man, but the reason was not clear. Recent studies from the laboratory of Ling indicate that high potassium, low sodium environments can partially return damaged cell proteins to their normal undamaged configuration. Therefore, the damage in other tissues, induced by toxins and breakdown products from cancer, is probably partly repaired by the Gerson therapy through this mechanism.”
“The Gerson cancer therapy is an integrated set of medical treatments which has cured many cases of advanced cancer in man. It was developed empirically by Gerson in the course of 30 years of clinical experimentation. Essentially, he tried many variations and combinations of treatments on cancer patients, always retaining that which was successful and discarding that which was not. Gradually he evolved an integrated pattern of treatment which cured many cases of advanced cancer, 50 of which are described in clinical detail in his book,” continues Dr. Freeman Cope.
This is all correct but does not help a person much from one day to the next, not to mention from one minute to the next, which emergency room and intensive care doctors have to deal with. Also it is obvious from the Gerson diet that it is not all sodium but high amounts of sodium that are frowned upon by Gerson as low amounts of sodium come naturally from just about any kind of diet even that of raw foods. I think Charlotte got a little ahead of herself saying no sodium in any form because fruits and vegetables have sodium. If we took her literally we would have to exclude fruits and vegetables but that is obviously not what she meant.
Using sodium bicarbonate to brush ones teeth or use it as an emergency room medicine or as a quick and very inexpensive cancer treatment with the power to affect the body’s alkalinity in the same positive direction in days that it would take weeks and months to get to with raw foods is simply good medicine. And it does not send up sodium or blood pressure levels because it is not the type of sodium (sodium chloride) that we have to be careful about. Refined table salt is harmful in high amounts and should be replaced with unrefined Real Salt, Celtic Salt or Himalayan salt.
I like the work of Dr. Max Gerson but I find it more useful in principle than in practice. It is quite elitist in that it demands finances for two years of sustained full time therapy consuming almost all of one’s time and energy, when you think of the five enemas and 13 juices you need to make yourself each day. There is expensive equipment and special training and is quite restrictive in almost every sense. Obviously it is not for everyone.
In the week or two it takes to set everything up for starting the Gerson program one can already have changed their pH significantly with baking soda. Adding in the power of magnesium, iodine and selenium and even some cannabinoid medicine is not a central part of the Gerson protocol but it is with Natural Allopathic Medicine. I imagine poor Charlotte would get stroke if someone suggested drinking pure seawater as a medicine.
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