Breuss Cancer Cure - CAM-Cancer

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"CAM-Cancer" is the name of a project entitled "Concerted Action for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Assessment in the Cancer Field" (CAM-Cancer). Originally funded by the European Commission (EC) within the
Framework 5 Programme, it is now hosted by the National Information Center for Complementary and Alternative
Medicine (NIFAB) at the University of Tromsø, Norway.

Written by K Krumwiede and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated November 16, 2009

Breuss Cancer Cure
The core of the Breuss Cancer Cure is a rigid diet, which consists of a 42-day fast in
combination with special vegetable juices and teas. Additional recommendations are included,
for instance, to avoid so-called water veins. According to Breuss’s theory, cancer requires
solid food to survive in the body.

The claims of efficacy are not supported by acceptable evidence and there are no reliable
scientific data to support the claimed mode of action.

It is likely that the recommended fast could be dangerous for cancer patients because there is
the risk of general malnutrition. As Breuss bans conventional cancer treatment while patients
undergo his juice cure, there is the danger that patients will discontinue their conventional
treatment if they use his methods.

Scientific examinations of the benefits and risks of Breuss Cancer Cure are lacking.

   The Breuss Cancer Cure includes a 42-day fast in combination with special vegetable
    juices and teas.
   There is no acceptable evidence to support the Bruess Cancer Cure as a cancer treatment.
   The fast could cause malnutrition and patients are advised to discontinue conventional
    cancer treatment.

What is the Breuss Cancer Cure?
Rudolph Breuss was born in Austria in 1899. First he worked as an electrician, then as a
naturopath. He developed the Breuss Cancer Cure or Breuss Total Cancer Treatment [1, 2, 3].
Breuss died in 1990. [4]


Breuss postulated that cancer cells live exclusively on solid foods (“…the only patients that
died were patients that were given something to eat.”) [1, 2, 3]. He claimed that cancer cells
are not able to feed upon vegetable juices and the cancers die if patients ingest only vegetable
juices and special teas for 42 days. Breuss quoted Bruno Vornarburg who said that the
carcinogenic process was fed by proteins and that if there are no proteins in food, the tumor is
unable to survive [1, 2, 3]. Furthermore, Breuss claimed that after a diet free of proteins, the
body attacks and destroys the tumor like an “operation without knife”. Breuss also believed
his intervention was not only a cure but also a protection against cancer. [1, 2, 3]


The treatment is described in three books written by Breuss [1, 2, 3], but it is not clear
whether the publishers have changed, added or left out original statements. For example, the
English translation of Breuss’ book does not mention that he did not allow radiation treatment
and injections during his cure [2]. Further amendments were written by Thomar [5, 6].

Breuss rigidly stipulated that cancer patients are not allowed to drink or eat anything other
than his juices and teas for 42 days. He gave strict instructions about the preparation and
taking of the juices and teas. Juices include beetroot, carrots, celeriac, black radish and
potatoes if the patient has liver cancer. All vegetables used have to be organically grown and
sediments of the vegetables must be removed. The maximum ingested amount of juice is 500
ml per day.

Breuss allotted three teas for all types of cancers: sage tea, kidney tea and cranesbill tea. Sage
tea includes sage (Salvia officinalis), St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), peppermint
(Mentha piperita) and balm (Melissa officinalis) in a special ratio. It could be taken when
desired. Kidney tea includes horsetail (Equisetum arvense), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica),
knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare) and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), in a special
ratio and must be taken only for the first three weeks. Cranesbill tea includes red cranesbill
(Geranium robertianum) and only one half cup of cold tea should be ingested per day. For
special types of cancer, additional teas are recommended. All teas have to be taken without

For leukemia, Breuss stated that the patient had to drink the teas and juices but could eat
everything except for meat soup, beef, pork and reheated food [1, 3] (the English translation
mentions beef soup, pork, chemical food additives, burnt food and fats [2]).

Breuss further stipulated that patients can not start the Breuss Cancer Cure immediately after
surgery, but have to wait at least two to five months. No concurrent treatments are allowed
during the treatment. He recommended fresh air and exercise and that smoking should be
stopped. Furthermore, the patient must not sleep above so-called “water veins” (sources of
ground radiation) and should avoid moth powder, insecticides, sprays or air fresheners in the
house. Breuss claimed that patients who had completed the Breuss Cancer Cure should never
again eat reheated food but should be allowed to gradually start eating salt-reduced, light food
and to drink approximately 60 ml of the vegetable juice per day for a further two to four

Additional instructions were added in 1987 [1, 2]: patients should take one or two bowls of
onion broth a day (only the liquid). To support the heart, patients should take 20 to 40 drops
of hawthorn tincture (Crataegus oxyacantha). People with diabetes should continue insulin

Additional instructions were added in 1990 [1]: for substitution of calcium and potassium,
patients should drink a tea made from plantain lance (Plantago lanceolata), broad-leaved
plantain (Plantago major), Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica), lungwort (Pulmonaria
officinalis), ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and Meum
mutellina herb (Ligusticum mutellina). Patients with liver or gall bladder problems should
drink a broth of bean pods instead of onion broth.

Claims of efficacy

Breuss claimed, that since 1950 he has successfully treated more than, 2000 patients. He
estimates that since 1986, a further 40,000 patients with cancer and other “incurably sick
persons” have been healed through his methods. As proof he cited testimonials and letters of
thanks from the years 1971 to 1985 [1, 2, 3]. Breuss claimed that treatment failures could only
occur if his instructions were not followed strictly [1, 2, 3]. He believed that about one million
people could be healed, “if the so-called cancer research and the orthodox medicine would be
with me instead against me” [1].

Prevalence of use

Although the book the “Breuss Cancer Cure” was translated into Chinese, Croatian, English,
French, Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbian and Spanish [1, 2], no exact data on
prevalence of use have been published. Internet searches located several patients reporting
their experiences with the treatment [6, 7, 8, 9], and an internet homepage reported 95516
visitors between August 2004 and the beginning of November 2009 [6]. The Internet search
also found one physician [10] and two spa hotels [11] offering the Breuss treatment.


The juices are produced and promoted by Biotta INC. [12]. The juices can be bought in health
food stores, drugstores and over the internet. The required 21 litres cost between €89 and
€122. The costs for the teas are additional. Spa hotels offer the Breuss Cancer Cure for
between approximately €2600 to €4700 and more [10].

Does the Breuss Cancer Cure work?
Clinical trials

There is only one small clinical trial – involving 8 cancer patients with metastatic diseases –
that has investigated the “Breuss Cancer Cure” [13]. The study did not use a control group.
The authors reported two complete, and two partial remissions and that the patients felt better
than expected during the intervention and had experienced less pain. During the trial, one
patient died, and two died shortly after completion of the trial. The authors did not attribute
the deaths to the intervention. The authors suggested that if that trial was designed as a
conventional phase-1-study, it would produce results showing Breuss to be an effective
treatment with minor toxicity for patients with advanced cancer.

Case reports

Jungi stated, without presenting data, that tumors usually become smaller during a fast but
after resuming the consumption of nutrition, they grow more quickly [14]. Pfortmueller has
made similar statements but also without presenting empirical data [15].
The case reports found on the Internet, [6, 7, 8, 9] lack valid documentation.

Animal studies

Caloric restriction (undernutrition without malnutrition) delays the incidence of various types
of tumors and decreases their growth [16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29].
Tumors can be sensitive and resistant to dietary restriction [30]. Starvation (fasting) is a form
of malnutrition. It has no beneficial effects on tumor growth, but tumor growth might be
stimulated during an acute fast [31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41].

Is the Breuss Cancer Cure safe?
There is a lack of published information regarding the safety of the Breuss cancer treatment.
Senn and Jungi reported several patients in whom the Breuss cure had led to a rapid and
dangerous cachexia [42]. Douwes et al observed weight-loss of between 9 and 16 kg [13].
This reported malnutrition is a substantial risk of the Breuss method. Malnutrition has a
known negative effect on morbidity, mortality, hospital stay and quality of life of cancer
patients [43, 44, 45]. The “Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Onkologie” and the
“Schweizerische Krebsliga” published documentation on the Breuss cure in which they
referred to the publication of Senn and Jungi and advised against the method [46, 47]. As
Breuss forbade any conventional cancer treatments, patients could potentially be turned away
from possibly beneficial conventional cancer treatments.


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The present documentation has been compiled by the CAM-CANCER Project with all due
care and expert knowledge. However, the CAM-CANCER Project provide no assurance,
guarantee or promise with regard to the correctness, accuracy, up-to-date status or
completeness of the information it contains. This information is designed for health
professionals. Readers are strongly advised to discuss this information with their physician.
Accordingly, the CAM-CANCER Project shall not be liable for damage or loss caused
because anyone relies on the information it contains.