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’ theory, cancer requires solid food to survive in the body.
The claims of efficacy are not supported by evidence from clinical trials 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 a potential risk of general malnutrition. As Breuss bans conventional cancer treatment while patients undergo his treatment, there is a risk that patients will discontinue conventional treatment.
Krumwiede K, Wider B, Horneber M, CAM Cancer Consortium. Breuss Cancer Cure [online document], January 16th 2023.
Latest update: January 2023
Next update due: January 2026
Description and background
The core of the Breuss Cancer Cure is a rigid diet consisting of a 42-day fast in combination with special vegetable juices and teas. Additional recommendations are included, e.g. to avoid so-called water veins.
The Austrian Rudolph Breuss (1899-1990) first worked as an electrician and later as a naturopath. He developed the so-called Breuss cure or "Breuss Total cancer Treatment", which he described in his standard work "Cancer - Leukemia and Other Apparently Incurable Diseases, Advice on the Prevention and Treatment of Many Diseases" in 1978; another edition he wrote appeared in 1990 (Breuss 1990). Since his death, further editions have appeared, most recently a "revised new edition" of "Die Breuss-Kur – das Original" in August 2022 (Breuss 2022). Translations into other languages are also available (www.breuss-kur.de); the first translation into English appeared in 1995 (Breuss 1995), the latest was published in 2019 (Breuss 2019). It is unclear to what extent the editors have changed, supplemented or shortened the original statements. For example, the English translation of Breuss's book does not mention his ban on radiotherapy and injections during his treatment (Breuss 1995). Jürgen Thomar wrote further additions in his book "The CANCER CURE according to Rudolf Breuss done right: The official companion book to the cure" (Thomar 2008/2014, Mit der Breuss Kur 2001).
Although the book the “Breuss Cancer Cure” was translated into Chinese, Croatian, English, French, Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbian and Spanish (Breuss 1990, Breuss 1995), no exact data on prevalence of use have been published. Internet searches located several patients reporting their experiences with the treatment (Mit der Breuss Kur 2001, Healing Cancer Naturally 2001, Kroiss-Cancer-Center 2021). Several spa hotels offer Breuss fasting e.g. Vita Natura Klinik 2021, Stilles Haus 2021.
Breuss claimed that he successfully treated more than 2000 patients since 1950. He estimated that since 1986, an additional 40 000 patients with cancer and other “incurable diseases” had been healed by the used of his methods. As proof he cited testimonials and thank-you-letters written in the period from 1971 to 1985 (Breuss 1990, Breuss 1995, Moerman 2004). Breuss claimed that treatment failures could only occur if his instructions were not strictly adhered to (Breuss 1990, Breuss 1995, Moerman 2004). 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” (Breuss 1990).
Applications and dosage
Breuss rigidly stipulated that cancer patients were not allowed to drink or eat anything other than the juices and teas he recommended for a period for 42 days. He gave strict instructions about the preparation and ingestion of specific juices and teas. Juices include beetroot, carrots, celeriac, black radish and potatoes in cases where the patient has been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. All vegetables had to be organically grown and vegetable sediments were to be removed. The maximum ingested amount of juice was 500 ml per day.
Breuss allotted three teas for all types of cancers: "sage tea", "kidney tea" and "cranesbill tea". "Sage tea" includes Salvia officinalis (sage), Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort), Mentha piperita (peppermint) and Melissa officinalis (balm) in a specific ratio. The tea could be taken as desired. "Kidney tea" includes horsetail Equisetum arvense (balm), Urtica dioica(stinging nettle), Polygonum aviculare (knotgrass) and Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort), at a special ratio and to be taken only for the first three weeks. "Cranesbill tea" includes Geranium robertianum (red cranesbill) and only one half cup of cold tea should be ingested per day. For special types of cancer, additional teas are recommended. The use of sugar was not permitted.
In cases of leukemia, patients would have to drink the recommended teas and juices, but could eat anything else with the exception of meat soup, beef, pork and reheated food (Breuss 1990, Moerman 2004) (the English translation mentions beef soup, pork, chemical food additives, burnt food and fats (Breuss 1995).
Breuss further stipulated that patients should not start the Breuss Cancer Cure immediately after surgery, but should wait for at least two to five months. No concurrent treatments were permitted during the treatment. He recommended fresh air and exercise, and smoking should be stopped. Furthermore, the patient should not be lying above so-called “water veins” (sources of ground radiation) and should avoid moth powder, insecticides, aerosol cans or air fresheners in the house. Breuss stated that patients who had completed the Breuss Cancer Cure should never again eat reheated food, but could be allowed to gradually start eating salt-reduced, light food, and should drink approximately 60 ml of the vegetable juice per day for another two to four weeks.
Additional instructions were added in 1987 (Breuss 1990, Breuss 1995): patients should have one or two bowls of onion broth a day (only the liquid). To support the heart, patients should take 20 to 40 drops of Crataegus oxyacantha (hawthorn) tincture. People with diabetes should continue insulin treatment.
Instructions published in 1990 (Breuss 1990): for substitution of calcium and potassium, patients should drink a tea made from Plantago lanceolata (plantain lance), Plantago major (broad-leaved plantain), Cetraria islandica (Iceland moss), Pulmonaria officinalis(lungwort), Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy), Verbascum thapsus (mullein) and Ligusticum mutellina (Meum mutellina herb). Patients with liver or gall bladder problems should drink a broth of bean pods instead of onion broth.
Mechanism of action
Breuss postulated that cancer cells live exclusively on solid foods (“…the only patients that died were patients that were given something to eat.”) (Breuss 1990, Breuss 1995, Moerman 2004). He claimed that cancer cells are not able to feed on vegetable juices and cancer cells die if patients only ingest vegetable juices and special teas for a period of 42 days. Breuss quoted Bruno Vornarburg who said that the carcinogenic process feeds on proteins and that a tumor can not continue to exist if the patient lives on a protein-free diet (Breuss 1990, Breuss 1995, Moerman 2004). Breuss claimed that after a protein-free diet, the body attacks and destroys the tumor like “surgery without a knife”. Breuss believed his intervention was not only a cure, but that it also served preventively against cancer (Breuss 1990, Breuss 1995, Moerman 2004).
Caloric restriction (undernutrition without malnutrition) delays the incidence of various types of tumours and decreases their growth (Berrigan 2002, Leary 2002, Ruggeri 1989, Thompson 2002, Cleary 2007, Pugh 1999, Mai 2003, Zhu 1997, Weindruch 1982, Kritchevsky 2001, Kritchevsky 2002, Tannenbaum 1953, Cheney 1980, Hursting 2003). Tumours can be sensitive and resistant to dietary restriction (Kalaany 2009). 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 (Tomasi 1999, Goodgame 1979, Goodstein 1993, Hikita 1999, Hikita 1997, Premoselli 1996, Sauer 1986, Sauer 1987, Torosian 1986, Laconi 1995, Tessitore 1996).
Legal isues and costs
The juices are produced and promoted by Biotta INC (Biotta 2023). and can be purchased in health food stores, drugstores and over the internet. The required 21 litres cost €185 when purchased online; costs for teas are additional. Spa hotels such as the Stilles Haus in Germany offer the 42-day Breuss Cancer Cure at a cost of EUR 9.537. (Stilles Haus 2023)
A review of cancer diets which included the Breuss Cancer Cure did not identify any clinical evidence. No clinical trials have been published in the peer-reviewed literature and only a description of eight cases is available (Douwes 1984).
The claims of efficacy are not supported by evidence from clinical trials and there are no reliable scientific data to support the claimed mode of action.
Only one small uncontrolled study including eight cancer patients with metastatic diseases has investigated the “Breuss Cancer Cure” (Douwes 1984). The authors reported two complete, and two partial remissions. Furthermore, they state that patients felt better than expected during the intervention and 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. No further studies have been published (Huebner 2014). The case reports found on the Internet (Mit der Breuss Kur 2001, Healing Cancer Naturally 2023, Kroiss-Cancer-Center 2023), lack valid documentation.
There is a lack of published information regarding the safety of the Breuss cancer treatment.
Senn and Jungi reported that the Breuss cure had led to a rapid and dangerous cachexia in several patients (Senn 1979). Douwes et al. observed weight-loss in the range from 9 and 16 kg (Douwes 1984). This reported malnutrition constitutes a substantial risk involved with the Breuss method. Malnutrition has a known negative effect on morbidity, mortality, hospital stay and quality of life for cancer patients (Inui 2002, Zürcher 2002, Maltoni 2005). 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 (Krebskur 1987, Schweizer 1982).
No information published.
No information published.
As Breuss forbade any conventional cancer treatments, patients could potentially be turned away from possibly beneficial conventional cancer treatments.
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