Budwig diet and protocol: tips & frequently asked questions

Budwig Diet FAQ: expert answers to 138 frequently asked questions

Question 37: I find the Budwig diet somewhat monotonous. What is the solution?

Answer 1:
I am surprised that you find the Budwig Diet too restrictive in variety. I believe that it is one of the most liberal, non-restrictive dietary protocols around. The only things it restricts are hydrogenated fats, animal fats, sugar, white flour, preservatives, chemicals, peanuts... did I forget something? Oh yes, meats are best avoided, especially by someone who is very ill. I will not attempt to list the allowed foods as the list is way too long...

The Budwig Diet is similar to the macrobiotic diet, or to diets in cultures and religions where meats are rarely or not at all used. It is all done with the right selection of fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, oils, nuts, herbs and spices. These people would not view it as restrictive.

On a number of occasions I have been a dinner guest at friends who are Seventh Day Adventists. These were festive, all vegetarian, multi-course dinners. I was amazed at the variety of highly delicious foods they came up with. These were memorable experiences. If they had added a flaxseed oil/cottage cheese crème type desert, these meals could have passed as fine examples of meals within the Budwig Diet.

Answer 2:
Dr. Budwig seems to have taken great pains to make her meal suggestions as tasty, varied, appetizing and enjoyable as possible while always using health-and-healing-promoting ingredients & shunning those that are not. This can be clearly seen in her translated cookbook as well as in another one she wrote for the health-conscious housewife, KREBS, EIN FETTPROBLEM [Cancer, A Problem of Fats].

It often seems to be a simple question of first thoroughly educating oneself as to what food and lifestyle items & factors are health-promoting, and then reeducating one's tastebuds and preferences (many/most of which are simply habits acquired via conditioning through upbringing and cultural environment).

For people with cancer the main thing to remember may be to keep closely within the food and meal principles apparent in her translated works (i.e. organic, fresh, un- or little processed, much raw, no preservatives, chemicals etc.) (so as to when in doubt, leave out). But otherwise feel free to explore any natural or raw foods cookbook and get inspired to even create your own recipe combinations. Another habit to acquire (in case you don't have it yet) of course is to prepare your own food.

Anyone having a really hard time getting rid of a sugar and/or other addiction may find helpful suggestions here. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 38: Why does the cookbook allow flax oil many times to be used without cottage cheese although Dr. Budwig states elsewhere that flaxseed oil alone could cause more harm than good?

You are right in that flaxseed oil is used without cottage cheese in some recipes, but these are mainly salad dressings and such recipes where the intake is very low. Don't view flaxseed oil as a poison. It is highly beneficial in fact. The key is in the quantity. Those who are on the Budwig Diet eat a lot of flaxseed oil. So long as the main intake is in the flaxseed oil/cottage cheese [or quark] combination, Dr. Budwig must have thought that small amounts of solo flaxseed oil in certain recipes are not a problem.

Question 39: I thought alcohol was prohibited on the protocol and am puzzled that champagne and wine should be allowed (see Dr. Johanna Budwig: The Practical Implementation of My Oil-Protein Diet and Practical Implementation (II)). Is the beneficial effect due to combining the champagne with flaxseeds? Also, does it have to be organic champagne? And wouldn’t it be preferable to drink the ground flaxseeds stirred into the also-recommended papaya juice?

Answer 1:
Champagne is not only allowed but Dr. Budwig encouraged to drink a glass of it with ground flaxseeds - up to twice a day. That is not necessarily to be taken as a requirement but as an option. I believe it is a sort of elixir for the very ill (indeed, see Dr. Budwig’s Treatment Advice for Very Ill Cancer Patients).

I have not read Dr. Budwig going into the reasons of it in detail. All I know is that she said she was criticised for using Champagne, but that it is used for a serious reason. Yes, I do believe that the flaxseed/Champagne combination is important and yes, I think it should be a good quality Champagne without chemicals and yes, it should be organic if possible, but that may be hard to get.

I cannot answer as to which is better: ground flaxseeds in Champagne or in papaya juice. They obviously have somewhat different purposes. Generally, I personally would opt for ground flaxseed in papaya juice unless things were critical and the extra push that the ground flaxseed/champagne combination apparently gives, would be needed.

[For the description of someone’s attempt at saving the life of his friend, see “Flax oil and champagne for the extremely ill” testimonial in the selected Budwig Diet Testimonies.]

Limited use of alcohol in food preparation is not prohibited in this protocol. Look in Dr. Budwig's Oil-Protein Diet recipe book and you will find some examples of it. Dr. Budwig seemed to be more concerned about the variety and tastiness of her flaxseed oil/cottage cheese recipes than total abstinence from alcohol.

She also allowed a glass of red wine in the evening. This may shock those who are no-carbohydrate purists and who are dead set against any alcohol, but there it is... it's in her books. Who can argue with it, she proved with her successes that her protocol works [Note by HCN: it would be more correct to say that it has worked for a high percentage of those who applied it directly under her supervision].

I personally am not in the habit of using alcohol for drink or in food preparation, but maybe I will give it a try sometimes - in food that is - for variety.

Answer 2 re wine for overcoming sleeplessness and pain:
a The glass of wine that you are allowed to drink before sleeping is meant for this purpose and especially so for people who just cut down their intake of painkiller medications.

Dr. Budwig writes in her book "Fettsyndrom" on page 150 regarding the overcoming of pain and sleeplessness: "Often a glass of wine is more valuable and bio-logically more beneficial than the pill."
(credits: Michael B. of oel-eiweiss-kost.de)

Question 40: What do I do in cases where the liver is affected?

If a patient's liver is affected, they may need to be eased into the Budwig Diet with a transition diet. Dr. Budwig says in her 1977 book "Der Tod des Tumors" (The Death of the Tumor), p. 167:

"In liver and gall bladder disease we first only gave (ground) flaxseeds, i.e. Linomel for several days besides the regular diet. Only after a few days did we begin with the actual Oil/Protein Diet, for instance with 1 tablespoon quark (cottage cheese) mixed with 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil. We then gradually increased (it) depending on the severity of the case and on tolerance. The quick and beneficial effect of the Oil/Protein Diet is especially evident in such sick people."

In her last book (1999) Cancer — The Problem and the Solution, p. 117, Dr. Budwig writes this:

"Diet Instructions to begin the Oil-Protein-Diet
1-3 transition days: in each case as prescribed:
( ) Oatmeal gruel with Linomel mucilage, hourly
( ) Oatmeal soup with Linomel, 3 x daily
( ) 250 g Linomel with juices, as prescribed. Papaya juice is very important. Freshly pressed carrot juice at 10 am.
It must be kept in mind that very ill people are given a warm drink, e.g. green tea or herbal tea, at least 3 x daily. Only honey is used for sweetening. Even severely ill people will tolerate this transition well."

Unfortunately, Dr. Budwig is not around anymore to prescribe the transition diet for specific cases. I doubt that she would have done it anyway without seeing the patient. It is therefore up to the individual to make that choice, as it is indeed to choose whether to go on the Budwig Diet or not in the first place.
More on the transition diet

Question 41: I have read in a book that the flaxseed oil/cottage cheese should be mixed either by hand or with a hand beater, but NOT with a blender. Based on your recommendations I have been using a hand blender to first mix the flaxseed oil/cottage cheese, then add ground flaxseed, fruit, etc., and blend the entire mixture also using the blender. Is there any reason why using the blender to initially blend the flaxseed oil/cottage cheese would be detrimental to the mixture? There's not a signficant amount of heat generated, and it would seem that this simply increases the efficiency of the blending process (compared to hand blending).

The author of this book may have a point although I don't know whether it is of sufficient importance to change. Like most people here, I have been using a Braun hand held electric mixer for years to mix my flaxseed oil/cottage cheese. It works very well and I see no reason compelling enough to change at this point. Those that use this kind of mixer have reported good success with this protocol.

I believe undermixing is no good, i.e. where the oil is not yet fully water soluble, and overmixing is no good either like "I put all ingredients in a blender at high speed for 5 minutes". That to me is beating the dickens out of good food ingredients.

The school of thought that the author is getting at, I believe, is that excessive mechanical agitation of milk proteins can damage them. Mixing by hand will not do that. I am not too sure what kind of damage they are talking about. If I recall correctly, I read somewhere some time ago that cystine can be broken up into cysteine through excessive agitation. I don't know if this is true and I have not found any other sources saying that although I looked for it.

Why would this be considered a negative? Cysteine is what we are looking for in the end anyway. It is because cysteine in its pure form is easily broken up in the digestive tract and would therefore not be available to the cell, whereas the di-peptide cystine safely passes through the digestive tract and is broken up into two cysteine molecules on entering the cell. Cystine is therefore the preferred delivery system of the important protein cysteine.

I am not convinced that this is critical in the Budwig Diet where cysteine is rather tightly bonded with highly unsaturated fatty acids. It is quite likely that this bond will protect the cysteine molecule from being broken up in the digestive process. Perhaps that is one of the unsung reasons why we must mix flaxseed oil/cottage cheese until the oil is water soluble. In any case, besides cysteine in its pure form, most of the sulphur containing proteins in quark and cottage cheese are in the form of cystine and methionine anyway.

Therefore, I am not fully convinced that moderate mechanical mixing will cause "damage" and that this is something to be concerned about when preparing flaxseed oil/cottage cheese. Most people use mechanical mixing with good results - and it is results that count.

Question 42 re yogurt: Did Dr. Budwig actually recommend the use of yogurt in place of cottage cheese/quark?

I have never read that Dr. Budwig recommended or sanctioned the use of yogurt as a suitable substitute for quark in the Budwig Diet. She was adamant on using quark (cottage cheese) right up to publishing her last book in September 1999. That is not to say that she necessarily was opposed to yogurt, she just did not mention it as an option.

I do remain somewhat uneasy about the use of yoghurt in the place of quark. I have imitated how others say they use it, such as "30 turns with a spoon" (not even 200 turns with a spoon would do it right) and beating it with a whisk.

On close observation with a magnifying glass I found that there are still tiny oil specks floating on top. That to me is not mixed enough. The dairy product needs a certain protein density to facilitate complete water solubility of the flaxseed oil. Some yogurts may have it, others don't. Not all yogurts are alike. Some are fortified with powdered milk or something else to raise the protein content.

I am still of the opinion that if you want to use yogurt, strain it to come up with a yogurt quark as described in the following. I do it that way. It works well:

Feeling the pressure for alternatives, especially yogurt, I began some time ago experimenting to make Yogurt Quark. At first it didn't work out well because it didn't drain enough. Later on I tried it again and had great success with it because the yogurt I bought and used as a culture, probably had different bacteria in it.

I read up on it and found that some advances had been made in the selection and combining of bacteria to combat post-acidification. That is a condition where Yogurt becomes more and more acid as it is stored in the refrigerator. Whether this change was the reason for better drainage of whey is not entirely clear to me, but I thought so.

Anyway, since sufficiently drained Yogurt is a type of Quark, and since in my opinion it has all the attributes (low fat, protein quality, quantity and concentration) of German Quark, I believe that it can be used as a substitute for it. Other than that, I see no suitable substitutes.
Compare Vegan Alternatives and for more on how to make simple homemade quark, The basis of Dr. Budwig’s oil-protein diet.

Question 43 re “maintenance dose”: I have been doing the Budwig diet on and off in addition to conventional treatments for Hodgkin's Lymphoma (I feel that I was able to utilize every avenue to try and ensure the defeat of my cancer). A well-known alternative cancer treatment site specifically says that being in remission from conventional therapies you should treat yourself as if you still have cancer. I always planned on starting the purported maintenance dose once I was at the right point. Is that time now or should I still stay with a larger dose of flaxoil? If so for how long?

Answer 1:
First of all, please see Is the Budwig Protocol “just flaxseed oil and cottage cheese”?

When you have changed your eating and lifestyle habits for the better and you are in remission, it makes sense to continue with it. That is also true for the Budwig Protocol. Dr. Roehm said to stick with it for at least 5 years.

A man who was a patient of Dr. Budwig and who was healed of his brain cancer in just a few months (independently verified), is still using the protocol years after. He has no intention of stopping. He may have scaled back a bit, but I don't remember that part very well, I have not spoken with him for several months.

I believe that cutting back somewhat is ok if you know that your cancer is gone. Going all the way back to the [alleged] maintenance level of 1 T flaxseed oil per 100 lb body weight may not be wise. I see it more as a prevention for those that never had cancer than a maintenance after you had cancer. I could be wrong.

Answer 2:
The Budwig “maintenance dose” or level alleged on the English-language internet seems to be pure myth. See How long did Dr. Budwig advise a cancer patient to stay on the “strict” Budwig diet & protocol as laid out in her oil-protein cookbook? (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Also compare Budwig protocol & life energies blockages: on the question why the cancer always/sometimes will come back with a vengeance when the Budwig diet is abandoned (part 1).

Question 44, re flaxoil capsules: is there any danger in just taking flaxoil capsules instead of mixing oil and cottage cheese together?

To answer your question one should look at danger and efficacy.
Regarding danger, Dr. Budwig cautioned against taking flaxseed oil by itself because it could have "the opposite effect". Taking it in capsules is taking the oil by itself except... there is very little flaxseed oil in one capsule.
Regarding efficacy, Dr. Budwig said that flaxseed oil only given in capsules cannot provide an effective tumor therapy.
Therefore the answer is: Stick to flaxseed oil/cottage cheese (or quark).

Question 45: Is this protocol effective with pancreatic and liver cancers?

The Budwig protocol is very effective with pancreatic cancer. There is a man in our self-help group of flaxoil/cottage cheese (quark) users who got the 'all clear' after using the protocol for 7 months for his pancreatic cancer. When I first saw this man he was very ill and there wasn't much hope of recovery. His life has returned to normal and now after almost 2 years, alive and healthy. With pancreatic cancer, you have to start really slowly (start with a teaspoon of oil) and gradually build up.

Monitor [the patient’s] reaction very carefully and if he tolerates the teaspoon of oil well, increase the amount by the teaspoon. This man eats only raw foods and mostly juiced fruits and veggies. Papaya and pineapple are two fruits that need to be taken daily and if they are not available I would most certainly include pancreatic enzymes.

I have his medical records but unfortunately it is not written in English. The terminology is so complicated that I cannot begin to try and translate the whole document. I will copy and paste parts of the medical records for your information:


Contrasted spiral axial CT scans in an arterial and portal venous phase done through the liver, abdomen and pelvis with a collimation of 8mm, pitch of 1.5 and 7mm, reconstructions. 150ml, Ultravist 300 injected 1V1.
The patient had a previous right nephrectomy.
The post-op changes in the region of the right bed within limits
The patient also had a partial pancreatectomy with excision of the pancreas head and with a Whipples by-pass procedure.
The post-op changes appear within limits and no obvious recurrence of the tumor demonstrated.
There is slight prominence of the intra-hepatic biliary duct with pneumatobilia.
No focal liver lesions seen.
No splenomegaly noted.
Due to the pancreatectomy extensive collateral varicose veins present in the abdomen (cavernous transformation).
The aorta, IVC and para-aortic areas are normal and no metroperitoneal lymph adenopathy noted.
There is compensatory hypertrophy of the left kidney.
No focal left renal lesions seen.
No hydronephrosis noted.
The bowel has a normal configuration and no intra-abdominal masses or ascites seen.
The bladder is normal.
The bony elements and abdominal wall appear intact.
Follow-up post right nephrectomy and partial pancreatectomy with a whipples procedure.
Normal post surgical changes present and no signs of tumour recurrence demonstrated.
(credits: AC)

Compare liver cancer and pancreatic cancer healing testimonials in the selected Budwig Diet Testimonies, Anecdotal case history: exclusive Gerson diet therapy leading to full recovery from terminal pancreatic cancer as well as the sensational pancreatic cancer healings reported thanks to the Apán mushroom supplement as well as homeopathy and Fenbendazole treatment.

Question 46: Is there a possible need for the use of supplemental enzymes?

To my mind, this is the golden rule and the reason deciding between success with the Budwig protocol and failure. It is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the protocol - eating as raw as possible and making absolutely sure that enzymes are in abundance. Pineapple and papaya are two excellent foods for this purpose. I also believe probiotics as found in kefir and yoghurt to be important. (credits: AC)
Compare Dr. Johanna Budwig: The Practical Implementation of My Oil-Protein Diet and It’s not what you ingest but what your cells actually absorb.

Question 47: I have read that Dr. Johanna Budwig recommended flax oil enemas. Is this the flax oil/cottage cheese mixture she recommended for this?

Dr. Budwig refers only to flaxseed oil in enemas, not a mixture. She only used flax oil enemas occasionally. After she had developed Eldi Oils in 1968, she used Eldi Oil "R" for enemas, but again only occasionally. Again, nothing was mixed with it.

Also, the cottage cheese would do no good whatsoever as an enema, because its molecules are FAR too big to be absorbed by the alveoli in the intestine. Also, she only did flax oil enemas with clients who were unable to eat the flax oil/cottage cheese (quark) mixture-those clients whose doctors had given up on them.
Anyone healthy enough to eat and to digest food would eat the regular flaxseed oil/cottage cheese mixture. (credits in addition to Wilhelm H.: Elliot Y.)
See Eldi oil and oil enemas for details.

Question 48: I have been faithfully applying the recommendations and have been progressing towards being cancer- (or more precisely tumor-)free, but my body, the immune system ... has not completed the circle. Why has it stopped halfway and not completely rid the cancer? Must I wait another 3-6 months? That’s ok as long as I know, but I don't. This is why these alternative methods are not consistent. If Budwig works why did the healing process stop. I haven't changed anything?

Answer 1:
I'm sorry that I can't give you any answers, but I can give you some questions to think about that might lead you to some new discoveries.

What exactly are you eating/drinking? Is everything organic? If you have an illness, everything that goes into your mouth should be organic.

Is the water you are drinking pure, without chemicals? Are you under a lot of stress? Do you have unresolved emotional issues? Are you harboring bad feeling towards someone? Do you suffer from depression?

What are you putting on your skin? Do you use cosmetics, perfume, body cream, etc? Everything that you put on your skin is absorbed. If you wouldn't ingest dyes and artificial ingredients, you also shouldn't be putting them on your skin.

Perfumes are toxic. Air fresheners are toxic. Household cleaners are toxic. Everything you come in contact with should be toxin-free.

Have you figured out why you got cancer? I think that's a really important aspect to healing. I can remember feeling something very bad happening inside of me. I know that extreme stress and unresolved emotional trauma is what lowered my immune system and caused the lump on my neck. I am in therapy and learning how to adjust my emotions. It's so hard, but doing so is worth my life.

I'm not saying that any of these things apply to you. I'm just giving you info that I'm learning in my own natural healing studies. It's about more than what we put into our mouths and onto our bodies. It's about what we put into our minds and our hearts and what we need to purge from our minds and our hearts.

The body can [often] only heal if the heart, mind and soul also heal. They all work together for our good or our own demise. You must be doing something right to have achieved shrinkage of your lumps. Now you just need to figure out that missing piece. Blessings, Cheryl. (credits: Cheryl MacConnell)
Compare Tumor enlargement (tumor growth) after adopting the Budwig diet, Detoxification, Causes of Cancer, Healing Cancer & Your Mind, Emotions & Cancer Healing and Spirituality.

Answer 2 re tumors:
Eminent holistic cancer treatment researcher Lothar Hirneise says that generally speaking it's not the tumor(s) that are the problem (unless they impact directly on a vital organ and/or function). Only "metastasizing" can be considered a problem (but which many have shown to be solvable).

To quote Clifton Leaf in his 2004 Fortune Magazine article Why We’re Losing The War on Cancer [and How to Win It], "In the end, it is not localized tumors that kill people with cancer; it is the process of metastasis—an incredible 90% of the time." That is also the reason why "tumor response" stressed by conventional oncologists can be quite irrelevant: what truly matters is to prevent metastases because that is what people generally die from, not the tumors.

In fact there are experiments that show that tumors serve as "septic tanks" or detoxification factories which absorb uneliminated surplus toxins and thus keep them out of the general circulation where they w/could do harm. That's why Lothar Hirneise goes so far as to call a tumor a solution, not a problem. A pertinent quote:

"A tumor is the body's solution to a problem. A tumor forms because someone is no longer producing adrenaline, which is needed to break down sugar. An excess of sugar is dangerous, so the body produces tumors. Tumors ferment - burn - sugar. They also use a lot of energy - sugar - due to the fast division of cells. That's why some tumors grow so fast. Cancer cells function like liver cells, only much more efficiently.

So the tumour helps you to rid your body of poisons. Without the tumor you would be really ill. I always tell people: 'The tumor is not your problem. A tumor is an incredibly ingenious solution on the part of the body.' When you get healthy, the tumor disappears on its own, which is why you shouldn't immediately operate to remove it. First detoxify yourself. If the tumor continues to grow - which is almost never the case - you can always operate later."

The one problem a tumor does represent is the fact that it robs its host of energy (sugar) which could lead to the person carrying the tumor to eventually die of cachexia. In fact a tumor cell takes up 18 times the amount of sugar than a normal cell.

To counteract this energy drain and loss, Hirneise suggests three things: (1) high energy organic nutrition as provided by Dr. Johanna Budwig’s oil-protein diet, by a raw food diet or by freshly squeezed juices (for Hirneise and others, food is essentially pure light, compare Light: Eating the Wild Electron), (2) daylight (to be regularly sought quite independent of weather conditions and whether the sun is shining or not) and (3) Eldi oils.

In fact, daylight can be of decisive help in turning around desperate cases, see Dr. Budwig’s Treatment Advice for Very Ill Cancer Patients.

I highly recommend reading Lothar Hirneise’s holistic cancer guide book Chemotherapy Heals Cancer and The World Is Flat.

Additionally, make sure to check your living space for EMFs and geopathic stress, and take remedial action. A number of researchers claim that the number one cause of today's rising cancer incidence is electromagnetic and other invisible pollution, see e.g. Studies on electromagnetic fields and radiation (EMFs/EMRs) & cancer risk. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Answer 3 adding some more esoteric ideas to the picture...:
While the following may contain a number of concepts you are quite unfamiliar with, I would suggest giving them some time and thought to see if anything inside you does resonate with them, helping you to see a larger picture of your problem and find its solution...

Perhaps you are doing healing work on other parts of your being... perhaps your "higher self" doesn't want you to be fully physically healed yet...

Maybe by developing this dis-ease, your higher quest or deeper soul purpose hidden behind was and is learning about ALL facets of health and life so you can serve others by helping them achieve the same...

Perhaps there are unexplored parts of your life and inner attitudes which get in the way...

If I were you, I would continue learning all I can about all aspects of healing that humans are currently aware of (with most areas still needing to be properly discovered in my opinion, particularly the underlying energetic aspects)...

So have you thought of looking into your inner emotions and attitudes, possible past lives (see for instance Breast Cancer Healing), unresolved traumas...

A highly recommended tool to address and often successfully deal with any emotional issues is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), see Introduction to EFT: Healing Mind and Body By Reestablishing Healthy Energetic Flow.

A somewhat similar technique which, like EFT, is also DIYable is called The Emotion Code and also most worthwhile checking out, as are Donna Eden's amazing energy healing books teaching how to treat yourself via your energy system and circuits.

Above all, have you asked whomever invisible agents of good or love and light you trust and believe in to help you see the entire truth and picture, or a larger perspective, of your present situation?

You can ask this kind of question before opening a book on healing and request to be guided to the page(s) containing answers for you. You can ask for guidance when going to sleep and may receive revelations from/in your dreams.

A wonderful and very simple tool is Requesting most benevolent outcomes. You may also find it helpful to consult medical intuitives, “divinatory” cards, or to meditate (see e.g. the Deep Meditation for Healing CD (by a woman who died of cancer - but came back, healed), pray etc.

Be careful of overfocussing on what you perceive as lacking in your life. Nearly everyone has much to be grateful for (typically things taken for granted). Gratitude apparently is a very healing emotion in itself. Also it may be beneficial for some to focus more on serving others and less on oneself.

Last but not least, always try to see yourself as healed and healthy - the mind can be MOST powerful to heal or make ill. If you’d like to read more concise food for thought and meditation, here are inspirational quotes and thoughts for cancer patients on a healing quest. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

complete list of questions here

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For the most comprehensive and authoritative English-language coverage worldwide of the oil-protein diet & protocol developed by Dr. Johanna Budwig, see

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