Dr. Johanna Budwig’s Diet & Protocol

Budwig diet and protocol: tips and frequently asked questions

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Written by Healing Cancer Naturally based on 14 of Dr. Budwig’s original works & other sources.

Question 88: Using hempseed oil instead of flax oil: "I would like to start the Budwig protocol for stage IV ER+/PR+ breast cancer and was told to avoid flax oil. Might hempseed oil work just as well?

It is possible that hemp seed oil is indeed ideal for a healthy person due to its particular essential fatty acid distribution. According to Wikipedia, hempseed oil is comprised of c. 80% essential fatty acids (EFAs) of which omega-6 (linoleic acid/LA) constitute 55% and omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid/ALA) 22%. Additionally hempseed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, another omega-6 fatty acid) at 1–4% and stearidonic acid (SDA, another omega-3 fatty acid) at 0–2%. A clinical study published in the European Journal of Nutrition 45(8):470-7 in 2006* has demonstrated that daily ingestion of flaxseed oil decreased the body's own production of GLA while regular hempseed oil intake showed no side effect such as developing a deficiency or other imbalance of EFAs.

The disadvantages of hempseed oil are its high price and the fact that according to Dr. Budwig, it is "off limits" for cancer patients since this group of persons require a high percentage of omega-3s in their total EFA intake. After years of flaxseed oil use, the (too) low omega-6 level apparently does lead to deficiencies, the effects of which are "ridiculous" however when compared to those of cancer.

For people not affected by cancer, Michael of the German Budwig site oel-eiweiss-kost.de recommends mixing flax oil with sunflower oil at a ratio of 1:1 which shifts the omega-6 level in the right direction (though not quite into the range considered optimum).

Also compare Are there flaxseed oil substitutes for treating cancer?.

* Schwab, Callaway, Erkkilä, Gynther, Uusitupa, Järvinen. Effects of hempseed and flaxseed oils on the profile of serum lipids, serum total and lipoprotein lipid concentrations and haemostatic.

(credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 89: Intravenous vitamin c therapy/undergoing chemotherapy while on the Budwig diet:
"My wife has Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage 4 brain cancer and has been on the Budwig Protocol for about a month. For about the last week she's up to 3 tablespoons of flax oil twice a day and we are starting to see some beneficial results. We now have the opportunity to obtain for my wife Vitamin C infusions (IVC). We were thinking of perhaps getting my wife IVC treatments and then she would go back to the Budwig Protocol for good. Is this bad and are there any known negative effects from someone going off the Budwig and temporarily going onto the Vitamin C infusions

Michael of the German Budwig site oel-eiweiss-kost.de writes that there is no conceivable reason why you shouldn't continue with the Budwig diet while doing the vitamin C. While it is true that Dr Budwig writes that concentrated antioxidants can/do interfere with the efficacy of her diet, the reverse may not apply. On the other hand, a site visitor planning to undergo vitamin C treatment mentioned that "research points to getting rid of anything in addition to the Vitamin C that prolongs clotting time" (flax oil is a known blood-thinner, see I am on the Budwig diet and am suffering from swelling and weakness in my arm after blood test/excessive bleeding after an operation) and so decided to eliminate the Budwig diet for a while before and after.

Regarding combining chemotherapy with the Budwig diet, while Dr. Budwig (as well as other naturopathic schools) are strictly against using it (for the reasons see Why alternatives?), the Budwig diet should only assist the body in better coping with its toxic onslaught (and various anecdotal reports point to this indeed being the case).

Re the potential dangers of going off the Budwig diet, 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: oel-eiweiss-kost.de and Healing Cancer Naturally)

Compare Vitamin C as adjuvant therapy? and When can other therapies such as vitamin C high-dose infusions, Ukrain, Galvanotherapy make sense with the Budwig protocol?.

Question 90: I don't understand the Oleolux. It is very tasty, but I thought Budwig said the flax oil has to be mixed with protein to be effective. Why is it mixed with coconut fat in the Oleolox?

No, not protein but sulphurated amino acids. In the oleolux recipe, these sulfurated amino acids are provided by the onions and garlic. The fatty acids contained in coconut have their own numerous health values. Oleolux is meant as a butter substitute.

Question 91: What is the purpose of the sauerkraut juice apart from providing vigorous facial exercise? Is drinking saurkraut juice mandatory even if I juice several times a day?

Remember that Dr. Budwig's states in her (yet untranslated) book Der Tod des Tumors, Vol. 2, p. 145, chapter heading "The practical implementation of my oil-protein diet": "The day starts with a glass of [Eden*] sauerkraut juice." The one reason for the sauerkraut juice she states is the following (p. 143): "Due to its high lactic acid content, sauerkraut juice facilitates the permeation of fats into areas where there were previously blockages in the metabolism of fats."

Dr. Budwig knew of the work of German physician Dr. Dr. Johannes Kuhl who devised an entire frequently successful anti-cancer diet (see Lactic-acid-fermented food treatment for cancer according to Dr. Dr. Johannes Kuhl: dramatic cure testimonials) revolving around foods high in lactic acid content, and she seems to have agreed with some of his findings. Generally probiotics such as lactic acid as abundantly found in fermented foods are credited with a number of beneficial effects on health such as improving the immune system and preventing colon cancer, see On the Benefits, Advantages & Health Effects of Probiotics and Lactic Acid Bacteria.

Additionally, the brassica (cabbage) family of vegetables is well-known for its anti-cancer potency, see Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables & cancer risk and Brassica family prevents pre-cancerous cells turning into potentially deadly cancer cells.

Healing Cancer Naturally advises the liberal addition of lactic-acid-fermented foods and drinks in the diet to further enhance your chances of healing. Judging by Dr. Dr. Kuhl's successes with cancer patients, the fact that the Budwig diet prescribes daily ingestion of quark (cottage cheese) and sauerkraut juice both of which are lactic-acid fermented foods may be one of the decisive reasons for its effects. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

* Eden refers to the company Eden-Waren D-36088 Hünfeld, Germany, www.eden.de, not to any other company based outside of Germany which may bear a similar name. Any organic high-quality sauerkraut juice would be ok however, and you can even easily make your own.

Question 92: Which cottage cheese is better used in Dr Budwig's FO/CC diet, organic high fat or non-organic low fat? I cannot find anywhere in my country (UK) a source of ORGANIC LOW FAT cottage cheese.I have found some ORGANIC cottage cheese locally but it has 4,2% fat per 100g rather than 1% or 2%. I can, of course, get NON-ORGANIC low fat cottage cheese. Which would be the better option?

Personally, I would always opt for organic, since non-organic is likely to be polluted with all manner of toxins and also carries the negative energy of the way the animals are treated (also see Why use organic dairy in the Budwig diet?). Since low fat content however was Dr. Budwig's recommendation, it may be best to make your own low-fat organic yoghurt or curdled milk quark which is very easy to do. You don't even need a yoghurt maker, a warmish spot will do, see The basis of Dr. Budwig’s oil-protein diet: how to make the flaxseed oil plus cottage cheese/quark mixture & how to make simple homemade quark. On the other hand, to my knowledge Allan of dramatic colon cancer victory fame used full fat organic milk as the basis for his home-made kefir quark.

You can also use organic ricotta instead of cottage cheese which may be easier to find. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 93: Nausea: I have been using a flaxseed oil reputed to be high quality but my stomach didn't tolerate it so well, so I cut the dose in half. I still experience nausea from it.

Yes, nausea can happen in the beginning, this is why Dr. Budwig insisted on starting a sick person on her diet by observing several transition days, see Dr. Johanna Budwig: The Practical Implementation of My Oil-Protein Diet. You may wish to try even smaller doses and make sure to follow the full protocol which includes a glass of sauerkraut juice first thing in the morning as well as freshly ground flaxseeds etc. An important consideration is always to chew well, don't gulp but allow whatever you eat or drink to be throughly mixed with saliva before swallowing. Should you still feel nauseous, have a look at Tips, Suggestions & Testimonials on How to Overcome Dairy/Cottage Cheese/Lactose Intolerance and Sensitivity and Tips on how to deal with nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy which may also contain useful info for you. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 94: Can I overdose on quark/flax oil?

Neither I nor the maker of the German Budwig site oel-eiweiss-kost.de have ever heard of an overdose of quark/flax oil. Dr Budwig just repeated that in one's daily diet, the ratio of amino acids to fats had to be correct. The one rare exception where even the normal dose becomes an overdose can be found at Developing dry cracked skin, joint pains etc. on the Budwig diet. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 95: Can I use ricotta instead of cottage cheese or quark as the source of sulphurated amino acids?

Yes, but as with quark or cottage cheese, get organic if at all available (see Why organic dairy).

Ricotta is an Italian "cheese" product produced from milk whey. While normal cheese is typically made by coagulating casein, ricotta is made by the coagulation of other milk proteins such as albumin and globulin which makes it safe to eat for persons with casein intolerance.

As a source of sulphurated amino acids, ricotta compares with cottage cheese or quark since it has a similar composition. Ricotta is also very low-fat and as a reader told me, in Australia organic ricotta is much more widely available, including supermarkets, than low-fat organic cottage cheese or quark.

Compare Can Fromage Blanc be used instead of cottage cheese (or quark)?. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 96: What is the exact dosage for the Budwig blend for people of different weight and height? What if I am petite and can only finish half the amount because my stomach is very small?

For practical reasons, Dr Budwig seems to have indicated a standard dose only (see e.g. Instructions For Making the Budwig Linomel Breakfast Muesli) and probably adjusted it occasionally when personally consulted.

Since 60 kilograms = 132.28 pounds could be considered an average weight, if yours hovers around that number I would stick with the standard recommendation. Generally, an indication that you require more or less than the standard dose could be a feeling of satiety or lack thereof after your meals.

If your weight is clearly below average and you feel full before being able to finish your meal, you should be able to use slightly less. It would seem preferable however to reduce the amount of fruit, nuts etc. added rather than the amount of flax oil/cottage cheese since there is virtually no known overdose (see Can I overdose on quark/flax oil?).

After all, it's the omega-3s which are the most important bits, with the other ingredients adding value but not of the same central significance in Dr Budwig's approach. Also, once you get used to these amounts, you may wish to try increasing to the standard dosage (stomachs do both shrink and expand according to use). Incidentally, a feeling of satiety can come both from some of yesterday's evening meal still lingering in the stomach and the freshly ground flaxseed which absorbs water and swells.

Last but not least, someone's reported that after "ramping up the flax seed oil to 6 tablespoons of flax seed oil, cancer is melting away in me", so there may be benefits in trying to up the dosage. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 97: How do I tell when flaxseed oil is rancid (or starts to go rancid)? I understand that rancid flax oil is dangerous. Besides using a quality company, is there any way to test visually or by smell or some other way if the flaxseed oil has gone bad before one mixes it?

Fresh flax oil typically has little smell. When it smells fishy, paint-like or "strong", then apparently some of it has gone rancid. Taste-wise, bitterness would indicate a degree of rancidity.

I once had the occasion to smell and eat superfresh Demeter flax oil shipped in violet-black glass and it actually smelled of hay or flowers, but that was exceptionally high quality (furnished by the Swiss quality company www.naturkraftwerke.de. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Compare How do I keep flax oil fresh?

Question 98: I don't live in a Western country, and our culture often uses different foods than those found in Dr. Budwig's cookbook. Can I adjust the recipes accordingly?

It is true that while the non-food aspects of the Budwig protocol are the same all over, the food aspect will require slight adjustments depending on where you live in the world. The important thing is to faithfully stick to the basic rules plus

1 use only fresh, organic food without pesticides and other contaminants

2 use food as unprocessed as possible, and

3 additionally (inferring from the "freshness" principle), it would seem best to eat things mostly in season and locally produced instead of green-picked and from far away.

With some creativity, you should find it easy to turn the traditional dishes of your area into "Budwig-compliant" dishes. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 99: Is it all right to use yogurt in place of milk in the preparation of the breakfast musli? Or does the addition of milk in the muesli actually affect the effectiveness of the cottage cheese/flax oil mixture?

While not mentioned by Dr. Budwig, using yoghurt in lieu of milk seems to be perfectly fine. The addition of milk appears to be meant simply to allow easier blending. If you do use yoghurt, it would be best to use probiotic yoghurt. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 100: Is the basic flax oil/cottage cheese (or quark) mixture enough? Or must one have the ground flaxseeds in order to gain maximum benefits?

While it is true that there are a number of cancer cure reports apparently achieved just using the basic flax oil/cottage cheese mix, Dr. Budwig insisted that ground flaxseed must be added to the breakfast muesli. Flaxseeds provide lignans and other substances found to be therapeutic.
Compare Research Studies on Animals & Humans into the Effects of Flaxseed and Flaxseed Components (Lignan, Lignan Precursors & Oil) on Cancer and Tumor Growth(credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 101: I'm ambivalent about the addition of dried fruit to the breakfast muesli, as this clashes with food combining rules.

It is true that Dr. Budwig's dietary advice did not include food combining rules according to Dr. Hay (as well as Edgar Cayce).

If you feel more comfortable by omitting dried fruit, you don't have to add these items to the breakfast muesli since they are meant for flavouring as well. But if you want to follow Dr. Budwig's advice, have fruit at some other time in the day since generally, Dr Budwig advises consuming fruit.

As a general rule it can be said that food is best digested when it is well chewed, enjoyed, not mixing more than say three different items in one meal and eaten in amounts that the person can handle.

Compare On food & supplement absorption, intestinal flora, cancer and immune system: it’s not what you ingest, but what you properly absorb as well as Dr. F.X. Mayr’s research into the link between nutrition, dietary habits, intestinal/digestive function and overall health & beauty. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 102 re substituting Linomel[1] with freshly ground flaxseeds in the breakfast muesli: why does Dr. Budwig suggest the 2:1 ratio, i.e. 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds for 2 tablespoons of Linomel?

With Linomel containing honey and some milk powder in addition to ground flaxseed the ground flaxseed is somewhat compacted during manufacturing. Furthermore, Dr. Budwig mentions using thin-shelled flaxseeds in the production of Linomel. So it seems that one gets more flaxseed with each tablespoon of Linomel than one gets with flaxseed that has been freshly ground, hence Dr. Budwig's instructions to double the amount. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 103 Is honey added to the breakfast muesli for taste reasons or does it enhance the therapeutic effect of the Budwig Diet?

When talking about Linomel[1], Dr Budwig mentions that honey protects the ground flaxseed from oxidation, so that's why it is added immediately during manufacturing. When you grind your own flaxseed, it is swiftly immersed into the flaxoil cottage cheese mix so there seems to be little requirement for additional protection via honey. None of her books appears to mention any particular therapeutic benefit of natural honey (although there are a great number of them including antibacterial activity, see Treating Cancerous Tumors with Pure Raw Honey Packs which includes scientific studies into natural honey as a medical and anticancer treatment). Dr. Budwig simply advises using honey as a healthy replacement for sugar. Whenever possible use only raw organic honey. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 104: If cell oxygenation is a major factor of how the flaxoil/cottage cheese mix works then would adding something like "Cell Food" or germanium, both of which increase oxygenation, help improve the bio-oxygenation?


According to Dr. Budwig, you have to look out for concentrated antioxidants, see Can supplemental antioxidants interfere with the Budwig protocol?. Since CellFood is described as a free radical scavenger (powerful antioxidant) it would thus not be an advisable adjunct to the Budwig diet.

Re the taking of germanium as an isolated substance, it is likely that Dr. Budwig would recommend taking natural sources of germanium such as garlic, marine phytoplankton and particularly seaweed, an all-time favourite for mineral and trace element supplementation regarding cost-effectiveness and balanced mineral spectrum. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 105: What about antioxidants that work intra-cellularly, e.g. using carnitine to improve using fats for cell energy or CoQ10 to improve electron transport chain function, which could be fantastic as it might work with the increased cellular oxygen transport from the flaxoil/cottage cheese mix?


Since both carnitine and CoQ10 act as antioxidants, Dr Budwig is sure to have advised using natural food sources of these substances exclusively. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 105: Should I shake the bottle of flaxseed oil before use?


The answer is an emphatic NO. Flaxseed oil is extremely sensitive to oxygen and rancidity and by shaking it, air is whirled into the oil promoting rancidity. So no matter what you may read on this matter on whatever website admonishing you to shake the flaxseed oil bottle before use, this is wrong and dangerous advice. Do not shake the bottle, ever. Presumably, this erroneous piece of advice was born at the same time as the (falsely) recommended use of flax oil with added lignans.

In fact, avoiding ingress of air is so important that cancer researcher Lothar Hirneise, Dr. Budwig's sole pupil, advises to always store the flax oil botte in an upright position to minimize exposure to air. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 106: To make oleolux, are there alternatives to garlic and onions?


Garlic and onions are particularly rich in sulfurated amino acids which bind with the omega-3s in the flax oil, stabilising them and making them more easily available to the cells. In her books written for cancer patients, Dr Budwig prescribes the use of garlic and onions as the source of sulphurated amino acids.

In her (as yet untranslated) book Fettfibel ("Fat Primer") which was not specifically written for people with cancer, Dr Budwig writes that in place of the two "double bond protectors" garlic and onions one may also use foods such as walnuts, hazelnuts or even rolled oats as the source of sulfurated amino acids.

She notes the following sample recipe: 250 g of coconut fat and c. 100 g of onions or 50 g of walnuts or 50 g rolled oats (large flakes) or 50 g whole buckwheat are heated until the ingredients start browning. Do not overheat or allow the protein carriers onion, rolled oats, nuts etc. to burn (roasted peanuts are inappropriate). Continue as in the oleolux recipe.

Since in her books specifically addressed to cancer patients Dr Budwig specified garlic and onion, it seems clear that she preferred this option for sick people. Also garlic, onion and other Allium vegetables have shown anti-cancer benefits in themselves.

So it would seem advisable to only use the above-mentioned alternatives when there are serious reasons to not use garlic and onion. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 107: Which sweeteners are allowed in the Budwig diet and are more recently developed natural sweeteners such as agave syrup compatible?


Dr Budwig recommends high-quality honey, dates, figs, and grape juice for sweetening. Since there were fruit concentrates available in her day such as apple butter and she didn't recommend any of them, it seems safe to assume that she wouldn't recommend agave syrup and similar fruit concentrates either.

Interestingly, raw honey has helped to heal cancer, see Treating Cancerous Tumors with Pure Raw Honey Packs and grapes have numerous anti-cancer benefits, see Research studies: anti-cancer effect of resveratrol, pterostilbene and grapeseed extract. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 108: Is spelt bread compatible with the Budwig diet?


Since Dr Budwig generally allows whole grain bread, whole spelt bread would be ok with her. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Question 109: Can the Budwig protocol be combined with medicinal mushrooms?


Medicinal mushrooms such as coriolus, cordiceps and agaricus are credited with various therapeutic benefits including assisting the body's immune system. While Johanna Budwig did not specifically mention this combination therapy in her books, medicinal mushrooms would be one of the items Dr. Budwig would happily endorse as long as they are taken whole, or processed into a supplement based on the whole organically grown plant dried at low temperatures (such quality mushroom powders are offered for instance by the German company mycovital.de). Generally most any medicinal herb of high quality would be considered a beneficial addition to the diet, see On Complementary Therapies & Treatment Modalities Compatible with Dr. Budwig’s Protocol. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

Compare Are medicinal mushroom powders and extracts compatible with the Budwig protocol?

Question 110: Can I take a vitamin B12 supplement on the Budwig protocol or would it interfere with its effects?


Since the Budwig Diet is conceived as a long-term vegetarian diet, followers should indeed look into supplementation with vitamin B12 since they are at risk of developing a B12 deficiency eventually. To be sure to actually absorb the vitamin B12, use methylcobalamin lozenges rather than e.g. nutritional yeast fortified with vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 should be safe to supplement with since it does not count among the "officially recognised" antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E and beta carotene) even though cobalamins are intracellular antioxidants "in vitro". If you wish to be on the safest side (although I don't consider this necessary), simply suck the lozenges as far away from your last or next flax oil/cottage cheese meal as possible. (credits: Healing Cancer Naturally)

continue to next question


1 Linomel is a proprietary blend of ground flaxseeds, honey and some milk powder available in German Reformhäuser. Dr. Budwig formulated it to offer a readily available source of high-quality ground flaxseeds protected against oxidation. Freshly ground flaxseeds can be substituted for Linomel but must be eaten within ten minutes or they will oxidize (go rancid) and thus become unhealthful.

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