Created by Dr. med. Andres Bircher |

The suffering of those who are affected by rheumatoid arthritis is unspeakable. In Germany, 1.5 million people are affected, which means one in every 50 adults. There are 440,000 new cases annually, with more female than male incidents. Frequently, inflammation of the joints begins between the ages of 50 and 70, either gradually or suddenly, with swelling, heat, possibly redness and pain in the small joints of the fingers or toes or in the hand, hip, knee and ankle joints. The worst is upon awakening in the morning with severe stiffness that slightly loosens during the day. It is typical for the disease to flare up every few weeks or even months. If the rheumatoid factor is positive (seropositive arthritis), the inflammation is particularly aggressive and destroys the joint structure and bones. Immune cells migrate into the synovia (joint mucosa) and produce messenger substances in the form of interleukins I, VI and tumour necrosis factor-α, which trigger inflammation. Destructive polygonal cells, which have two large nucleoli that resemble cancer cells, penetrate the cartilage and bones and produce proteolytic enzymes that cause the destruction. They are then “eaten” by macrophages. This aggressive phase can be repeated in the same joint. At the same time, inflammatory cells produce collagenases, enzymes that dissolve connective tissue fibres and can therefore cause serious damage to tendons, the heart, the sclera of the eye and artery walls. At work behind this self-destruction are autoimmune processes in which the immune system has derailed so that it is directed against the body's own structures.


It is no wonder then that doctors have been trying to fight the symptoms since the beginning of time, even though it was not possible to understand why the body would do such a thing. Regarded as the enemy, classical therapy by means of immunosuppression is directed against the symptoms. Salicylic acid has been known since 1870, and cortisone for 85 years. At that point, people thought they had found the miracle cure. However, the dosage had to be increased continuously and, despite everything, relapses became progressively worse.


110 years ago, the Zurich physician Dr. med. Maximilian Bircher-Benner realised that the symptoms of illness are not the cause, but rather expressions of the body's attempt to heal. He considered the cause to be a regulatory disorder, a severe derailment of the immune system, which turns against the own body. Through careful experimentation with fresh vegetal foods, physiotherapy and an ordered lifestyle, he succeeded in curing patients with polyarthritis. Doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London became aware of Bircher-Benner, sent a doctor to Zurich to learn the method and then set up a ward in London dedicated to the scientific investigation of this new therapeutic method. The healing process was documented in protocols and films. 12 patients with severe deforming polyarthritis (osteoarthritis) that was considered incurable received raw vegan food and physiotherapy, but no medication. From the third week on, they were given some cooked vegetables, jacket potatoes and vegetable broth. After 6 weeks, 7 patients had regained full mobility and 3 patients had partial mobility, but two had not yet regained any mobility at all. In all of these patients, the general condition had improved significantly. One of the two unimproved patients said to her doctor: “I can feel that it is coming, I want to continue”. A year later, when the film was shown in Zurich, one patient exclaimed: “Hay, this is my mother!” So it was learned that her mother could go hiking and do gardening again. This scientific experiment may be small, but it is fundamental because it is the first scientific proof of the cure for polyarthritis by means of a vegan fresh food diet. But the war, cortisone and penicillin have led to this experiment being forgotten.


Subsequently, pharmacology developed ever stronger immunosuppressive drugs for the treatment of polyarthritis. Modern concepts combine painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) with the so-called “basic therapeutic” methotrexate (MTX). Once this is no longer sufficient, other “basic therapeutics” are brought into play, such as leflunomide, sulfasalazine and antimalarials, whose rheumatic effects were discovered by chance. The newer, so-called “biologics" are supposed to suppress cytokine formation, for example the tumour necrosis factor-α inhibitors adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab and infliximab as well as an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist called anakinra. Should the multitude of side effects become too dangerous or should the pain not subside, the EULAR recommendations advise to switch to another “biologic” with a different mode of action, such as rituximab, abatacept or tocilizumab. Oftentimes, such incredibly expensive drugs may initially relieve the pain somewhat, but they cannot stop the chronicity nor the progression of the disease and their side effects cause additional suffering. As a result, the classical therapy for polyarthritis has remained unsatisfactory.


The derailment of the immune system is caused by a diseased intestine. The lymphocytes are trained in the lymph follicles of the intestinal mucosa. This is where they learn to distinguish between what is foreign and what is their own. 10% successfully pass this training and enter the body as immunocompetent cells. In recent times, there have been more and more studies confirming the effects of a vegan fresh food diet, such as the one we are conducting at our centre. Rheumatoid polyarthritis is not merely improved. It can be fully healed. After allergological testing, the diet is customised for each individual.

Any sources of infection and heavy metals must be removed. Neural therapy can provide additional assistance to joints at risk. The Bircher-Benner Manual Vol. 10 for patients with rheumatism and arthritis provides all the necessary knowledge and practical instructions for curing polyarthritis; a worthwhile journey.


                                                                            Andres Bircher




Immediately start with freshly centrifuged vegetable and fruit juices and almond milk three times a day. Place a compress with a thick layer of curd on the inflamed joints or rolled out savoy cabbage leaves. Leave the compress to work for 12 hours.