Brain Cancer Healed with an Alkaline Diet (Josie Nunez)

“As the pH goes up, the lactic acid goes down, which means that the cancer activity is going down. The body repairs itself once it is given the stuff that it needs. Most doctors have no idea that nutrition has anything to do with cancer.”  Dr Bernardo Majalca

Josie Nunez heals from brain cancer with an alkaline diet under the supervision of Dr Bernardo Majalca

After months of experiencing a variety of symptoms and illnesses, eight year old Josie Nunez was diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma of the brain and spine in February of 2008.  She immediately underwent surgery to remove the massive tumor that was pressing against her brain stem, but a second tumor that was located on her spine could not be operated on due to its sensitive location and the high probability that complications would arise during its surgical removal.
After having a 6 week post-operative recovery period, Josie began six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy which was followed by a one month break and then a second round of chemotherapy that her doctors said would last for an additional 6 months.  It wasn’t long before the second round of treatments began taking a toll on her little body and her parents reported that she was suffering from nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, severe anemia, leg paralysis, constant infections, fever, hair loss, burned skin, and weight loss.
By the fourth month of treatment Josie’s doctors said that her spinal tumor had disappeared, however she had developed a second brain tumor. It was at this point that her doctors recommended that the family make arrangements with hospice care and that they make the most of their final days together.
Upon hearing the devastating news, Josie’s parents began frantically searching the internet for anything that could help their daughter, and through a mutual friend they found Dr Bernardo Majalca, a naturopath practicing out of San Diego, CA, who offered them hope as well as a cure for Josie.
When Josie first met with Dr Majalca she weighed only 40 pounds and was very weak.  After assessing Josie, he determined that she wasn’t dying from the cancer but was actually dying from acidosis, and that only by addressing this issue would her body finally begin to heal.  He then prescribed a highly nutritious diet that included drinking 4 freshly-made juices per day that would help to detoxify her body as well as rebuild her immune system.  He describes more about his treatment plans in the video links below and in his free 16 page E-Book which is linked at the bottom of the page.  You can print this out and keep for your reference.

Josie Nunez was featured on ‘The Incurables’ television series


Juicing recipes for Josie

1st juicing recipe (this was taken 2 x per day).  This recipe is for a child, make adjustments if you are an adult.

  • 1/2 mashed avocado mixed together with 8 oz of freshly made carrot juice.
  • Both of these are mixed together with a wooden spoon because metal can destroy some of the beneficial enzymes.
  • The video below shows how to make this recipe following Dr Bernardo’ instructions.
  • Josie was on a feeding tube at the time this video was made, which required her family to filter the juice before giving it to her.

How Josie’s family made the avocado and carrot juice mixture which she had twice per day.


2nd juicing recipe (taken 2 x per day).  This is for a child, make adjustments if you are an adult

  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 cup of raw broccoli
  • 1/2 inch slice of fresh pineapple (not canned)
  • 1/2 of a beet
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1/4 inch slice of ginger
  • 1/2 inch slice of Daikon radish
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 5 asparagus spears
  • run all items through a juicer
  • Drink this juice with a straw, according to Dr Bernardo’s instructions.

More on the alkaline diet plan

  • No conventionally-raised meat or dairy products are allowed
  • No sugar but stevia is okay to use as a sweetener
  • Nothing that is processed or man-made; that means no fast foods, soda, candy, fries, sugars,  regular pasta, regular bread, or packaged foods of any kind.
  • Eat as many organic green vegetables as possible (except for green peas).
  • Grains: brown rice, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and wild rice are the only grains allowed.
  • 80% of your diet should be in the form of vegetables and the listed grains with only 20% meats.
  • Acceptable meats for this diet would include: wild caught non-scavenger fish such as cod, shark, snapper, sole, trout, and tuna.  Organic meats include venison, buffalo, lamb, or a small amount of turkey
  • Eggs are allowed, but they must be organic
  • You should include at least 2 servings of leafy greens in the form of vegetable side dishes, and a large green salad everyday.
  • Lots of vegetables.  Raw vegetables are better than cooked, he recommended eating least 50% of them raw.
  • Cooked vegetables should be lightly steamed only.
  • Eat 8-10 stalks of raw asparagus, or eat one can of asparagus daily.
  • The only oil that is allowed on this diet is extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salad dressings are to be made with olive oil and vinegar, or olive oil with a squeeze of fresh lemon only.
  • Sprouts are okay to eat, but they should be consumed within 5 days.
  • The diet includes lots of juicing  because this is an easy way to get many servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet.   This is especially true when working with sick children. You can find very specific recipes on page 7 of his e-book.
  • Red potatoes are eaten with the skins on.
  • Fresh homemade soups are good to eat.
  • Butter must be organic and preferably made from raw milk (unpasteurized), if possible.
  • Almond, coconut, or goat milks are acceptable.
  • Nuts and seeds are okay to eat.
  • Sea vegetables are okay to eat.
  • Allowed fruits: avocados, granny smith apples, lemons, and berries, and those berries can be eaten in unlimited amounts.
  • A drink that will help a person put weight on (if this is an issue): blend together organic heavy whipping cream (Organic Valley is one such brand in the US), coconut milk, almond milk, and a little stevia; add some ice and this will taste like a vanilla shake.
  • No sugar allowed, but you can use Organic Stevia in place of sugar.  Stevia is much sweeter than table sugar but it will not raise the glucose levels like sugar does. When substituting for baking: for every cup of sugar, you will replace with either 1 teaspoon liquid stevia, or 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of powdered stevia.
  • If you bake, you must use a gluten free mix instead of wheat flour.  For example:  pancakes can be made with buckwheat flour.
  • Ezekiel sprouted bread is the only store-bought item that is allowed on this diet, or you can make your own bread with gluten-free mixtures.  You can find Ezekiel bread in most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s, or at health food stores.
  • You should drink lots of spring water with freshly squeezed lemon. A guide for your water consumption would be to drink a minimum of 50 ounces of pure water per 100 pounds of body weight daily.  There is more information on this below.

Dr Bernardo’s protocol recommendations 

  • Patients were to drink two eight ounce glasses of tea per day. Acceptable teas according to Dr Majalca include:  Essiac Tea Herbs   (*note that essiac should not be used by those with brain tumors or other cancer where an initial swelling might create  a life threatening situation. You can read more about the contraindications with essica tea on this page). Other recommended teas include Gunpowder Green, a higher pH tea such as Yerba Mate, or Pau D’arco Tea, which has anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, and anti-cancer properties.  Read more about pau d arco tea.
  • Along with the juicing recipes posted above his patients would juice 8-10 stalks of asparagus, or eat a can of asparagus daily.
  • Drink 4 ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice twice per day
  • Patients would take a variety of supplements to meet their individual nutritional needs.
  • Patients would have coffee enemas to help to detoxify the body
  • You can read much more about Dr Bernardo’s diet and lifestyle recommendations with this link

Testing her pH

testing the pH for alkaline diet

Your goal is for your saliva pH to reach 7.2-7.4

Josie’s family started each day by measuring the pH of her saliva before she ate or drank anything using pH Test Strips.   These testing strips can be purchased online or from a health food store.  The first test of the day is taken immediately upon waking before eating or drinking anything, otherwise you must wait at least two hours after eating or drinking to ensure that the food that was consumed does not alter the test results.  To test you should first cleanse the mouth by filling it with saliva and then either swallowing or spitting it out.  Then fill the mouth a second time with saliva and place the test strip on the tongue for 10 seconds.

The testing strip will change colors based on the results.  Use the insert from the package to determine the corresponding pH and continue to monitor this 4 times per day to get a clear picture of what is going on inside of your body.  You will find that your pH may fluctuate throughout the day, this is normal.  Additionally, it takes time to raise the pH, sometimes taking up to 12 weeks to move into an alkaline state. 

Dr Majalca said that cancer thrives in a pH of 5.5 or lower.  When Josie’s family first started testing her saliva it wasn’t even registering on the strip because the lowest mark was 5.5 and she was below that mark.  It took at least 3 weeks before Josie was able to register above the 5.5 mark and she slowly moved her way upwards. Dr Majalca says that when your saliva pH reaches 6.8 the cancer will stop growing, anything above that and the cancer begins to die.  Their goal was to lift Josie’s pH to at least 7.2 – 7.4.  It took a total of 8 weeks of being on a strict alkaline diet before Josie actually reached the 7.2 mark.  She then had to hold herself at that level until she was confirmed to be cancer-free. You can read more about how to test the pH with this post.


How to alkalize quickly

Dr Bernardo mentions a liquid supplement on page 2 of his e-book called Asea Water which he says can help to bring the pH up to 7.5 within 7-10 days. His recommended dose was 2 ounces that are taken 3 times per day for a total of 6 ounces per day.  Perhaps this is something to think about if you feel the need to raise the pH quickly.

He also recommends taking 1-2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice in 4 ounces of water and drink this 3 times per day.  This will cause an alkaline reaction following digestion, therefore helping the body to remove excess acids.

There are other products on the market that can help to raise the pH faster than diet alone, such as an Alkalizing Mineral Supplement, which could be taken a couple of times per day until the pH reaches 7.2-7.4.

Do not over-alkalize the body believing that this is a good thing.  Having an overly alkaline body is just as harmful as being overly acidic. Just get yourself to 7.2-7.4 with saliva, where cancer cannot survive and the pH is balanced.

For cancer related pain-  Dr Majalca mentions using 1 tsp of baking soda in a 4 ounce glass of water to help to eliminate the lactic acid buildup that occurs around cancerous tumors, therefore it could be used as a natural pain reliever. Read more about this and contraindications here: sodium bicarbonate and cancer

Minerals = Alkalinity in water

Josie drank about 30 ounces of spring water daily.   For for an adult that would be equivalent to drinking 10 glasses of water per day. Spring water does not contain the added fluoride or chlorine compounds that are found in municipal water systems which are harmful to health, and the water has its natural minerals intact.  The minerals are what makes this water more alkaline than standard tap water. Check out Find A Spring which is a national database to locate public access springs near you, or perhaps you can find spring water from your local store.

Another option would be to drink water that has been filtered with a reverse osmosis mechanism and then has the minerals added back into it.  Reverse osmosis water is acidic unless it is equipped with a final mineralizing filter such as this one.   Regular maintenance is required on this type of filtration system as the filters need to be changed regularly.  If you are not a mechanically inclined individual, many companies offer to rent similar systems for a monthly fee and they will come to your home and do all of the maintenance for you.  Check your business pages for more information.

Recipes to make filtered water more  alkaline:

Alkaline water #1 – take one gallon of water and add 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt, the juice of 4 lemons or limes (and toss in the skins too), 1 tbsp of raw, organic honey, and a pinch of organic stevia (if needed) and drink this throughout the day. Sea salt contains 82 trace minerals which will enhance this water.  Lemons and limes will create an alkaline ash following digestion.

Alkaline beverage #2- take 4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, mixed with 8 ounces of filtered water and drink this 3 times per day.

Alkaline beverage #3– take 2 clean organic lemons and blend them up whole (with skins and seeds) with some water, and then add this to 1 gallon of water, 1/2 tsp of Himalayan sea salt, and 1 tbsp of pure local honey or some stevia.  You can filter out the pulp when you pour your serving.

Alkaline water #4- adding Alkaline Drops to your filtered water.

Sunlight and fresh air

Her family reports that Josie had access to plenty of fresh air and sunlight everyday.  This meant that her body was naturally producing vitamin D from that sun exposure.  Spending a short time in the mid-day sun (about 30 minutes) without the use of sunscreen can produce the equivalent of 10,000 IU or more of vitamin D.  Sunscreens reduce the body’s ability to produce vitamin D by 95%, and most contain harmful chemicals that are absorbed into the skin.  The key here is sensible sun exposure, you don’t want to burn.   Read more about vitamin D.

Josie is healed

Josie’s family reports she had been scheduled to have another MRI when she was released from care so they decided to keep that appointment. To everyone’s astonishment, the MRI showed that the tumor had shrunk by 75%.   Josie then continued on with the fresh vegetable juices and the rest of her diet program until the results from an additional MRI confirmed that the tumor was completely gone.  Her family received that amazing news on February 3, 2009, approximately one year after her original diagnosis.

Make your healthy changes permanent-  Following healing, one should continue to eat a healthy, anti-cancer diet to prevent the cancer from returning.  Never go back to your old ways of eating or return to the lifestyle that created the cancerous condition in the first place.

Dr Bernardo Majalca–  Dr Bernardo passed away in 2010. Please watch the video links that are posted below of Dr Bernardo discussing the treatment plans that he would prescribe for his patients, and then read his 16 page E-Book which details the diet that he would prescribe.  You will find to that link at the bottom of the page.



Dr Bernardo Majalca, N.D. describes how he treats cancer by reversing the acidosis of the body and by addressing emotional issues.


Part 2 of Dr Majalca’s lecture on acidosis.


Dr Judy Seeger on pH and cancer. Contact info:

Additional Resources:

Link to Dr Majalca’s free e-book for more information on his diet and other recommendations

Read an article on pH and cancer

Read an article on juicing

Read more about making smoothies

Read an article on sugar and cancer

Read more about sodium bicarbonate

Read more about pau d arco

More testimonials for the alkaline diet

Ginger Rollins heals brain cancer with an alkaline diet, supplements and emotional cleansing

Read Jessica’s story of healing terminal breast cancer with an alkaline diet

Megan Sherow heals brain cancer with a simplified raw vegan diet

Access the library of testimonials


  HealthyWiser® pH Test Strips 100ct + BONUS Alkaline Food chart PDF

The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet, Second Edition: An Innovative Program that Detoxifies Your Body’s Acidic Waste to Prevent Disease and Restore Overall Health


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