Bill Henderson’s Budwig Protocol

The Budwig Protocol

For this post, I will first share the information that I have gathered on the Budwig Diet and then move on to the specifics of the Bill Henderson/Budwig Protocol.

Dr. Johanna Budwig–  was born September 30, 1908 and died May 19, 2003 at the age of 95.  She was a qualified pharmacologist, chemist and physicist, and was the chief expert/consultant at the former Bundesanstalt fur Fettforschung (Federal Institute of Lipid Research), which was located in Germany.   With all of her extensive qualifications, she is best known for developing a unique treatment which has healed many people suffering from terminal cancer, diabetes, heart disease, as well as many other ailments.

Dr. Johanna Budwig

As a young scientist, Budwig studied the blood of those with cancer and instead of finding fully-oxygenated, healthy, red blood cells,  she found cells that were sickly and lacking in cellular oxygen.  It was Budwig’s understanding that this lack of cellular oxygen came about because people were consuming unhealthy, adulterated fats, and they weren’t getting enough of the necessary omega 3 essential fatty acids in their diets.

Dr. Budwig said this in regards to omega 3 essential fatty acids.  “Without these fatty acids, the respiratory enzymes cannot function and the person suffocates, even when he is given oxygen-rich air. A deficiency in these highly unsaturated fatty-acids impairs many vital functions. First of all, it decreases the person’s supply of available oxygen. We cannot survive without air and food; nor can we survive without these fatty acids. That has been proven long ago.”

Healthy fats contain a vital electron cloud that enables them to bind with oxygen and this allows them to become water-soluble. This water-solubility of lipids is essential to all growth processes including cellular and energy development; furthermore our entire basis of energy production is based on our ability to metabolize these healthy fats. High heat and the chemical refining of fats as well as the process of hydrogenation destroys this vital electron cloud, and as a result, these “pseudo” fats can no longer bind with oxygen and therefore they end up clogging our cells instead, not allowing them to respirate properly and remove their waste normally.

 An emulsifying blender works well for making this mixture. Blend until there is no longer separation between the cheese and the oil.

An emulsifying blender works well for making this mixture. Blend until there is no longer separation between the cheese and the oil.

The Budwig Protocol-   Dr Budwig discovered that when she combined flaxseed oil, with its electron-rich essential fatty acids, together with cottage cheese, which is rich in sulfur proteins, the chemical reaction changes the oil mixture to become water soluble, allowing it to be easily absorbed through the cellular membrane.  This allowed for the easy transfer of essential fatty acids into the cells and it had the added benefit of pulling the oxygen into the cells as well.  The complete diet that she prescribed for her patients is known as the “Budwig Protocol.”  It is a very strict vegetarian regime which has an emulsified flax seed oil and a cottage cheese mixture at its core.  With this diet, Budwig was able to cure over 90% of her patients, including some of the most terminal cases. 

Dr Budwig is said to have personally helped over 2,400 people heal from their cancers, many of them having been given up on by conventional medicine and were literally on their death-beds.  Throughout her distinguished career she held numerous conferences and told about her theories about the development of cancer. Dr Budwig authored numerous books, with at least three of her works having been translated into English; Flax Oil as a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other DiseasesThe Oil-Protein Diet Cookbook, and Cancer – The Problem and the Solution which details her work with the flax oil/cottage cheese mixture.

flax oil

The Benefits of flax seed and flax oil-  Flax seed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It can be used as a dressing oil for salads or added to smoothies to make fat soluble vitamins more accessible to the body. Care must be taken with this oil as it cannot be heated, left unrefrigerated, or used beyond its expiration date as it will become rancid very quickly.  Barlean’s organic flax oil can be found in the refrigerated section of health food stores.  There are some varieties of unrefrigerated flax oils, but these may not be of the same quality and should not be used as a substitute.

It should be noted that Dr Budwig always used a full-fat quark when she was healing patients with her protocol.  Quark is a cream cheese type product that continues to be very popular in Germany and Europe and is similar in texture to high fat ricotta cheese.  Low fat was not an option when Budwig was healing her patients.  Most websites and authors who discuss the work of Budwig tell people to use low-fat cottage cheese.  This is false, but it may have been due to an error that was made in the original translations of Budwig’s work from German to English.  Look for 4% fat cottage cheese that is made with organic milk and does not contain additives, preservatives and fillers.  Make a request from your local grocer if they do not carry an acceptable brand.

The recipe

  • The ratio of cottage cheese to flax oil is 2:1.  You can start this diet by eating only one serving per day and then increase the amount as your body begins to tolerate it better.
Top with ground flax seeds, assorted berries, and sliced bananas.

A Budwig Parfait topped with freshly ground seeds, nuts and fruit.

  • This mixture consists of blending together 1/2 cup of organic cottage cheese with 4 tablespoons of Cold Pressed, Unrefined Flax Oil.
  • These two compounds are then blended together thoroughly;  a hand-held immersion blender works very well for this process. The mixture is blended until there is no longer a separation between the oil and the cheese.  This is because the oil must first bind to the protein before the oxygen can be bound to them both.
  • The next step is to allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes so that the fat-soluble omega-3’s can convert into water-soluble omega-3’s.  This conversion allows the essential fatty acids to be easily absorbed into the cells, and as an added bonus, they will pull the essential oxygen into the cells along with them.
  • Also included in the diet are 2 Tbsp of freshly-ground Organic Flax Seeds, these can be ground up in a electric coffee grinder. Do not purchase the seeds that are already ground as they become rancid very easily.  All flax seeds should be used within 15 minutes of grinding.
  • Adding the flax seed into the mixture, and then topping off with fresh berries and walnuts will make this more nutritious, and more palatable as well.
  • Another suggestion is to make it into a salad by adding your favorite greens, chopped tomato, sliced cucumbers and avocados. Whatever vegetables you like.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Freshly made juices and green smoothies should be included in this diet to get many servings of fresh vegetables
  • This is a vegetarian diet with no other dairy products or animal proteins other than the cottage cheese that is blended with the oil
  • Eliminate all sugar from this diet.  Raw honey is moderation is okay.
  • Get a moderate amount of exercise which will move the lymphatic system and oxygenate the cells as well.
  • Have as little stress as possible, learn some techniques to help you manage your stress levels such as yoga, meditation and EFT.
  • It is essential that one avoid all unhealthy foods such as hydrogenated fats, trans fats, animal fats, sugar, white flour, processed salt (Himalayan sea salt is okay to use), preservatives, chemically-laden processed foods, and fast foods.
  • Continue to follow an anti-cancer diet afterwards

What the Budwig diet/lifestyle looks like:

a budwig salad

Eating the the flax oil and cottage cheese mixture on top of a salad

Breakfast– Start with a cup of green or herbal tea. It provides warm liquid that helps with digestion and health.  Then eat your first serving of the Budwig cottage cheese mixture.

Morning snack -Freshly-pressed vegetable juice made with carrots, beets, celery, green vegetables, lemon and apple

Daily routine- Have daily sun exposure (essential to the overall program), at least 15 – 30 minutes without the use of sunscreen or sunglasses.  Budwig referred to the sun as having a stimulating effect on the secretions of the liver, gall bladder, pancreas, bladder and salivary glands.  It appears that sunlight is absolutely essential for the stimulation effect of the vital functions of the mind and body, contributing to the factors which allow the body to heal itself.  Budwig found that patients with cancer had a general intolerance of the sun, but this feeling was relieved after a few days on the diet which allowed the cells time to replenish themselves.  Eat the diet for a few days before having sun exposure if this is a problem for you.  Doing daily yoga, walking, rebounding on a mini-trampoline to help clear the lymph system and promote better drainage as well as oxygenate the body.

BEFORE LUNCH – A cup of green or herbal tea with 1 tsp of raw honey, if desired.

LUNCH – A raw vegetable salad with home-made salad dressings made from lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and herbs/spices.  If you are still hungry you can make steamed veggies and a whole grain/starch  (such as buckwheat, millet, brown rice, lentils, beans, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, or Ezekiel bread).

DESSERT–  have your second serving of the flax oil and cottage cheese mixture topped freshly ground flax seeds, walnuts, and fresh fruits.

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK – One tablespoon freshly ground flax seeds added to freshly made papaya or pineapple juice (these particular juices are high in enzymes that the body can utilize for digestion and healing). Chew or swish the ground seeds in the mouth, adding saliva for better digestion.

AFTERNOON RELAXATION– do this in the sunlight, if possible. Now is a good time to empty the mind of worries, angers and fears. Now is the time for meditation, visualizations, and prayer.  Focus on nature, music, deep breathing and positive thoughts.

BEFORE DINNER – One tablespoon freshly ground flaxseeds added to freshly made papaya or pineapple juice (these particular juices are high in enzymes that the body can utilize for digestion and healing). Chew or swish the ground seeds in the mouth, adding saliva for better digestion.

DINNER – Vegetable soup or a variety of lightly steamed veggies such as kale, tomatoes, spinach, beets, carrots, chard, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, onions, artichokes, asparagus, peppers, green beans, etc. along with a whole grain/starch such as buckwheat, millet, brown rice, lentils, beans, peas, yams & potatoes.   Add healthful spices such as cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, sea salt, etc.

Plan on being on this diet for about 3 to 5 years-  Dr. Budwig confirms this warning in the final sentences in her book ‘Cancer – The Problem and the Solution,’ where she writes: “I will add here a few sentences by American Dr Jan Roehm, who studied and applied my therapy in great detail and who writes: ‘… You should follow this diet for about 5 years. By that time, your tumor should have completely disappeared. Persons who stop the diet too early and return to a diet consisting of meat and sweets sometimes see their health rapidly deteriorate and cannot be saved after such a bodily torture.’”  Naturopath Dr. K. Bischoff, MD, whose testimonials regarding practical experiences with the oil-protein diet are quoted on pages 116/117 in the above mentioned book title confirms the warning Johanna gives regarding by saying: “Like with any serious condition, the strict rules must be maintained for 3 years before they can be relaxed.  Also a return to your former, cancer-causing lifestyle must be avoided since a second bout of cancer does not hold much promise regarding healing success even when a rigorous diet change is again implemented.   My experiences refer to rectum cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer.”

How to make flax oil and cottage cheese mixture

The Bill Henderson Version of the Budwig protocol

Medical researcher, Bill Henderson

Medical researcher, Bill Henderson

“Postpone doing the things that are harmful to the body and try to do those that are not harmful, because in most cases, they are going to improve your condition dramatically.” Bill Henderson 

Bill Henderson was not a medical professional, he was a researcher who lost his wife to ovarian cancer after a grueling four-year battle using conventional therapies. After witnessing her suffering, Bill knew in his heart that there had to be a better way to treat people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Bill then spent the next 15 years studying alternative treatments and dedicated his life to helping others find their way.  He was the author of several books on alternative cancer treatments including Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle, Non-toxic Healing and How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home for $5.15 a Day.   The protocol that he developed is a non-toxic, nourishing regimen that combines the healing qualities of Dr Johanna Budwig’s flax oil and cottage cheese mixture along with the addition of some key supplements that work to alter the inner terrain of the body in such a way that cancer microbes cannot survive.  This protocol is also said to be effective for Stage IV cancers.

Four factors that must be addressed in treating and beating cancer.  They are:
1. The cancer treatment must strengthen the immune system.
2. The cancer treatment must increase the oxygenation of the cells.
3. The cancer treatment must detoxify the body.
4. The cancer treatment must change the body chemistry from an acidic state to an alkaline state.

Diet and lifestyle recommendations:
1. No Sugar (including high fructose corn syrup, honey, man-made substitutes.
2. No flour (as this just converts to glucose)
3. No processed, packaged or fast foods.
4. No animal proteins. Although you can have some organic grass fed meat in small amounts (on occasion) after you are cancer free.
5. No dairy, other than the cottage cheese when it is mixed with the flax oil for the Budwig protocol
6. Lots of organic fruits and vegetables. Raw vegetables are highly recommended.
7. No caffeine or alcohol.
8. Bill is very concerned about root canals or cavitations that can harbor infections which can be detrimental to your overall health.  You may need to see a biological dentist to have these remedied.
9. Get daily exercise, whether on a mini-trampoline, swimming, yoga, walking, etc, to keep the lymphatic system moving.
10. Get outside so your body can manufacture vitamin D. This is mid-day sun for 30 minutes without sunscreen.  If weather does not permit this, then you need to begin supplementation and get your vitamin D levels checked so that you reach an ideal range of 70 ng/ml. Read more about how to supplement with vitamin d3 with this post

Supplement chart

For therapeutic purposes

As a maintenance dose

*Flaxseed Oil/Cottage Cheese mixture 6 tbsp of flax oil combined with 2/3 cup of cottage cheese, blended as instructed above. This can be eaten all at once or you can make one serving in the morning and then make a second serving for a later meal. Bill recommends using the high-lignan variety of flax seed oil and he does not add additional ground flax seeds to his protocol, although you may add the freshly ground flax seeds if you wish to do so. 3 tbsp of flax oil and 1/3 cup cottage cheese mixture
Beta-1 3-d glucan  *see contraindications below 1 – 500mg Capsule for every 50lbs of body weight. These are to be taken all at once in the morning and are taken on an empty stomach 1 – 500mg Capsule
Vitamin C, L- Lysine, & Proline 6 Tablets, 2 tablets taken 3x per day, with or without food at the same time as the green tea extract.  Encouraged for good health
Green Tea Extract 3 Capsules, 1 tablet taken 3 x per day, with our without food taken with the vitamin C  Encouraged for good health
Barley Grass Tablets 20 Tablets, taken in this format (7-7-6) and are to be taken 15 minutes before mealtimes 8 Tablets,  taken in this format (3-3-2)
Vitamin D3 5000 IU 1 Softgel (or more depending on your levels of vitamin d.) 1 Softgel
Daily Advantage Nutritionals  2 packets per day  2 packets per day


Bill discussing his ideas on cancer treatments at the Annie Appleseed Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies Conference


Some potential conflicts may include: birth control, hormone replacement therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, alcohol, oxygen therapies, ozone therapies, drinking high-alkaline water, fluoridated water, chlorinated water, cesium chloride, hydrogen peroxide therapy, Protandim, Protocel, and others.

If you are pregnant please consult your physician before using this protocol.

*Beta Glucan should not be taken with aspirin or NSAIDS.


Read how Cortney used the Bill Henderson Protocol to heal from Stage 2 Lymphoma

Sandi Gold used the Henderson Protocol to heal from breast cancer

Kristin Garrett heals from lung cancer with BHP and other therapies

Additional Resources

How to juice fresh vegetables

How to make a green smoothie

Hypothetical cancer diet (exclude the supplements)

Read more about vitamin D levels and how to check them

Join a support group

Join a Facebook Support Group for the Bill Henderson Budwig Protocol

You can find more details about Bill Henderson’s Budwig protocol in his books.

How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home for $5.15 a Day

  Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle, Non-toxic Healing

Related Articles
Cancer is a wake up call which needs to be addressed on multiple fronts.  It is the result of an overly toxic body with an overwhelmed and collapsed immune system due to eating nutritionally depleted diets, exposure to toxins, and having poor lifestyle habits. Research an anticancer diet, adding supplements, detoxing the body, and making lifestyle changes so you can address a cancerous situation with a multifaceted approach.


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