The Ian Gawler Approach ~ Health Guide

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The Ian Gawler Approach

Written by Mystic on Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rationale / Background

  • Ian Gawler is an Australian veterinarian who has developed an integrated approach to cancer which combines diet, detoxification, stress management, positive thinking and meditation techniques. His belief is that by utilising all these means “the body’s natural healing response can be helped to reassert itself”. Gawler himself recovered from advanced metastatic osteosarcoma (bone cancer).
  • Gawler’s beliefs about the causes of cancer are very similar to those of Max Gerson. He essentially believes that cancer is a multifactorial, degenerative disease which results from our food and environment being too far removed from nature.

What does the therapy involve?
In order to optimise healing Gawler suggests the following is important:

  • To make conscious and informed decisions about all the treatment options, be they conventional, complementary or alternative treatments.
  • Embrace your decisions positively to release the positive potential of the mind, emotions and spirit.

Gawler devised the following basic concepts for his therapy:

  • Avoid known problems.
  • Any vitamin and mineral imbalance needs to be corrected.
  • Digestion should be restored and flooded with fresh, vital, pure and suitably prepared food
  • Eating should be a joy not a cause of stress.

Diet is a major component of his approach.

  • The diet is based on vegetables, grains and fruits. Ideally 70% raw foods and the rest lightly cooked.
  • Have no added salt, sugar, refined foods and caffeine and chemical additives.
  • The diet should be low in fat especially animal fat and low in protein. There are many low protein sources recommended in the diet which add to the overall total eg grains. He suggests that 500gm total per week be taken from the high protein sources listed in descending order of preference.
Vegetable proteins such as soy beans, tofu bean curd, lentils, chick peas are the preferred sources.
Fish preferably deep sea fish.
Dairy products.
Meat ie lean white meat, lean red meat.
  • Low alcohol consumption.
  • High fibre.

Preparation of the food.

  • Where possible use chemical free produce eg organic vegetables.
  • Preferred utensils - stainless steel, cast iron, glass, tin, enamel, earthenware but not aluminium.
  • Preferred cooking methods - steaming, dry baking, wok with water.
  • Prepare food with love and joy.


  • Important to pause for a moment’s stillness before a meal and affirm the value of good food to your health.

Gawler recommends that if you are making major changes to your diet that you first seek professional guidance.

Here are some cautions for a person with cancer regarding the Ian Gawler Approach

  • Gawler’s book You Can Conquer Cancer contains nutritional analyses of the maintenance diet he suggests. Levels of vitamin E, vitamin B12, and zinc are low. To correct this he advises nutritional supplementation. The diet is also low in energy, and the analysis is based on the needs of a healthy person, not someone with increased energy requirements as is the case for individuals with cancer. People may lose weight on this diet which is not generally advisable for individuals with cancer.
  • If a person does not get well using this therapy then it is seen as a defect in the person’s own will rather than a defect in the therapy itself. This is an enormous burden to place on someone with cancer.


  • There is no scientific evidence available which demonstrates the diet can cure cancer.

Costs and Commitment

  • The Gawler Foundation in Victoria offers a 10 day residential program for around $2,400

The contact details for the Gawler Foundation are:

  • There is a time commitment involved in undertaking this program with the shopping, food preparation and relaxation techniques.
  • Stephen Taylor who was trained by Ian Gawler and has also recovered from cancer runs a similar course at Tayen Park in Clare South Australia. The charge for this course is by donation. Contact details for Stephen Taylor are:PO Box 614, Clare 5453, tel: 8842 3114, email:

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