Juice Therapy


This type of therapy, also simply known as "juicing," is based on a belief that breaking down most of the fibre in vegetables and fruit allows the body to more efficiently make use of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in these healthy foods. 

Juicing raw fruit and vegetables concentrates the nutrients present and enables the body to have easy absorption and rapid entry into the bloodstream.   Juicing is often recommended by health care practitioners who believe in holistic and natural approaches to one's health, but is also thought to be a good practice by traditional physicians.

Juice therapy is thought to promote general good health and fitness, aid in weight loss, boost immunity, and prevent or alleviate many types of diseases.

History of Juice Therapy

The benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables are been known for centuries.  In fact, juice therapy has been a component of the 5,000-year-old traditions found in Ayurveda, according to Ayurvedic practitioners.

This ancient system of medicine that had its origins in India saw people using specific juices to fortify each body tissue.  Practitioners believe that stress, emotional imbalance and poor digestion can block the body's normal absorption of nutrients, resulting in illness and undernourishment.

Juicing has often been advocated by naturopaths and other health care practitioners who give their patients dietary advice.  Modern juicing became popular in the 1990s, when many books on the subject were published. 

Electronic appliances to help extract juices are now common and juice bars are popular in many areas.

How Juicing Works

Alternative health care practitioners say the tasty nectars made from juicing raw fruits and vegetables are actually natural tonics which offer a safe and inexpensive way to stimulate digestion, boost the immune system and encourage the elimination of the body's toxins. 

Fresh juices are thought to be a potent weapon against diseases and are also believed to speed the healing of infections.  Some physicians even credit fresh juices with curing stomach ulcers.  When juicing is used in conjunction with other natural techniques (such as herbs, homeopathy and nutritional therapy), fresh juices can create a foundation for the body that provides the optimal nutrition needed to stimulate the body's innate healing abilities.

Some researchers believe fruits and vegetables have therapeutic properties that we are just beginning to understand.  There seem to be many other substances in fruits and vegetables that are not simply vitamins and minerals.  Known collectively as the antrients, these substances include pigments (which give plants their color), and enzymes, the substances which are produced in plants and help humans to digest the plant foods they consume.

The best known pigments are called carotenes, with beta-carotene a favorite.  Studies now show that beta-carotene has potent anti-cancer properties and may even reverse some pre-cancerous conditions. 

The second group of pigments, which many believe have healing powers, is called flavonoids.  They are found in fruits, vegetables and some beverages, such as tea.  A five-year Dutch study of 805 elderly men showed that those who regularly consumed fruits and vegetables with high flavonoid contents were less likely to die of heart disease, regardless of their intake of other types of nutrients.

Raw fruits and vegetables are rich in enzymes, substances which are necessary for proper human digestion.  Natural foods have just the right amount of enzymes for digesting them, but pre-packaged foods typically are stripped of enzymes during the manufacturing process.

Conditions Benefited by Juice Therapy

By consuming the proper raw juices to strengthen the weak tissue found in a patient's body, some practitioners say they have had excellent results with conditions such as constipation, anemia and even arthritis.

One practitioner uses a combination of homeopathy, juicing, herbs, vitamins, and acupuncture for conditions such as cancer and AIDS.  Using a supervised juice fast, this health care provider oversees his patients as they abstain from solid foods for a few days, drawing their nourishment from very large doses of fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

The physician explains that juice fasting tends to enhance the body's natural capacity for healing.  Some of this is due to the fact that juices provide optimal nutrition to the body but require very little energy to digest.  When the body is not spending several hours trying to digest a fatty, non-nutritious meal it has more energy to repair and heal itself.

Another asset of a juice detoxification is that it helps individuals to identify food sensitivities, major factors in immune system disorders such as asthma, chronic fatigue and arthritis.  When the patients fast with juice, they frequently see significant improvements to their systems.  As they slowly add different foods back to their diet, it is often obvious which foods are problematic for an individual.


The juice must be prepared from raw fruit and vegetables (preferably organic) as commercially-processed juices do not offer the same benefits.  Nearly all fruits and vegetables are suitable for juicing.  Specific juices are often recommended to treat a certain kind of condition or to prevent or alleviate specific health problem. 

Some juices recommended for a certain condition include those listed below:

  • Cardiovascular disease - Tomato juice and other products made from tomatoes may help to prevent cardiovascular disease.

  • Stomach ulcers - Compounds from Broccoli and Brussels sprouts have been shown by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland to eliminate H. pylori bacterium, which causes ulcers.

  • Urinary infections - Cranberry juice has long been used in preventing and alleviating urinary tract infections.

  • Cancer - Pomegranate juice may prevent or slow the growth of prostate cancer.  Further research is needed on this subject.

Dangers and Limitations

Health care practitioners warn that juicing does strip fruits and vegetables of the fibre which is necessary for a healthy diet.  Therefore, to get maximum benefits people who wish to utilize juicing should also take care to consume some whole fruits and vegetables as well.



  1. Bratman, S. (1998). The Alternative Medicine Ratings Guide: an expert panel rates the best treatments for over 80 conditions. New York: Crown Publishing Group (1998)
  2. Brown, L. (1999). Alternative Medicine. London : Teach Yourself
  3. Deepak Chopra, M.D. (2002). Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Puyallup, Wash. : Future Medicine Pub.
  4. Servan-Schreiber, D.(2006). The Encyclopedia of New Medicine: Conventional & Alternative Medicine For All Ages. London : Rodale
  5. Sreebny, L. & Vissink, A. (2010). Dry Mouth, The Malevolent Symptom: A Clinical Guide. USA: Wiley-Blackwell

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