03 July 2017


The rice mono-diet has been a cornerstone of the nutritional therapy component of our anti-cancer program since its inception in 1981. Now, history reveals a rice and fruit diet was validated in major US Hospitals, saving the lives of thousands of people with kidney failure and high blood pressure.

So what are the secrets here? What is Kempner’s Rice Diet? How does it work and what can we learn from it? This week we delve into the past to find some really useful tips for today, but first, as Ruth and myself take time for a longer personal retreat, a similarly longer and hopefully useful

Thought for the day

If we were to put our minds to one powerful wisdom method and work with it directly, there is a real possibility we would become enlightened.

Our minds, however, are riddled with confusion and doubt. 
I sometimes think that doubt is an even greater block to human evolution than is desire or attachment. 

Our society promotes cleverness instead of wisdom, and celebrates the most superficial, harsh, and least useful aspects of our intelligence. We have become so falsely “sophisticated” and neurotic that we take doubt itself for truth, and the doubt that is nothing more than ego’s desperate attempt to defend itself from wisdom is deified as the goal and fruit of true knowledge.

This form of mean-spirited doubt is the shabby emperor of samsara, served by a flock of “experts” who teach us not the open-souled and generous doubt that Buddha assured us was necessary for testing and proving the worth of the teachings, but a destructive form of doubt that leaves us nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for, and nothing to live by.

Sogyal Rinpoche

The rice mono-diet is an excellent step for people wanting to embark on a serious therapeutic nutritional program. Details are in You Can Conquer Cancer (there is a new edition just released).

But what of Dr. Walter Kempner?

Heard of him?

Me neither, until quite recently.

This remarkable doctor worked at Duke University in the days before drugs were available to treat advanced kidney disease and uncontrolled high blood pressure.

This was before 1950 when these diagnoses almost invariably led to an early death.

Similar patients in other hospitals at this time commonly died quite quickly.

Kempner’s results based upon 18,000 cases were in such stark contrast many experienced physicians suspected he falsified his results. However, his work was replicated and validated. This therapeutic nutritional program really did work!

The people Kempner hospitalised with kidney disease and high blood pressure had a life expectancy of around 6 months. In one study; of those who started the Rice Diet but stopped within a year, 80% died. Of those who gave up on the diet after staying with it for a year, 50% died, while of those who persevered long-term, only 10% died!

In the late 1950’s, drugs became available that effectively reduced blood pressure and hypertension, and while Kempner’s Rice Diet is still used and its results stand comparison with the best multi-drug treatments, it has clearly lost favour in the mainstream.

What did Kempner do?
Based on the notion of reducing the protein and electrolyte load on the kidneys, all medication was stopped, people were hospitalised for a few weeks and started on white rice and fruit and water.

Nothing else!

Most improved rapidly and after several months if all continued well, small amounts of lean meat and vegetables were added to the diet.

Positive “side-effects” of the diet that have been documented include lowering intracranial pressure, reducing distended heart size, reversing adverse ECG changes, reversing heart failure, reducing weight, and significantly improving diabetes.

Many came to Kempner for specific diabetes therapy.

So the obvious question. 

Is it wise to start with a natural, effective and cost-efficient therapy, saving drugs for patients who fail to respond or who are unable or unwilling to restrict their diet?

These days we know a plant-based diet has therapeutic value for a range of conditions. In Kempner’s day, after being cured by his Rice Diet, patients were often able to gradually transition to a more relaxed diet without medication and still maintain stable blood pressure.

If the Kempner sequence of a strict plant-based diet to a more open plant-based type diet offers a quick, safe, natural, reliable and effective therapy, why is it not in greater use?

Kempner wrote rather caustically to a patient in 1954
“Since patients, physicians, and the chemical industry prefer the taking, prescribing, and selling of drugs to a treatment inconvenient to patient and physician and of no benefit to the pharmaceutical industry, the mortality figures for these diseases are still rather appalling.

High blood pressure kills around 9 million people each year, despite the many drugs marketed for this condition. Maybe the old ways are not so bad. Maybe, as in the words of Maimonides, a physician from 800 years ago, “Any illness that can be treated by diet alone, should be treated by no other means”.

Postscript – courtesy of Wiki

Kempner retired from Duke in 1974, but consulted until 1992. The commercialization of drugs to treat hypertension reduced both demand for his program and the need to make it strict in order to prevent death.

In 2002 the program became independent of Duke University, and in 2013 the Rice House Healthcare Program opened in Durham, North Carolina. The Rice House Healthcare Program is an inpatient facility where people are put on a diet akin to the original diet and are monitored.

Book       Walter Kempner and Rice Diet : Barbara Newborg

This first-hand account of Kempner's life and of his work comprises two dramatic interrelated narratives. The story of a charismatic but always controversial personality and his circle of accomplished followers, and their wartime experience as refugees and exiles, will interest general readers, including thousands of ''Ricers.''

For medical professionals and scholars, the book documents historic research that elucidated underlying principles of kidney, diabetic and cardiovascular disorders, and their successful treatment without drugs.

The book includes many rare personal photographs (which Kempner suppressed during his life) and clinical images including graphs, x-rays, eye-grounds, and photos.



Accessing the heart and science of Mind-Body Medicine
Offering genuine hope for all those affected by cancer

20 – 24 November 2017 with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Located amidst the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley

This life-changing program provides the opportunity to experience the food, practise the meditation and to be in a supportive, positive atmosphere. The program is evidence based, highly experiential and practical. The focus is on the therapeutic power of the Healing Diet, the mind and meditation, emotional health and positive psychology. The aim is to provide clarity, understanding and confidence.   LINK HERE


Bringing Mind and Heart Together  21 – 27th October 2017 Ruth and Ian Gawler with Liz Stilwell

Amidst the tranquil beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula, 2 hours from Auckland New Zealand

A mind with no heart is cold and empty.      A mind with heart is warm, creative and full of potential.

Ready to learn how to use meditation and Guided Imagery to open your heart and bring balance to your mind?                       

Join us for this very special retreat!   LINK HERE


October 9 – 13th Meditation Teacher Training – Module 2

The delight of teaching others one of the most useful things possible ...

This training, led by Ian and Ruth personally, is based on a comprehensive and fully documented manual. You will learn how to teach two 4 week programs - one featuring guided imagery, the other contemplation; both covering the stillness of meditation as well. These training have been booking out, and like all our retreats, it is wise to register early.



  1. Hi Ian - I trust you are well. Thanks for the post - always good to read. I came across this book recently. I don't have any other way of contacting you so I thought I would post here. May be of interest if you haven't seen already. Kind regards Michael http://www.jameswong.co.uk/how-to-eat-better/4593532593

  2. Thank you Ian for yet another interesting article. I don't understand why this research is not taught to healthcare professionals. I have read many of your articles over many years and continue to be so grateful for you commitment to health.

    1. Thanks Benita :), this bit of nutritional info is compelling is it not???

  3. Good morning Ian, Thankyou again for your insightful article. Out of interest, nowadays, would Walter be more inclined to the eating of brown rice rather than white rice. What would be the difference between both rice types on the kidneys, blood pressure and hypertension. I also find it most interesting that vegetables were less favoured over fruit.

  4. Good questions Stephen.My sense of it is that brown rice would make better sense; that is what we use in the rice mono-diet, however, white rice is easier to digest and maybe this was a factor. re the fruit, it is hard to say whether vegetables would have had the same effect, but at the very least it is another good piece of evidence to debunk the common theory circulating these days that the sugars in fruit are dangerous - in this case they were highly therapeutic as I am sure they can be for people dealing with cancer and other major illnesses.

  5. Most of us have no idea what they are and what we are eating. We have come to trust our food manufacturers. Is this trust misplaced?. We need food, not chemicals.
    the 2 week diet reviews

  6. In the event that great wellbeing is the primary target, period of time ought not be an issue on the grounds that the diet ought to just be a piece of a way of life change in which the dieting change would be a long haul some portion of the way of life at any rate.lose weight

  7. For me low fat diets are a bit too much math, so although I don't eat Trans fats and avoid other bad fats I have never really followed a low fat diet. However someone I know has and here is her typical day of eating while on this type of diet:raspberry ketones

  8. Most of us have no idea what they are and what we are eating. We have come to trust our food manufacturers. Is this trust misplaced?. We need food, not chemicals.

  9. These habits need to be broken and re-learned. It will take you approximately 1 ½ months to form a habit. Start a habit like a steel cable. his explanation

  10. Prevailing fashion diets go back and forth with new forms out each week. A significant number of them are enthusiastic about guarantees and little on conveyance.low carb fast food guide