Mucus-Free Diet According to Arnold Ehret

The mucus-free diet was founded at the beginning of the 20th century by the German naturopath Arnold Ehret.

Arnold Ehret, born on July 29, 1866, near Freiburg, Germany, was 30 years old when he fell ill with chronic inflammation of the kidneys. After having unsuccessfully consulted countless doctors and therapists, he conducted his experiments by alternating between fasting and a mucus-free diet and was able to reach a state of health that surpassed anything he had known before.

All his experiments and personal experiences finally brought him to two essential principles:

1. All diseases and illnesses, except in a few circumstances, come from wrong, unnatural food, food that’s too rich in protein and fat, and from overeating.
2. Fasting is the only natural means, free of human intervention, for repairing the consequences of malnutrition and overeating.

Ehret saw every disease, no matter what its medical or scientific name may be, as a blockage of the entire conduction system (blood vessels and lymphatic system) of the human body, and thus as the body’s attempt to eliminate mucus and toxins.

Protein and Fats

Arnold Ehret described gluttony as well, as the misconceptions about protein-rich foods, as the most dangerous. Life is based on a well-functioning metabolism, but never on the absurd idea that you have to eat protein to make protein. A cow doesn’t drink milk to make milk.

He also realized that fats were slowing down the metabolism in his body’s cleansing processes. In fact, he would intentionally use fats to slow down strong detoxification processes.


Additionally, Arnold Ehret saw toxins as very problematic to the body. In particular, these include medications, even the ones that a person could have taken years prior. But that being said, the right food makes it possible to dissolve and eliminate even these types of residues.


It’s not the disease that needs to be fought, but rather the body’s desire to be cleansed. For example, a “cold” is the body’s attempt to transport waste products to the outside using mucus.
Our goal is to eat in such a way that the transformation of food, as energy and efficiency in the body, becomes noticeable.

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The Mucus-Free Diet

With this background, he developed the mucus-free diet, or healing diet. Ehret himself experienced his healing by alternating individual, well-considered, both long and short periods of fasting, and by consuming non-mucus-forming foods. He always emphasized that he changed his diet gradually. He didn’t go on a completely mucus-free diet from one day to the next so that the cleansing and eliminating effect would not begin too abruptly and cause a detoxification crisis. It’s important to give the body enough time for the change. Because whatever may have accumulated over years and years can’t be fixed overnight.


What Foods Are Allowed?

The mucus-free diet according to Arnold Ehret consists of all kinds of fruits, green leafy vegetables, low-starch vegetables, and gently steamed starchy vegetables.

So Ehret’s main focus wasn’t necessarily on “raw” foods, but mainly on “mucus-free foods” and their cleansing effects. Mucus-free foods specifically are foods that are low in protein and fat, as well as foods that are base-forming.

Parallels Between Mucus-Free Diet and Alkaline-Forming Diet

The chemist Ragnar Berg dedicated his life to researching the acid-base effect on human health and published the first “acid-base tables” as early as 1913. He concluded that any nutrients that come from food can only be best utilized with an alkaline-surplus diet.

Berg recommended eating plenty of fruit and vegetables every day. He recommended limiting the consumption of meat, eggs, grains, and legumes.

Ehret appreciated Ragnar Berg’s acid-base tables. He saw that his classification of foods into mucus-forming and non-mucus-forming were confirmed by them since mucus-forming foods mostly corresponded to acid-forming foods.

It is indeed astonishing to note that the majority of foods considered “acid-forming” were classified by Arnold Ehret as “mucus-forming” and “base-forming” foods corresponded almost exactly with “mucus-free” foods.

Arnold Ehret’s Supplementary Rules

  • A very important rule to keep in mind is SIMPLICITY. This means not mixing too many different foods.
  • Green foods provide important MINERALS.
  • Starchy products like potatoes or legumes should be heated. Heating partially breaks down the STARCH, causing it to lose some of its slimy properties. It’s ideal to let the cooked starchy vegetables cool before eating them, as this increases the amount of resistant starch. “Resistant starch” is a prebiotic starch component; when gut bacteria break down resistant starch, they produce valuable short-chain fatty acids.
  • NO DRINKING DURING A MEAL. Soups should also be avoided since good digestion becomes more difficult the more fluids are consumed.
  • Some additional therapies that are complementary to a mucus-free healing diet include SUNBATHING, SPORTS TRAINING, and BOWEL CLEANSING.

Mucus-Forming Foods:

Very mucus- and pus-forming:

  • Dairy products (cheese, curd…)
  • Meat and fish products, eggs

Medium mucus-forming:

  • Cereals and cereal products (bread, pasta, etc.)
  • Pseudocereals, like buckwheat and quinoa
  • Legumes
  • Vegetable oils

Moderately mucus-forming:

  • Nuts, seeds, and avocados
  • Potatoes, beans, and corn

This is not a complete list. You can download a detailed list of mucus-forming and mucus-free foods HERE.

Anyone who wants to dive deeper into the nourishing teachings of Arnold Ehret should look into reading some of his books, in particular, “Mucusless Diet Healing System”.




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Ulrike Eder (Author)

Ulrike is a naturopath, Holistic Nutrition Coach, Hippocrates Lifestyle Medicine Coach and phytotherapist. Together with her husband, Jürgen, she leads the Holistic Nutrition Coach training program of Your Nutrition Academy.



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