Essiac (pronounced "es-ee-ack") is an herb tea formula attributed to Canadian nurse Rene Caisse (reen-case) of Bracebridge Ontario, Canada. Rene claimed the formula was given to her by a miner's wife who was seemingly cured of breast cancer by an herb recipe. These herbs were given to the woman by "a very old Indian medicine man".
Brief History of ESSIAC TEA and Rene Caisse (Essiac is Caisse spelled backwards)
Many believe Rene Caisse (pronounced "reen case") is one of the greater heroines of the past century.This modest Canadian nurse discovered a natural herbal formula she took no money for it and died in relative obscurity.
In the 1922, Rene Caisse was head nurse at the Sisters of Providence Hospital in a northern Ontario town. While on duty, Rene was bathing an elderly lady and noticed that one of her breasts had a lot of scar tissue on it. Upon questioning the lady, she learned that the women had advanced breast cancer 30 years earlier. Toronto doctors had told the woman she must have her breast removed immediately. The woman further explained that she had met an old Indian medicine man who told her he could cure her cancer. She explained that she had no money at that time, and didn't want to have an operation anyway, so she went to see the Indian. He showed her certain herbs growing in the area and told her to pick them and make a tea and to drink it everyday.
She had no reoccurrence of cancer to that day, 30 years later.
The Indian medicine man told her of a combination of herbs to brew into a tea and drink daily. He told her this would cure the cancer in her breast and not require it to be removed. She did as the medicine man instructed and as she sat telling Rene the story many years later, she obviously had not had the surgery and yet she had no recurrence of the cancer!
Rene asked the patient for the formula for the tea and wrote it down but never really pursued making it. A few years later when her aunt was diagnosed with inoperable cancer, Rene began giving the tea to her aunt. After two months of drinking the tea daily, Rene’s aunt rallied and lived an additional 21 years with no recurrence of cancer just as the lady with breast cancer had done!
In her desire to help the sick, Rene then began to give the tea to others with wonderful results. People with various kinds of cancer, diabetes and more seemed to improve with the use of this tea. Rene decided the unique combination of these particular herbs somehow seemed to cause the different organs in the body to "normalize" helping the body's own immune system to fight and "correct" whatever was wrong.
This amazing formula, made up only four simple herbs, is believed to normalize body systems by cleansing the blood, purging toxic build up, promoting cell repair and aiding in effective assimilation and elimination. While incredibly simple, when combined with each other, these four herbs and their separate individual effects are greatly enhanced.
Rene decided to called this tea "Essiac" which was her last name spelled backwards. As time went on, Rene Caisse continued to "treat" those considered terminally ill with very positive results. Health officials vacillated back and forth between a love/hate attitude toward her. While she never openly claimed the tea would cure ALL cancers it did seem to have a definite effect on many and it undeniably promoted wellness, general good health and strengthened the immune system.
Rene's desire was to make the tea available to everyone. She operated a Cancer Treatment Clinic in Canada using her Essiac Tea for many years, never charging for her services. Rene used the herbal tea herself everyday and finally died in 1978 at the age of 90.
Her desire was never for financial gain but rather that the formula for this old Indian herbal tea could be used to help mankind. Rene did not want to "sell" her formula to drug companies since she did not want it to get tied up in bureaucratic "red tape" or "shelved" and discredited like so many other "natural" remedies. However, as she grew old, she finally sold the rights to this formula for only $1. She did this hoping the tea could be developed and made easily available to the public. Now many companies are using the four herb tea combination formula and are marketing it under different versions of the original name.
As, advances have been made in mass producing the tea formula, it can now be offered not only in liquid tea but in convenient capsule form.
Caisse reported that hundreds of her patients had been cured of their cancers through the use of her tea, sometimes used as intramuscular injections. Most of the patients came to her after conventional cancer treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy) failed. Several alternative health care practitioners report Essiac tea seems to work best in patients who have had the least amount of radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It is generally recommended that persons consult with their physician before treating any condition with essiac. It is important to remember that essiac is often used in combination with traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
A POWERFUL COMBINATION:
Taken separately, the herbs may not have a very strong effect. But, many times herbs when combined together work synergistically, creating an effect greater or all together different from the effect of each herb when taken separately.
Although each of the four main ingredients in essiac tea are used to treat other conditions, only the sorrel is used separately to treat cancer. Only when the four are combined do they have anti-cancer properties. It is not clear exactly how or why the ingredients work in combination, but it is generally believed they work synergistically to stimulate production of antibodies. Caisse herself said she believed essiac tea purified the blood and carried away damaged tissue and infection related to the cancer. She also believed the tea strengthened the immune system, allowing healthy cells to destroy cancerous cells.
Burdock Root: (articum lappa)
Has been studied by Hungarian and Japanese scientists for its anti-tumor activity. Burdock is one of the finest blood purifiers in the herbal system. It is classified as an alterative, diuretic and diaphoretic. It helps the kidneys to filter out impurities from the blood very quickly. It clears congestion in respiratory, lymphatic, urinary and circulatory systems.
Sheep Sorrel: (rumex acetosella)
Sheep Sorrel is high in vitamins A, B complex, C, D, K and E and the minerals include significant levels of calcium, iron, silicon, magnesium, sulphur, zinc, manganese, iodine and copper. Sheep Sorrel also contains beta carotene and chlorophyll; citric, malic, oxalic, tannic and tartaric acids and it is rich in potassium oxalate.
Sorrel plants have been a folk remedy for cancer for centuries both in Europe and Asia, more recently in North America. Alleged to break down tumors and alleviate some chronic conditions and degenerative diseases, it is an astringent and diuretic. Has been used medicinally in Europe for centuries.
Slippery Elm Bark: (ulmus fulva)
Extensively used by Native Americans for a wide assortment of ailments. Slippery elm bark contains, as its primary ingredient, a mucilage, as well as quantities of gallic acid, phenols, starches, sugars, vitamins A, B complex, C, K and P. It contains large amounts of calcium, magnesium, and sodium, as well as lesser amounts of chromium and selenium, and trace amounts of iron, phosphorous, silicon and zinc.
According to some herbalists, an antibiotic and anti-microbial effect has also been reported along with an ability to remove toxins from the body; therefore, it promotes faster healing of cuts, burns, ulcers and wounds. It is alleged to revitalize the entire body.
Turkey Rhubarb Root: (rheum palmatum)
Has been used for its anti-tumor activity. It also is known to exert a cleansing action on the gut, removing debris. Turkey Rhubarb root contains vitamin A, many of the B complex, C, and P; calcium, chlorine, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and zinc.
The rhubarb root exerts a gentle laxative action by stimulating the secretion of bile into the intestines. It also stimulates the gall duct to expel toxic waste matter, thus purging the body of waste bile and food. As a result, it is alleged that the liver is cleansed and chronic liver problems may be relieved.