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About Essiac

Mabel learned about this special herbal cancer tea formula in London 2006.  It is basically Cassie, spelled backwards.  A formula handed down by a Canadian Ojibwa Indian medicine man years ago.

The tea has the appearance of white tea, and no distinct taste.  Mabel would add honey for taste.  After tasting Cassie, Mabel can see how this tea can be used to make oatmeal and other dishes, because it has no distinct taste and is purportedly very healthful.

The Essiac formula was translated by a Canadian nurse named Rene M. Caisse, who named the formula with her last name spelled backwards. Born in 1888, Rene Caisse promoted the use of her tea in the treatment of a steady stream of cancer patients until her death in 1978 at the age of ninety. Rene Caisse's cancer cure was used by persons with prostate cancer, advanced bladder cancer, and advanced breast cancer who are documented to have gone into remission.  There are so many stories on the net, I find the most clear below.  Click her for her formula Affidavit, prepared in her Estate and filed with the Official Records of Ontario, Canada.

The Essiac Tea Formula:

6 cups of burdock root (cut) (1 1/2 pounds)

1 pound of sheep sorrel herb   powdered

1/4 pound of slippery elm bark   powdered

1 ounce of Turkish rhubarb root    powdered





One version of the tea contains just four herbs: burdock root, rhubarb root, slippery elm bark, and sheep sorrel. Another versions of the tea adds blessed thistle, kelp, red clover, and watercress.

Typical Preparations

Almost always used as a tea however encapsulations and even extracts are being distributed.



The efficacy of Essiac against cancer can be partially explained by the cancer-fighting characteristics of herbs in the formula. Red clover contains compounds that may keep estrogen from stimulating breast cancer cells. Burdock root reduces the rate at which estrogen is reabsorbed into the bloodstream after it has been processed by the liver. The emodin found in rhubarb root greatly enhances the cure rate of conventional chemotherapies, notably Adriamycin, Platinol, Rubex, and Taxol. The aloe emodin found in sheep sorrel is effective, at least in laboratory studies, against leukemia cells.

A report in the August 2004 edition of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that the greatest benefit of Essiac may be found in treating prostate cancer, more specifically prostate cancer in men with compromised immune systems. A survey by the Mayo Clinics found that nearly 10% of all persons with cancer may take Essiac tea.  Essiac tea has a mild and pleasant taste, although some of its herbs can aggravate certain pre-existing conditions, as noted below.

Essiac detoxifies, assists with removing harmful substances, and improves the body's capability to fight cancer. Essiac has been reported to:

Strengthen the immune system
Improve the appetite
Relieve pain
Shrink tumors
Improve sleep
Alleviate pain
Prolong lifespan
Increase energy, overall health and well-being.
Reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments


Use as directed. Never inject Essiac. Rhubarb root and sheep sorrel contain high concentrations of oxalic acid, so Essiac should be avoided by people who have kidney stones. Rhubarb root is a stimulant laxative which must be avoided by persons who have any kind of intestinal obstruction.

Essiac must be taken on an empty stomach, nausea and indigestion may occur if used on a full stomach. Diarrhea and gastrointestinal discomfort may occur because of the laxative effects of Essiac. Frequent urination may also occur. Because of the detoxification process, sufficient water should be drunk while using Essiac, as water assists the body with the removal of toxins.  Some individuals may be allergic to one or more of the herbs in the formula. Negative affects may also occur from taking too high a dosage of Essiac, a low dosage is recommended.

There are no known interactions between Essiac and other medications or herbs. However, it is recommended that you consult a licensed physician before using Essiac for any reason.


More on Nurse Rene

In 1922, nurse Rene Caisse of Haileybury, Ontario, noticed a female patient with a severely scarred and disfigured breast.  Asking the woman about her scars, Rene was told an amazing story of how years earlier the woman had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Toronto doctors had told the woman she must have her breast removed immediately. However, in desperation, the woman turned to a more natural route that had been told to her by an Ojibwa Indian medicine man. 

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 

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 beauracratic "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. 


The information presented herein by Harry's Herbal Teas is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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