Essiac (R)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Patti
Posted on: February 28, 1999

I was at this party the other night. I over heard a conversation these ladies where having. One said that her husband had inoperable cancer (lung & brain). She said that she put him on this tea along with radiation, and chemotherapy. Since this they can’t find any cancer cells. Could you give me some information on this herb. Can it produce miracles?

Essiac is the trademark for a herbal remedy made from four herbs. The remedy was made famous by a nurse, Rene Caisse, who used it to treat many thousands of cancer patients in Ontario. "Essiac" is "Caisse" spelled backwards.

The four herbs in the remedy are Chinese or Turkey rhubarb root, sheep sorrel herb, burdock root, and slippery elm bark.

Can it produce miracles? Well, there is no question that some of the herbs in the mixture have anti-tumour properties, so it seems that there could be a rational basis for anti-cancer effects. But it is important to note that the remedy was never proved to have effect against cancer. That is partly due to the politics of medicine, government restrictions, and the costs of clinical trials. There are, however, many anecdotal reports that Essiac does indeed work in some cases. But it does not work in all cases, that much we can say from observing cases in which it failed to halt advanced terminal cancers.

There is an excellent book on Essiac, called "Essence of Essiac", which is available from Richters. It covers the history of the remedy, the controversies surrounding it, the related research evidence, and how to make and administer the remedy.

Richters sells a product based on the original Caisse formula called "RenEssence". It is a ready-to-use mix of the four herbs in the original formula.

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