Discrepencies in Published Accounts of the Caisse Formula
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Gordon Watt
Posted on: April 26, 2008

I recently purchased the 4 component herbs from Richters for the famous Caisse formula.

I’m curious as to whether you are familiar with the book Essiac: The Secrets of Rene Caisses’s Herbal Pharmacy by Sheila Snow and Mali Klein.

Browsing the internet it has become evident to me that there are a multitude of companies selling a number of different variations of the Caisse formula.

The information that Snow and Klein put forward is that a certain Mary MacPherson who was an associate of Caisse and assisted her in the preparation of Essiac was in possession of the correct remedy which they publish in their book.

I would especially be interested in your comments on the dosages as described in the book. Many of the people Caisse treated took as little as one ounce per week. Caisse (sorry about the line breaks I’m using my son’s laptop). Caisse apparently felt her decoction, as it is called in the book, should be taken sparingly, 1 ounce in 2 ounces of hot water, preferably at bed time. She also recommended taking one week off out of four. It seems that she felt that taking more, as is suggested in most of the commercial preparations would be very much counter-productive.

I am sorry, I have not seen the book you refer to. We used to sell Sheila Snow’s out-of-print book, "The Essence of Essiac", which presumably is an earlier work.

I have written previously about the misleading information concerning Rene Caisse’s formula. Please see my response to the owners of the "Essiac" trademark:

http://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=./QandA/Richters/20020624-1.html

As you can see from the post, it is difficult to sort out the truth deliberate deception by current vendors and by Rene Caisse herself. From what we can tell, the four main ingredients -- rhubarb, sorrel, slippery elm and burdock -- are common to all versions of the Caisse formula, and those are the ones we include in our RenEssence blend.

We provide two methods of preparation and dosage regimes with our RenEssence product. The first is based on the method recommended by Essiac® Products Inc. and the other is from Snow’s "The Essence of Essiac". Depending on which method is used, a 50g package makes either a 20 day supply or a 96 day supply. The second one -- the 96 day version -- may be the same as the one in the book you mention: one ounce in two ounces of warm water taken before bed. Whether one or the other (or both) is right we do not make that determination -- we leave it up to the consumer to choose. I think that the appropriate dosing depends on the circumstances and this is where a trained herbalist can help. Taking one week off in four does seem like a reasonable precaution because the product is laxative and it is always wise to avoid continuous use of any laxative.

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