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Chris Woolmams / Catherine Woollams

It´s only natural

The Medicine Man´s ´Cure´ for Cancer?

(Chris Woollams) Essiac, which is sometimes called Cassie Tea, quite simply is a natural, herbal tea that is an excellent immune system booster. However, it may well have other benefits.

Currently, it is unapproved for marketing in the United States and Canada. However the Resperin Corporation, now owners of the formula, has a special agreement with the Canadian Health and Welfare department, which permits "emergency releases of Essiac on compassionate grounds to cancer sufferers".

Why the restrictions? Why the fuss over a few herbs?

Well, there are those who genuinely believe Essiac is a cancer ´cure´.

So is it a cancer cure or not? It certainly seems to have immune boosting capabilities, and several ingredients may perform other functions that can help. But there is no hard evidence to support a genuine cancer cure claim, just anecdotes. 

The original formula was given to Nurse Rene Caisse by a hospital patient who claimed her cancer had been healed some 20 years before by an Ontario Indian medicine man.

Open quotesEssiac quite simply is a natural, herbal teaClose quotes

Caisse used the blend of herbs to treat patients for a number of years, setting up her own clinic in 1935 in Braceridge. Caisse´s view was that it alleviated pain, and at the same time broke down nodular masses to form a more normal tissue. (Eventually the tumour would start to soften after an earlier hardening. Patients frequently reported a discharge of large amounts of pus and fleshy material as the tumour broke down.)

Her clinic was free, and by 1938 supporters tried to win Government approval for her work, failing in parliament by three votes. Nine doctors had petitioned the Canadian federal health department as early as 1926 asking that Caisse be allowed to test her cancer remedy on a broad scale. In their signed petition they testified that the herbal treatment reduced tumour size and increased life expectancy.

If you are thinking of buying Essiac and want the 8 ingredient formula, you might like to look at the Natural Selection Product of Choice. You can do this by  clicking here.

Caisse´s own view was that, if it doesn´t actually cure cancer, it does afford significant relief. Also, please keep in mind that she ´brewed´ the herbs fresh. Whilst in Canada Caisse treated her own 72 year old mother with the tea under the supervision of Dr Roscoe Graham, consultant and specialist. The tea was administered 12 times a day for 10 days, and her mother lived to 90 years of age.

By 1942, without official approval and fearing arrest, Caisse shut her clinic, although she continued to treat patients at home. In 1959 at the age of seventy she went to the Brusch Medical Centre in Massachusetts, where she treated cancer patients under the watchful eye of 18 doctors. Dr Charles Brush, who treated President Kennedy amongst other members of New England´s elite, reported in 1991 that he had been taking Caisse´s formula since 1984 when he himself had cancer operations.

Open quotesIf it doesn´t actually cure cancer, it does seem to afford reliefClose quotes

The original herbal ingredients were:

1. Burdock root - A well-known blood purifier which has been reported by Hungarian and Japanese scientists to decrease cell mutation and inhibit tumours. It has a reasonably high Selenium content.

2. Sheep Sorrel - A traditional Indian remedy for everything from eczema to ringworm; research has shown it may well have an effect in herpes, ulcers & cancer seemingly by stimulating the endocrine system.

3. Slippery Elm - Calcium, magnesium and vitamin rich, it has a healing effect on the lungs and internal organs. It also helps alkalise the body.

4. Indian Rhubarb - Very cleansing to the liver and intestinal system. It also helps transport oxygen throughout the body and has an antibiotic and anti-yeast action and reduces inflammation. In 1980 studies showed that it also had an anti-tumour effect.

Whilst working with Dr Brusch between 1959 and 1978, Nurse Caisse added four other herbs to the original formula. The new formula became Essiac, her name spelled backwards.

The four additions are:

5. Watercress - Strong antioxidant effects, contains bioflavonoids; it is a good source of vitamin C.

6. Blessed Thistle - A blood purifier and immune booster

7. Red clover - The herb of Hippocrates, the flowers seem to have anti-oestrogenic effects and there are currently tests for breast cancer control.

8. Kelp - Like Chlorophyll and spyrogina, kelp is a strong provider of natural minerals especially iron and calcium in an organic and easily assimilated form. Kelp is anti-bacterial and sea vegetables, in general, help reduce acidity in the body thus improving immune function.

Nurse Caisse recommended 12 - 13 cups of the infusion per day, although there are several reports of it being administered by injection. Shortly before she died she sold the ´secret´ formula to the company Resperin.

Open quotesThe ingredients of Essiac, if nothing else, make it an excellent all round immune system boosterClose quotes

Without proper clinical trials it is impossible to come to any definitive conclusion about Essiac and a degree of mythology has both enhanced and clouded some of the story. We have, unusually, had several people write to us suggesting that home-prepared fresh mixes of Essiac, and one of just sheep-sorrel did have significant anti-cancer effects in their personal cases. 

What is apparent though is that the ingredients of Essiac, if nothing else, make it an excellent all round immune system booster and, whilst the specific anti-cancer claims may still need further hard supporting evidence, research is increasingly showing the benefits of the individual ingredients. Certainly, it seems very odd that a mix of 8 herbs finds laws against its use! 

The medical authorities only play into the hands of the cynical and the "alternative" health brigade when they do this. Oh that there were full Clinical Trials to clear up the outstanding issues once and for all.

Rainbow diet          At last - the definitive, research-based book on how to build a diet to help beat cancer. Click here to read about it.

If you are thinking of buying Essiac you should make sure it has all 8 ingredients. You might like to look at the Natural Selection Product of Choice. You can do this by  clicking here.

Please be clear: At CANCERactive we do not consider the above compound to be a cure for cancer, despite what the research says or experts doing the research may claim. The above, is an article on the compound from published research and expert opinion in the public domain. At CANCERactive we do not believe that any single compound (drug, vitamin, whatever) is a cure for cancer. We believe that people can significantly increase their personal odds of survival by building an Integrated Programme of treatments. Equally, cancer prevention is best practiced through a width of measures.

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