A few years ago I became fascinated by several “alternative”, which should be called actual, cancer cures and came upon Essiac Tea, its history, and its suppressed effectiveness as a non-toxic remedy that can be brewed at home after purchasing inexpensive herbs.
I had heard some claim Essiac didn’t work for them, but it certainly worked for Billy Best, and Dr. Julian Whitaker recommends it as the first proactive step he would take if he were diagnosed with cancer.
I was also curious about how Essiac also helped non-cancerous conditions by boosting the immune system and purifying the blood. It was used by Dr. Gary Glum to successfully help cure AIDS patients in Los Angeles, while others died from AZT, the pharmaceutical drug for AIDS. Here’s an excellent interview of Dr. Glum.
They naysayers had used off the shelf prepared bottles from large supplement groups that cut corners with quality and ignored the fact that it’s better to brew your own and use it within a short period instead of keeping it around too long.
After trying a few different herbal sources, I came upon the fact that few reference Rene Caisse, the Canadian nurse who came upon the Native American herbal remedy she used to cure thousands from cancer from the 1920s through the 1970s in Canada.
Rene stressed the importance of sheep sorrel root in Essiac Tea for curing cancer. It is a vital component for curing cancer.
That’s why I went to Debbie Jakovic’s site to order my Essiac herbs, which is also where Ty Bolinger, the producer of The Truth About Cancer docu-series orders his family’s Essiac Tea. So I interviewed her for this article. Here’s my interview of Debbie.
When did you get interested in Essiac tea and why?
I first learned about Essiac in 2007. I had been involved for many years prior to that promoting and supporting the locally and regionally produced food movement in Montana my home state.
I have been an organic gardener for many years. I like promoting the idea of people growing their own fruits, vegetables and herbs, and having the freedom to make their own food and/or medicine and use it as they choose to.
The two main Essiac herbs – Burdock and Sheep sorrel – are easy to grow and will make for the best Essiac you can get – homegrown! Or you can buy it ready to brew from my site.
What makes your tea uniquely special?
There is only one public formula for Essiac and that is Mary McPherson’s affidavit. Mary was Rene’s close friend and helper for many years and took over after Rene’s death.
Most Essiac producers use the four herbs Mary lists – Burdock, Sheep sorrel, Slippery elm and Turkey rhubarb. But they only use the arial [above ground stems and leaves] parts of the Sheep sorrel plant.
We use the whole Sheep sorrel herb, including the roots because there is direct documentation of its central importance to the Essiac formula in Rene Caisse’s own handwriting.
We add hand-harvested Sheep sorrel roots in addition to the commercially harvested whole herb Sheep sorrel and this makes our tea ‘top shelf’ Essiac – it has ‘the root,’ it is US grown organic, we use the best and freshest herbs we can get. We are small because it’s best for quality.
Where or how do you get your herbs?
All of our herbs are grown in the U.S. and mostly they are supplied by Pacific Botanicals, a certified organic farm in Oregon. Our Slippery elm and the Montana Sheep sorrel are not certified organic but were organically grown, or harvested from a very clean source.
We harvest whole herb Sheep sorrel from several organic sites in Montana’s Flathead Valley and our goal is to ultimately sustainably produce all of the Essiac herbs here in Montana.
Until then, Pacific Botanicals is a great source! This year has been a challenge because it is very dry. We are underway with growing all eight of the Essiac herbs however and are especially excited to be helping bring Slippery elm out West!
What do you think of other attempts at producing Essaic Tea, especially 8 herb formulas?
Essiac is not Brusch [the Massachusetts MD who used Essiac for his own cancer] spelled backwards. There were several things that changed when Essiac [Caisse spelled backwards] came back into popularity in the 1970s. Until she died in 1978 there was only one source for Essiac – Rene Caisse.
However, because she basically took the formula with her to the grave there was a lot of confusion and a lot of people with dubious motivations and credentials started making ‘Essiac’ following her death.
This is when more concentrated decoctions and higher doses and other departures from the historically accurate information began. Several 8-herb Essiac formulas emerged starting in the 1980s, but none of them had the same herbs as the ones Rene listed on a hand-written private paper in 1977.
That original 8-herb formula had a remarkable record (“Patient Zero’ had aggressive menopausal breast cancer and lived 30+ more years”), but it was shelved in 1926 when Rene was working on finding an injectable herb and narrowing down the number of herbs to what she found to be the most active ones.
It would be wonderful to get some good independent research done on Essiac! What is and isn’t Essiac? – Mali Klein speaks her mind in Black Root Medicine the Original Native American Essiac Formula , which is available from my site.