Essiac Tea was given its name by Rene (pronounced “Reen”) Caisse (which is her last name spelled backwards). It is a formula that is said to come from the native Canadian Ojibway Indians that supposedly cured cancer. She was given the formula by a patient who used it to cure breast cancer. Here is her story.
In the mid 1920’s, Rene was the head nurse at the Sisters of Providence Hospital in a northern Ontario town. One day she noticed that an elderly patient had a mass of scar tissue on her breast and asked her about it. The patient recalled how she had developed advanced cancer in her breast. The doctors confirmed it, but before she saw the doctors, she had seen an old Indian medicine man who also said she had cancer but that he could cure it. She decide to try the Indian’s remedy instead of removing her breast.
The old Indian showed her certain herbs growing in the area and told her to make a tea from them and drink it every day. She did, and well Rene could see that this lady was in her 80’s and hadn’t had a recurrence of cancer. Rene wrote down these 4 herbs, thinking that she would use them for herself if she ever developed cancer.
A year later she was visiting an aged retired doctor who she knew well. They were walking in his garden and he pointed to a specific weed. He told her, “If people would use this weed there would be very little cancer in the world.” When he told her the name of the plant, she recognized it as one of the 4 herbs she had written down earlier.
A few months later Rene’s aunt came down with cancer of the stomach and was told she had less than 6 months to live. Rene got permission from her aunt’s doctor and tried the herbs on her. Since medical science gave up on her, he consented. Rene’s aunt lived 21 more years after that with no recurrence of cancer. Her aunt’s doctor was so impressed that he asked Rene to use the treatment on some of his other hopeless cancer cases. Other doctors heard of her and asked her to do the same for their patients. Everyone was impressed with the results.
The Bracebridge Town Council contacted Rene Caisse after a hearing. Rene was offered the old British Lion Hotel building to be used as a clinic. She was only charged $1 a month and was asked to treat cancer patients there. The Mayor and the Council were very enthusiastic about getting the clinic started. From 1934-1942 Rene treated thousands of patients who came from far and near, most of them had given up as medical science could not treat or cure them. Some arrived in ambulances, receiving their first treatments lying down in an ambulance. After a few treatments they walked into the clinic without help.
She says in an article published by the Bracebridge Examiner, 1979.
“I had absolute faith that I could accumulate enough proof of results obtained with different types of cancer, as demanded by the Cancer Society, the medical profession would eventually be glad to accept Essiac as an approved treatment.
I did not know then of an organized effort to keep a cancer cure from being discovered, especially by an independent researcher not affiliated with any organization supported by private or public funds. Tremendous sums have been raised and appropriated for official cancer research during the past 50 years, with almost nothing new or productive discovered. It would make these foundations look pretty silly, if an obscure Canadian nurse discovered an effective treatment for cancer!”
Later, her own mother was given days to live from a cancer diagnosis and Rene treated her with the Essiac Tea and she lived another 18 years to 90 years old.
After that she was invited to open a clinic in the Passervant Hospital in Chicago. Her work there impressed even the most skeptical doctors. She was invited to open a clinic in Rochester as well. But she decided to stay in Canada to do her work.
Every few years she would take a group of patients with a petition to the Minister of Health for Ontario. The last petition was presented in 1938 with a Bill requesting the government to legalize Essiac. Attached to the Bill were petitions bearing the names of more than 55,000 people who were in favor of its passage. The Bill failed by 3 votes and Rene learned that members of the medical profession assured the members that if it wasn’t passed they would sponsor the appointment of a Cancer Commission to hear the case and give the Essiac treatment a fair hearing. It came to light later that the Canadian Medical Association had debated the case before the hearing and had made this false promise.
The provincial government’s Cancer Commission (which formed in 1938) did an investigation and 380 patients came to be heard. The Commission limited the Hearings to 49 patients. Then in the report stated that she only had 49 patients to be heard. They also said that the doctors of those 49 patients had misdiagnosed people and that they didn’t really have cancer… even when some people had been diagnosed by 3-4 doctors who gave the same diagnosis. The Commission admitted that every patient presented had benefited or been cured by Essiac, many with pathological findings and reports, but they still said the doctors had been mistaken in diagnosing the cases.
Here are a few of the testimonials from the Hearing – from Nurse Caisse herself:
“My files reflect hundreds of documented cases concerning the proven efficacy of ESSIAC with cancer patients, including many of the 49 that the Cancer Commission turned down for dubious reasons. I will give just two cases of patients who appeared before the Commission in July of 1939, and who were alive and well 20 or more years later.
Mr. Walter Hampson, Utterson, Ontario. Age 34 in Nov., 1937.
Diagnosis: squamous carcinoma of lip.
Doctors: Dr. Ansley, Pathologist; Dr. A.F. Bastedo, Bracebridge, Ontario.
After the pathologists report, Dr. Bastedo urged Mr. Hampson to go at once to have radium treatment as he had no time to lose. Mr. Hampson came to me for treatment and was cured. When he went before the Cancer Commission on July 4, 1939, with other patients, they listed his case as “recovery due to surgery”. The only surgery he had was the removal of a small section for the biopsy which showed the cancer!
Note: Mr. Hampson was well on May 4, 1960.
Mr. Herbert Rawson, Bracebridge, Ontario. Age 48 in 1935.
Diagnosis: carcinoma of rectum, confirmed by x-ray.
Doctors: Dr. A. F. Bastedo and Dr. Kenny
Patient had a hard mass with sloughing and bleeding and great pain. When he refused surgery, Dr. Kenny gave Miss Rene Caisse a written diagnosis with permission to treat with ESSIAC. Treatments began in April of 1935 and the last of 30 was given on May 1, 1936, and a good improvement in weight. Patient was able to work during treatment period except for one month of rest. No trace of cancer found in 1936 when he was examined by Doctors W.C. Arnold of Ottawa, Herbert Monthorne of Timmins, Ont., and F. Greig of Bracebridge, Ont.
Note: Mr. Rawson died of a stroke on May 22, 1960 at age 73 .
In 1963 Mrs. Carline Donald died at age 79 – Mr. John McNee died at age 95 this same year. Both had been cured of cancer at the Bracebridge Clinic, but no doubt the investigators would now claim they never did have cancer. It seems the only cases they admit had cancer are the ones who died of it. In spite of all the research and conventional treatments.
One of the well-known cancer victims who was informed about my treatment was Lady Eva Peron in Argentina. The contact was made by the Honorable Godfrey A. P. V. Winter-Baumgarten representing THEOPOLIS, in Rome. The Honorable Winter-Baumgarten had heard the excellent results from ESSIAC and he wrote to Eva Peron on June 6, 1952, and to me on June 14. She did not take advantage of his offer to help her get ESSIAC treatment, and she died soon afterwards.
Rene did not charge for “Essiac Treatments”, and consequently was not in a position to fight in the courts for rights. So, when the College of Physicians & Surgeons sent their Police to threaten her many times, with arrest and jail, she gave up the unequal batter, and stopped treating cancer patients.
She wrote, “Now, like, the late Grandma Moses, I paint pictures, many, many oil paintings to try to forget that which I know I can never forget, that I know the cure for cancer, that I can never give it to the world that needs it so badly.
Whomever I gave it to, would be subjected to the same kind of Hell that I have subjected to even though I gave it to the greatest scientist, he would be powerless and would be discredited, if he had the courage of his convictions.”
The original formula had 4 herbs in it. But it was not as effective as another version she worked on that had 8 herbs.
In 1959, Rene went to the Brusch Medical Clinic in Cambridge, Mass. to join Dr. Charles Armao Brusch, MD. They became partners with the intent of forming the “Rene Caisse Cancer Research Foundation.” She was given 3 rooms for use at the clinic and her expenses were paid for. Rene and Dr. Brusch remained partners until her death in 1978.
Dr. Brusch, a medical doctor, had developed an interest in other natural forms of healing, his objective always the ‘well-being’ of the patient. He had set up the first acupuncture clinic to collect research data, and it was operating in his medical clinic when Rene Caisse arrived in 1959. He was the first doctor in the Western hemisphere to initiate a plan similar to Medicare within his clinic for those without money for medical help. He was extremely interested in herbs and their power to heal, which he learned from a long-time friend, a master herbalist from Lathrop, Missouri.
The objective at Dr. Brusch’s clinic was to prove that Essiac worked. The eight herb formula had been used with great success on many terminal patients. They began their research on the eight herb essiac using oral treatment only. No other medication was used and the herbs were given on an empty stomach. They wanted to identify the active ingredient and so they experimented with single herbs. They failed to isolate one single herb that worked on its own, proving that effective results are obtained though the unique combination of the eight herbs in the correct proportions.
Consequently they returned to using the eight herb essiac formula administered in an oral fashion.
It is said that nurse Caisse was under pressure by a pharmaceutical company to release her recipe. They made promises about distributing it that she didn’t believe would happen and so she actually sold them the original 4 herb recipe, but kept the more developed recipe for herself. There are some companies out there saying they have “the original” recipe and that is true. It was the original 4 herb recipe.
This final formula consisted of 8 herbs and after her death, was given to Dr. Brusch (her last work partner.) Before Dr. Brush’s death, he certified that Linda Paulhus (one of the medical team members he worked with) had the final recipe, and Linda’s family sells the products today. Upon our research, we have found two companies that sell this final recipe: Linda’s family at bulk-essiac-tea.com, and another company that private labels from the same source at FlaxLignanHealth.com.