Rene Caisse

This modest Canadian nurse discovered a natural herbal forumla she took no money for it and died in relative obscurity.

She was invited by the Bracebridge Town Council to open her clinic in the old British Lion Hotel. Her lease payment, as stipulated by the Council, was $1 per month. It was here she ran her clinic from 1934 to 1942.

Throughout her long struggle with the Cancer Society and the medical profession in general, Nurse Caisse insisted that if she were to hand over the formula to the medical establishment, her cancer treatment would be shelved forever.


Now, after more than 50 years of mystery,the Essiac formula is known. Research work on this formula should be carried out, so official approval can be obtained.Working Summary: Essiac consisted of a carefully worked out formulation of several herbs, which both attacked the cancer and helped expel it from the body. Fortunately, we have both the formula and how to prepare and take it.

There are three people who have made it possible for Essiac to be available today. Here is this incredible story.

The first of the three was Rene Caisse. She is one of the few people in this brief history of cancer remedies who was not a medical doctor. She was a Canadian registered nurse who was born in Bracebridge, Ontario, in 1888. Briefly married (her husband died shortly after their marriage), she retained her maiden name for the rest of her life. A kindly lady, she could be quite stubborn when necessary and had a strong distrust of medical and government intrusion.

In 1922, Caisse was 33 years old and head nurse at the Sisters of Providence Hospital in Haileybury, Ontario, Canada. One evening she noticed an elderly woman patient who had a strangely scarred breast. When she inquired as to the cause,the lady told her that, more than 20 years earlier,she had come from England to join her husband who was working as a prospector in northern Ontario. Shortly after arriving, a hardened mass appeared on her breast.

The area where they were camping was inhabited by Ojibwa Indians (also known as Chippewa).Learning of her problem, an old Indian native doctor (medicine man) said it was really no problem,for their tribe regularly healed these tumors with an herbal mixture. The kindly Indian offered to help her, but she and her husband said they would obtain help in Toronto.

Journeying down there with her husband, she was told that she had advanced cancer and would be dead in a short time unless she was operated on. But the woman recalled a friend who had recently had a radical mastectomy and died soon after. Besides, they did not have the money for expensive operations.

Returning to the Objibwa tribe, she sought out the old Indian. He gave her an herbal tea,along with instructions to drink it twice a day.She was also given the complete formula forgathering the herbs and making the tea. The herb tea totally eliminated the malignancy.

Caisse was astounded, and asked if there was any way she could obtain the formula. The woman said she had it written down at home.The formula listed only a few herbs, and nothing more. Rene kept it, thinking that some day she might have cancer and would then use it on herself. Yet, two years later when her aunt, Mireza,was medically diagnosed as dying of inoperable stomach cancer with liver involvement, Caisse wellknew that the latest medical advances included burning the patients horribly with radium.

Wishing to spare her favorite aunt such torture,she gave her the herbal tea. Both Caisse and the attending physician, Dr. R.O. Fisher, were amazed when, after two months of treatment, the relative rallied and recovered. (She lived 20 more years after that.)

Deciding to give the formula a name, Caisse called it Essiac, which is her name spelled backwards.With the help of Dr. Fisher, she now began treating dozens of patients suffering from cancer. The results were documented, frequently with remarkably success

Based on what was happening to these cancer patients, many of whom were terminal, eight physicians and medical professionals signed a petition in 1926 and sent it to the Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa, requesting that Caisse be given facilities to do research work on her herbal formula.

In response, they sent two investigating doctors with papers empowering them to have her arrested. But, when they arrived, they found she was working with nine of the most eminent physicians in Toronto, who told them of her work.

Stunned, one investigator gave her cancerous mice (inoculated with deadly Rous Sarcoma) to experiment on—and she kept them alive for 52 days, longer than any other method known to medical science.

Caisse kept helping people who came to her.Most of the time, they had been diagnosed as having advanced, inoperable cancers.A battle began which lasted 50 years until her death at the age of 90 in the fall of 1978, after falling and breaking her hip. She had outlived most of her opponents.

Rene was threatened with arrest a dozen times;yet doctors, who had been referring patients to her, always came to her rescue. She never took any money for administering the treatment, only donations; and she lived very modestly. Many gave her only a dollar or two for the help they received.

News of what she was doing gradually spread. As you might expect, the public was very favorable to her work. In 1932, the first major newspaper article appeared in the Toronto Star. Entitled, “Bracebridge

Girl Makes Notable Discovery Against Cancer.”

This brought her work to the attention of many more people.That same year, Dr. A.F. Bastedo, of Bracebridge(her hometown, located 170 kilometers north of Toronto, with a population of only about 9,000), let Caisse treat one of his patients who had terminal bowel cancer. When the patient recovered,Bastedo was so impressed, he convinced the town council to make the British Lion Hotel,which had been repossessed for back taxes, available to Rene for a clinic.

Rene Caisse now had an entire hotel to use,free of charge. Soon patients were arriving from around the world. The King of England wrote her a letter of encouragement.

Then a personal tragedy confronted her: Rene’s own mother was diagnosed with inoperable cancer.But the tea brought a full recovery, and she lived another 18 years till the age of 90.

Thousands of signatures were gathered by friends and sent to Dr. J.A. Faulkner, provincial Minister of Health, imploring the government to support her work. The petition was ignored.

Then nine medical doctors submitted another one. Upon receiving it, Faulkner conferred with Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin.Banting was interested. He had first heard about Essiac ten years earlier in 1925, when a woman treated with it no longer needed insulin.

Her diabetic condition had disappeared! Checking into it, Banting had concluded that Essiac had somehow “stimulated the pancreas to function normally,thereby healing the diabetes.”

But when the matter was again brought to his attention by Faulkner in 1935, she was invited to the Banting Institute in Toronto, to work under his supervision.Caisse’s supporters urged her to accept thisoutstanding offer; but, because it included stopping her care of cancer patients and working on mice, she said she turned down the offer. She would have to leave Bracebridge for a time, and this she refused to do. Her patients needed her help, and would die if she left.

In 1936, a large number of physicians again put their signatures on a petition for the Ottawa Department of Health and Welfare to give her an opportunity to demonstrate her method, so it could be officially approved. Once again, it was turned down.

At this juncture, let us cite two examples of what Rene Caisse was doing at Bracebridge, which she considered too important to abandon for mouse studies:

Tony Baziuk was a CNR engine watchman with lip cancer. It was so swollen after radium treatments in London, Ontario, that he could see it over the end of his nose. The pain was excruciating.Fellow workers collected enough to pay Tony’s way to Bracebridge. One injection of Essiac and Tony felt immediate relief. In six months he was back on the job, and lived 40 more years.

May Henderson went to Bracebridge, in 1937,with tumors in both breasts. Doctors told her she must have a double mastectomy immediately. Then they found a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her uterus.Too weak to move, she had a horror of surgery;so her physician, Dr. J.A. McInnis, told her she was hopeless and sent her to Caisse. Describing the experience later in 1977, May said:“My color was a muddy yellow, my hair thin, my eyes, ordinarily blue, were gray and stony. I hemorrhaged so badly I thought I would die, and couldn’t stand up for any length of time.”—quoted in Richard Thomas, The Essiac Report, 19.

Within three months after beginning Essiac injections,May was back at work.“At first, the lumps seemed to grow harder, but then the turning point came and I discharged great masses of fleshy material.”—Ibid.

Still healthy 40 years later when she recounted the experience, she never had another recurrence of cancer.

In late 1937, a petition with 17,000 signatures were sent to the Canadian government. By this time, Rene was repeatedly offered millions of dollars if she would give her still-secret formula to some firm, so they could exclusively sell it to the public. All such offers were rejected. Caisse wanted the people helped, and feared letting either private firms or the government gain control of the formula.

A leading physician in Chicago heard about Essiac, and offered to let Caisse come there to do research work. Since she would be gone from Bracebridge only every other week, and the Essiac would be given to people, not just mice, she agreed to do so.

She commuted to Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago, assisting five physicians in treating 30 volunteer terminal cancer patients.After 18 months, they concluded that Essiac prolonged life, broke down nodular masses to a more normal tissue, and relieved pain. They as much as said that it eliminated cancer, but dared not openly admit it—lest they get in trouble.

Passavant Hospital in Chicago offered her a home and the use of their laboratories, if she would move to the United States. A group of American businessmen in Buffalo, New York, offered to put up a million dollars in cash, if she would turn over the formula to them so they could control it for world marketing.

But Caisse turned them all down. She said she wanted Essiac used immediately on suffering cancer patients. Authorities wanted her to stop using it while they spent years testing it on animals!

Yet, by that time, it had successful healed thousands of human beings of the dreaded disease.And they wanted to go back to animals!

She wanted Essiac to be recognized as a cure for cancer. Others wanted the formula and marketing control of the product. She was thinking of people; they had money in mind.

Somehow, in a world gone mad with greed,Rene Caisse was a different kind of person.Not only patients came from distant places,so did highly trained physicians. Emma Carson,M.D., came from California. Originally planning to remain one day, amazed at what she found, she stayed at the Bracebridge Clinic nearly a month.“I firmly resolved that my investigation be based on unprejudiced judgment. The vast majority of Miss Caisse’s patients were brought to her after surgery; radium, emplastrums, etc. had failed to be helpful, and the patients were pronounced incurable or hopeless cases.

“The progress obtained, the actual results from Essiac treatments, and the rapidity of repair were absolutely marvelous and must be seen to be believed.My skepticism neither yielded nor became subdued by the hopes and faith so definitely expressed by the patients and their friends.

“As I reviewed, compared and summarized my data, records, case histories, etc., I realized that skepticism had deserted me. When I arrived I contemplated remaining 12 hours; I remained 24 days.I examined results obtained on 400 patients.”—Emma Carson, M.D., op. cit., 23.

Then, in 1938, the central government became involved when a bill was presented to Parliament,which would officially allow Rene Caisse to treat cancer patients with Essiac. It was introduced inMarch by Frank Kelly, and proposed that Rene Caisse be officially authorized to “practice medicine in Ontario in the treatment of cancer in all its forms and of human ailments and conditions resulting therefrom.” Caisse wanted to be able to treat cancer patients before they had entered the advanced, terminal stage. The patients were half dead before she had an opportunity to work on them.

The bill was supported by a petition with 55,000 names of patients, their families, and friends, and many physicians. But, in a close decision,the bill was defeated by just three votes.

At this juncture, it is a wonder the voting public of Canada did not throw the bunch out of office.Faulkner, who had favored Caisse somewhat,had been replaced as Minister of Health by Harold Kirby, who declared, “I will not see the honor of modern medical science tainted!” He introduced a bill into Parliament three days after defeat of the Kelly bill. It easily passed, and called for fines and jailing of anyone giving Essiac. Caisse was warned that she would be arrested if she continued to give her “useless” Essiac treatments.

Rene immediately announced she was closing her clinic and moving to the United States. Her patients were heartbroken, and protests from all across Canada deluged the desks of the Premier and the Minister of Health.Under incredible public pressure, Premier Hepburn and Health Minister Kirby publicly announced that Caisse could continue her work, and would not be charged under the new Kirby law.

She consented.

The war continued. On one side were the protests of the public; on the other side, a driving concern to shut down Caisse’s clinic. The next year (August 1938) the government set up a commission of six physicians, with “expertise” in the treatment of cancer, to investigate her claimed cancer cures.

All this was somewhat ironic, since the formula had been curing cancer in Canada longer than there had been a Canada.Drs. W.C. Wallace and T.H. Callahan were sent to Bracebridge to interview her patients, and received glowing reports.Three members of Parliament (Duckworth,Armstrong, and Summerville) strongly urged enactment of a bill to permit Caisse to treat cancer.

Caisse brought not 10, 20, or even 30 Essiac treated patients—but 380 of them! They all claimed to have been cured, and there was medical documentation to support it. The commission heard 49 of them Here are just two of those 49 testimonies:

“After treatment by Nurse Caisse, I’m working everyday. I milk five cows, night and morning. I’m right off the farm and have boarders and all in the house, and I have to do it all myself. I owe my life to Miss Caisse and I hope you will do something for her.”—Elizabeth Stewart, op. cit., 28.

“My cancer had spread after radium treatments until my arm had swelled to double its size, and turned black. I went down from 150 pounds to 90 pounds, and then entered St. Michael’s to have my arm amputated, but changed my mind on the eve of the operation and went to Bracebridge instead.After four months on the Essiac treatment my arm has returned to normal, and I have gained 60pounds.”—Annie Bonar, ibid.

After hearing the 49 testimonies, the committee admitted that Essiac may have helped some of them. But most of the time, the commission concluded her patients either did not know what they were talking about, never had cancer (had earlier been misdiagnosed), or that some standard method had really remitted the cancer. In spite of all this evidence, the commission rejected the request for permission to give Essiac to cancer patients. In its official December 1939 report, the commission declared that, of all the testimonies and piles of records submitted, where diagnosis had been by biopsy, there had been only one recovery by Essiac.

For example, Mrs. Annie Bonar (quoted above)was said to have been cured by the earlier radium treatments, not by a tea made from plants!

“It is my opinion that the hearing of my case before the Cancer Commission was one of the greatest farces ever perpetrated in the history of man.

Over 380 patients came to be heard and the Commission limited the hearing to 49 patients. Then in their report they stated that I had only taken 49 patients to be heard, that X-ray reports were not acceptable as a diagnosis, and that the 49 doctors had made wrong or mistaken diagnoses. It is a sad state of affairs if doctors can diagnose an affliction as ‘cancer’ and send patients home with a few months at most to live, if they are not sure.”—Rene Caisse, op. cit., 31.

For several years she continued giving the treatments,always without charge, and never knowing when she would be arrested. In 1942, close to a nervous breakdown, she closed down the clinic.

In 1948, when her husband died, she returned to Bracebridge, but little is known of her activities until 1959. It was widely believed that she was still treating patients, and the government dared not arrest her.

Throughout the years when she was treating people, when asked about her income she would laugh, “I never had $100 I could call my own!”She would accept fruits, vegetables, eggs, or whatever the people would bring her in payment for her help. She never turned away anyone who had no money.

When asked why she kept the formula secret,she replied that as long as the government and the medical groups did not have it, they could not forbid others to use it. She refused to reveal the formula to the Canadian Government, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York,or the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland—just to name a few.She said she would not tell them the formula until they publicly admitted that it could cure cancer.This they refused to do. So the stalemate continued on down to the time of her death.

“I want to know that suffering humanity will benefit by it. When I can be given that assurance, I am willing to disclose my [herbal] formula, but I have got to know that it is going to get to suffering humanity.”—Rene Caisse, op. cit., 30.

There are three individuals who made it possible for people today to have Essiac. The first was Rene Caisse; the second was Charles A. Brusch,M.D.

In February 1959, Roland Davidson (a Canadian healed of a severe case of ulcerated hemorrhoids by Essiac) journeyed to New York City to convince Ralph Daigh, editorial director of Fawcett Publications, to print a story on Caisse and Essiac in True, at that time the largest men’s magazine in North America. He had with him copies of 10 pounds of documents, testimonials, physicians’statements, and newspaper articles.

Daigh was skeptical at first; but, after examining the material for several hours, he became very interested. Daigh decided to check further into the matter. With a friend (Paul Murphy of the Science Research Institute of New York), he went to Bracebridge to interview Caisse and several physicians who had worked with her.Daigh then made arrangements for Caisse to be invited to go to Cambridge, Massachusetts and work with Dr. Charles Brusch, one of the most prestigious physicians in America. Expenses would be paid and she would retain the right to her formula.

By this time, Rene was 70.From 1959 to 1962, Dr. Brusch worked with Essiac at his Brusch Clinic in Massachusetts. He was a personal physician to John F. Kennedy; and,using Essiac, he healed Ted Kennedy’s son who had a sarcoma on his leg.It was quickly obvious to Brusch that Essiac was a winner, and he wanted to try to improve on the formula. Working closely with Caisse, they gave Essiac orally and by injection to the patients. They also gave it to mice. Brusch knew a skilled herbalist,in Kansas, who suggested several other herbs. Gradually, over a period of time, Brusch honed the formula into one which worked better,and no longer needed to be injected. In this way, common folk could more easily obtain and use it.

“What they discovered through extensive experimentation on human patients was that by adding more herbs (called potentiators) to Essiac’s original core formula, Essiac became even more effective.So much so that it was possible to administer the entire formulation orally. This was quite a breakthrough because it meant that people could treat themselves in the privacy of their own homes.

Long treks to the clinic were no longer necessary. . Essiac in its newly evolved formulation was never again administered by injection to human patients.”—Richard Thomas, The Essiac Report,39.

The improved formula had the four basic herbs, plus four others. Eventually, Brusch was told that mice would no longer be available to him “for obvious reasons” and “technical difficulties.” Pressure became so great that he was much more cautious about treating patients with cancer, lest he be arrested. But Brusch remained solidly with Rene Caisse as her friend and fellow researcher. She recognized this,gave him the full formula, and signed a contract making him co-owner of the Essiac formula.

That was one of the wisest decisions she ever made.“The results we obtained with thousands of patients of various races, sexes, and ages, with all types of cancer, definitely prove Essiac to be a cure for cancer. All studies done in four laboratories in the United States and one or more in Canada fortify this claim.”—Charles A. Brusch, M.D.

Rene found that Essiac tended to normalize the thyroid gland. She noted that it would heal stomach ulcers within 3-4 weeks. Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin, said the tea seemed to regenerate the pancreas so it would again produce insulin. It is also good for the common cold. Essiac elevates the immune system.

Gary Glum, author of a book on Caisse, says he has taken one ounce of Essiac, each day for a decade, and he has not had a cold, flu, or a virus.—Yet neither Essiac nor any other special food should be taken as a cure-all, without changing one’s way of life. Adequate rest, exercise, and healthful living are crucial to success; it would be foolish for a person to just take Essiac, and imagine that he was insulated from infection and crippling disease.

By the 1970s, no one (other than Brusch)yet knew what the formula was. Midway through that decade, Caisse finally admitted to the general public that the core formula contained only four herbs.At the time, one natural healing writer asked her directly if red clover tops was one of them.She said no. He was amazed, since red clover blossoms have been widely used as a cancer remedy. What Caisse did not mention was that it was one of the four auxiliary herbs.

Later in this chapter, we will tell you the names of all eight herbs.From 1962 to 1978, Rene continued quietly treating cancer sufferers at the Bracebridge Clinic.Official papers have come to light, that the government knew about this, but looked the other way. They feared the people, who considered this lady, who without charge healed cancer, to be an angel from heaven.

For his part, Brusch continued experimentation with the herbs, giving them to some patients,and continually refining the proportions to be given for optimum results. As he progressed, he shared his discoveries with Caisse. He also told her of other conditions which he found to be helped by Essiac. The formula was a phenomenal detoxifier,cleaning the body so a variety of advanced degeneracies and debilities could be alleviated.

In the summer of 1978, Homemakers, one of Canada’s largest magazines, published a story on Rene Caisse and her work. Rene was swamped with requests for help. Newspapers across Canada picked up the story. Letters poured in.One of those who read the Homemakers’ story was David Fingard, the vice-president of Resperin,a Canadian corporation said to have pharmaceutical interests. Fingard determined that he would do the impossible: convince Caisse to turn over the formula to him. Repeatedly, he made offers,which she turned down. But he kept offering new,revised offers. Finally, he offered to treat poor cancer patients free, if she would turn over the formula.On the morning of October 26, 1977, Caisse,Brusch, and Fingard signed a contract giving his firm the formula. Although Brusch was somewhat doubtful, yet Caisse, knowing she was nearing the end of her life decided to go ahead with it. She had signed over the rights to her secret formula,for the sum of one dollar, to a Canadian manufacturing firm. Resperin was organized by a physician,Matthew Dymond, who wanted to save Essiac from extinction. He told her that he would use it to help humanity, and she trusted him.

With the passing of time, Brusch’s fears were found to be true.Resperin kept the secret formula in Toronto;but, in order to carry on their work, they said it was necessary to share the formula with the Canadian Ministry of Health and Welfare. This angered Caisse, who felt that the men had betrayed her.

But Brusch began checking into the matter and learned still more.On one hand, the medical establishment was up to its old tricks. Only two hospitals were permitted to dispense Essiac. Physicians at those hospitals refused to give Essiac in the larger amounts needed to accomplish anything worthwhile. The clinical testing was limited to private physicians,and they were required to fill out extremely lengthy forms for each person they wanted to give Essiac to. So few physicians would bother to use it very much. The physicians said they must give it in combination with various drugs. On and on wentthe merry-go-round.

Rene Caisse was heartbroken. She blamed Resperin for the problems. Bitterly disappointed,she died on December 26, 1978, a week after being operated on for a broken hip.But Charles Brusch still had the formula. He continued investigating, and he learned still more.

In early 1980, he learned why he had been kept totally in the dark about Resperin’s work with Essiac, even though the contract called for him to be regularly consulted. Since Brusch was in New York State, not Canada, he hired a private investigator to check things out. This is what was discovered:

Resperin was not even a viable corporation at the time of the Homemakers’ article. It had sold some respiratory products, but little was known about them. The impressive board of consultants were merely friends of David Fingard.Fingard was a trained chemist, but his specialty was unknown. Essiac was being formulated in the kitchen of Dr. Matthew Dymond, the only other Resperin employee. Both men were now in their 70s, and too frail to accomplish much.

The general inaction of Resperin and in the hospitals provided the Department of Health and Welfare with the excuse it was looking for. On April 9, 1981, the Health Protection Branch (an interesting name) issued an official statement condemning Essiac as essentially worthless. The hospital testing, it declared, had not helped anyone.On August 30, 1982, Resperin’s permit for testing of Essiac was rescinded.

Knowing the public was to be outraged, the government was ready. They issued a statement that, under the Emergency Drug Release Act, any physician could obtain Essiac for his cancer patients.

But such extensive paperwork was required for each case, that the local physicians could not use it. Among other things, the complete past medical history of the patient must be written out and submitted, with copies of all tests, X-rays, etc.Resperin had been effectively stopped, and Fingard and Dymond retired into silence. Essiac could not be gotten to the people.

Now enters the third person who, with Rene Caisse and Dr. Charles Brusch, would bring Essiac to the people.Before her death, Caisse, brokenhearted over the state of affairs, shared the four-herb basic formula with some friends. Gradually others learned about it. But Dr. Brusch continued to have the complete formula. Only the four basic herbs in the original formula had been divulged to Resperin. Why the complete formula had not been shared is a question we do not have an answer for. It is likely that the advanced research work by Brusch was held back because of his initial doubts aboutFingard and his organization. (A letter dated December 31, 1985, from the Health and Welfare Department, in Ontario, confirms that only the four-herb formula was in use.)

Essiac was dead. Dr. Brusch did not know what to do, and could only wait.Then, in the late summer of 1984, a woman in Vancouver phoned him.Elaine Alexander was a woman with a remarkable amount of energy. She was a radio talk show host and producer in Vancouver, British Columbia; and she had heard about Essiac.Intrigued at first, she investigated, read everything she could on the subject, and become convinced that Essiac really could heal cancer!

Alexander asked Brusch if he would be willing to appear on her Vancover radio talk show. It was obvious that she already knew a vast amount about Essiac, and regularly discussed controversial health issues over the air. In 1984, she had been one of the first to reveal the AIDS crisis to Canadians,and she spent six weeks of broadcasts doing it.Brusch found that Elaine had already meticulously gone through court records, privately interviewed people healed by Essiac, and spoken with physicians. Now she wanted to take the whole matter to the public in a radio series.

For the first two-hour interview, the phone lines were jammed as she spoke with Brusch.“Alexander: Does Essiac have any side effects?“Brusch: None.“A: Dr. Brusch, let’s get right to the point. Are you saying Essiac can help people with cancer, or are you saying that Essiac is a cure for cancer?A;B: I’m saying it’s a cure!

“A: Would you repeat that once more, Dr. Brusch?

“B: Yes, I would be glad to. Essiac is a cure for cancer. I’ve seen it reverse and eliminate cancers at such a progressed state that nothing medical science currently has could have accomplished similar results. I wouldn’t have believed it myself had I not seen it with my own eyes. I feel very strongly that Essiac is the single most beneficial treatment for cancer today.”—First E. Alexander radio interview with C.A. Brusch, M.D., November 1984.

In Dr. Brusch, Rene Caisse had at last found a friend who would not betray her. In Elaine Alexander, Brusch had at last found the friend he needed to bring Essiac to the people.Intense pressure was immediately applied to Alexander, from both medical interests and the general public. Learning where she lived, people would mob her home. She became an expert at sorting out the legal red tape, so patients could obtain Essiac from their physicians via the Emergency Drug Release Act. Yet the complications were so serious that only a few could be helped.

The pressure continued from 1984 onward.Then, in early 1988, Elaine got an idea. Simple enough, it would cut through all the red tape and bring Essiac to the people at last!

The answer was to be found, for example, in a letter from Dr. A. Klein, at the Health Protection Branch of the federal government.

“Relevant Factors:“Essiac has always been classified as a drug because the Resperin Corporation has made drug claims for this infusion.“According to the Food and Drug Act, a substance is a drug when it is a substance or a mixture of substances sold or represented for use in the diagnosis,treatment, investigation or prevention of a disease, disorder, abnormal physical state, or the symptoms thereof, etc.

“Essiac has always been represented to be a ‘cure’ for cancer; therefore, it is a drug due to the claim.

“Suggested Response:“Essiac appears to be entirely nontoxic.“From the evidence to date Essiac has only a placebo or a phychological effect on cancer patients.“If Essiac were to be sold in health food stores,the implied claims for this substance could be considered fraudulent, and would also constitute a health hazard with regard to self-diagnosis and selftreatment of cancer.”—“Briefing Information on Essiac,” A. Klein, M.D., Health Protection Branch,Department of Health and Welfare, Ontario,March 17, 1988.

The solution was simple: Change the name of the formula from Essiac to something else, and sell it at low cost through the health-food stores,making no claims of any kind for it!Why fight a war that cannot be won? Instead,just give it to the people as an herbal “tonic”—which is what the Objibwa Indians said it was.Charles Brusch was astounded. Resperin was essentially defunct; and, by this time, he knew that Elaine Alexander was a true friend of Essiac. Immediately,he signed a contract making her coowner of the formula, and he pled with her to take charge of getting the herbal formula to the people.

On November 10, 1988, legal documents were drawn up and signed (and an additional confirmatory contract was drawn up between them on April 23, 1993).Distribution of Essiac. If Alexander was not satisfied,either changes would be made or the contract would be canceled.

At last, common people could obtain Essiac.

It required four years of investigation by Alexander and Brusch before they selected Flora Manufacturing and Distributing, Ltd.In 1913, Dr. Otto Greither lay gravely ill in a Bavarian hospital. A leading European orthodox physician, Dr. Greither’s condition was impossible to diagnose, but left him paralyzed from the waist down. Both legs were hard, dark, and one was beginning to gangrene.

The night before he was to have both of them amputated, a nurse made a comment to him. If I may say so, one of those foolish comments that only a person acquainted with natural remedies would make. She told the great doctor that if he would take some enemas, it would clean out the colon and eliminate the toxic buildup.Greither was understandably outraged at such a stupid statement. But, recognizing that he had nothing to lose, he did it. The effects were immediate,and a full recovery followed soon after. Returning to his practice, rich foods, meat,wine, and late hours, within six months he was back in the hospital with both legs paralyzed again.

Once again, Greither took an enema.This time, recovery awakened him fully to the reality of natural remedies and uselessness of orthodox medications. He made a total changeover in practice, and thoroughly researched the healthfood field. In 1916, Dr. Otto Greither founded a company, called Salus Haus (Health House). Within 10 years there were more than 50 of them in Germany.Specializing in herbal formulas to detoxify the body, the firm spread to other countries.

Employing over 250 people, Salus Haus now owns organic fields throughout Bavaria, an organic herbal farm in Chile, and an organic acerola farm in Florida.Its manufacturing plant outside Munich covers 60 acres, and the products are exported to 60 countries. The headquarters of the Canadian company,called Flora, is located on the edge of Vancouver,B.C.

The first meeting of Elaine Alexander with the head of the company, Thomas Greither (Otto’s grandson), was in May 1992. Ultimately, an agreement was signed.Brusch and Alexander required that she maintain continual oversight of the growth, harvesting,processing, widespread, and lower-cost sales distribution.




Here are the four primary herbs in the Essiac herbal formula:

Burdock root (Arctium lappa) is slightly bitter.You can add an additional 2-6 oz. to the 24 oz., if you do not mind the added bitterness. This would be beneficial, but not necessary.

Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is a wild perennial miniature of garden sorrel. It must be green in color and have an aroma of sweet grass. “Sorrel”comes from a French word for “sour.” Sorrel tastes a little like lemon juice.

Turkey (or Turkish) rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum) is yellowish-brown in color.

Slippery elm inner bark (Ulmus fulva) is best purchased. If you strip it from a tree, you will likely kill it if you do not know the proper way to do it.

For your information, it is sometimes said that Essiac originally had six herbs in it, not four.Checking this out carefully, we find that there were only four.

We have learned that sheep sorrel is a crucial ingredient, but that many herb companies substitute yellow dock and curly dock for the sheep sorrel.Yet it is the sheep sorrel that is said to be responsible for the destruction of cancer cells,in the body, or their amalgamation where metastasized cancer cells actually return to the original cancer site. It is very important that the sheep sorrel be included in the mixture, not dock!

We have also learned that Rene would harvest the sheep sorrel (a common weed which grows over much of Canada and the United States) when it was 4-6 inches high. She cut it back and it would grow again, and she would cut it back again. After doing this about three times, she would let it go to seed. While seeding the ground, it would grow to 14-18 inches.Caisse would then take the herb cuttings home and lay them out at room temperature to dry. After 3-4 days, she would begin turning the herbs.Thereafter, she would turn them every two days until they were properly dry, which took about 10-14 days. About a bushel of harvested sheep sorrel is required to produce one pound of the dried powdered herb, as used in the formula.

Rene had said that, when she originally obtained the formula in the early 1920s, she altered the formula somewhat. It is now known that the modification was the addition of Turkish rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum). This herb is not native to North America, nor available here. It does not grow in the fields, therefore could not be part of the original Ojibwa Indian formula. But it has been used for thousands of years, and originally came from India into China, where the British acquired it and took it to Britain and Canada. Because herbs imported from foreign countries are generally fumigated and irradiated, some prefer to use a native variant. It is said that ordinary rhubarb root can be used as a substitute.(Special note: The above information was obtained from research studies on Turkish rhubarb,and it is there called Rheum palmatum; yet that is the scientific name for ordinary, North American rhubarb. The present writer has been unable to obtain any further information on “Turkish rhubarb.”)

The burdock root (Arctium lappa) and the inner (not outer) bark of the slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) are easy to obtain. It is the sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) that is said to especially destroy the cancer cells. The burdock and rhubarb are said to be blood cleansers. (However, from other sources, we learn that Hungarian research,in 1966, and Japanese research, at Nagoya University in 1984, disclosed that burdock has antitumor activity; and studies done, in the 1980s showed antibiotic and anti-tumor properties in rhubarb.) As for slippery elm, its primary function is to catch toxic substances, brought to the colon by the bloodstream, and carry them on out of the body.

Here is additional information about Essiac:This information comes from several sources,and all of it agrees. (One of the sources is a book by Gary L. Glum, a Los Angeles chiropractor, entitled Calling of an Angel, about Caisse and Essiac.)

Even its worst enemies could never claim that Essiac had any side effects. It can be safely taken,up to 6 oz. a day (2 in the morning, 2 around noon,and 2 in the evening).Some may wish to order the four herbs and mix their own, in order to insure highest quality of product.


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