by Ali Holden
6 years ago
History of Essiac Tea
The original recipe for this powerful Essiac Tea herbal blend was handed down through word of mouth by Northern Canadian Ojibway Indians for hundreds of years! In 1922 it eventually reached the ear of Canadian Nurse Rene Caisse who became famous for her use of it with cancer patients. (1) She called it ESSIAC (Caisse spelled backwards) TEA and revealed the ingredients before her death in 1978.
Rene Caisse was scorned by many, although she never claimed that Essiac cured cancer. She found that it helped hugely with pain relief and in a 2003 article in The Globe and Mail newspaper titled “What Else Could it Have Been But a Miracle?” it reported some cancer patients who had been given weeks to live, reported as being cancer-free decades after using the tonic.
‘Despite attacks to her reputation, legal trouble for her treating patients without a license, and being dragged into court countless times, Nurse Caisse never stopped helping her patients. The fact she wasn’t charging for her tea is probably the only thing that kept her out of jail.
In 1938, she received more than 55,000 signatures on a petition to allow her to continue giving her tea to patients who were told nothing could be done to treat their disease.’ (2)
Benefits of Essiac Tea
All of these herbs are either antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial. They also have immune stimulating properties and when taken together they create a beneficial synergistic effect ie. the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts!
The combination of these herbs is said to support the body in removing toxins and wastes, therefore paving the way for improved and increased hydration and nourishment.
Natural Cancer Fighter
When it comes to cancer, there are more testimonials than conclusive scientific studies about Essiac tea’s benefits. However, a study published in The Canadian Journal of Urology showed that a 64-year-old man went into remission from hormone-refractory prostate cancer, and the remission was attributed to his consumption of Essiac. (3)
What are the Ingredients in Essiac Tea?
The original blend contained only 4 herbs, but over the years 4 more were added in collaboration with Dr. Charles Brusch (a physician to John F. Kennedy who treated himself with essiac when he battled cancer) to make Essiac Tea even more potent…often now called Flor Essence.
The company (pictured) www.optimallyorganic.com uses all organic:
Slippery Elm (inner bark)
Turkey Rhubarb Root
How to make Essiac Tea
Although easy to access in dried herbs form online or in specialist health shops, it is straightforward to make at home from scratch:
Ingredients: For the original 4 herb Essiac Tea:
1 ½ pounds cut burdock root (Arctium lappa is a natural blood detoxifier)
1 pound powdered sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella is a powerful antioxidant)
¼ pound powdered slippery elm (Ulmus fulva is a powerful antioxidant)
1 ounce powdered Turkish (Indian) rhubarb root (Rheum pamatum is a phytochemical that is naturally astringent, anti-microbial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory) (3)
1. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and store in a glass jar in a dark, dry place.
To make and store the tea:
2. Put 1 ounce of the herb mixture for every quart (2 pints) of water into a stainless steel or cast iron pan and boil for 10 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat, cover and leave over night.
4. The following morning, re-heat to hot, but not boiling.
5. Turn off the heat and let it settle a few minutes then strain into airtight glass or ceramic bottles. Cool.
6. Store in a dark, cool place until first use. Once opened, it must be kept in the fridge.
Recommendations For Using Essiac Tea:
For best results, consume on an empty stomach.
Maintenance and Prevention:
Once per day, put 1 teaspoon of dried herbs into a mug of boiling water. Leave for 15 mins then consume it all (do not strain off the herbs) OR put approximately 15mls brewed concentrate into a mug of hot or cold water and enjoy.
Gradually increase to 3 times daily.
Nurse Rene Caisse cautioned against drinking more in hopes of better or faster results and encouraged her patients to increase their water consumption alongside drinking the Essiac Tea.
Contraindications for Essiac Tea
As with any herbs, please check with your doctor if you are currently on any medications or have any cause for concern.