Essiac Tea - Hype or Hope? ☕

Hey, Friend! 😊

What happens when you've looked in the most obvious places for healing solutions and you seem to come up short as your healing stalls or your cancer continues to progress? You may go down rabbit holes and sniff them out, one by one, right? That's what happened this week as I prayed about how I could help a friend who wasn't making obvious progress in her healing. I realized that I had never done a deep dive into learning about Essiac tea, so I decided to go for it! I was excited to learn more and hopeful I'd find some gems.

The great news is that there are lots of healing testimonials out there with people who drank Essiac tea! Essiac tea has not been widely studied - I'll mention peer-reviewed research on it later - but it has been widely distributed.

So, what is Essiac tea and where did it come from? Well, the story goes that Rene Caisse, a nurse in Ontario, Canada, found a woman at work who had recovered from advanced breast cancer, which her doctor told her needed to be removed. However, she came across an old Native American man who told her that he could cure her cancer with herbs. She figured she had nothing to lose, so she tried his herbal remedy which came from wild plants right in the area where they were. She drank the tea daily and amazingly, healed completely! It was 30 years later when nurse Caisse came across this woman when she was 80 years old.

Nurse Caisse wrote the combination of herbs down and kept them in her back pocket should she ever need it for herself or someone she knew. It's a good thing she did! A few months later she heard that her aunt had cancer in her stomach and liver and her doctor had given her six months to live at the most. Nurse Caisse knew the doctor as she had worked with him before, and because there was nothing "medically" that could be done, he allowed her to administer the herbs to her aunt under his supervision. Amazingly, her aunt recovered and lived another 21 years after her doctor had given up on her!! (Never give up even if your doctor says you're not going to make it!!)

Because others could see the amazing good she was doing in her community, she was gifted a building for a clinic by her Town Council and treated people there for 8.5 years. Unfortunately however, in 1938 she was called before the Legislature to determine Essiac's legal status. 55,000 people signed a petition for her to be able to continue treating people with the tea, but she lost her case by just 3 votes. She was deeply saddened and had a nervous breakdown when she was no longer able to treat people who were so desperate for help, who she knew she could help. Unfortunately, the powers that be had it out for Rene and she was arrested for practicing without a medical license, even though she never charged anyone for her services and she was seeing and helping 300-600 people per week!! She was even offered $1 million by American businessmen who wanted to buy her formula, but she never sold it. She wanted to keep the blend of the herbs public, which originally included just 4 ingredients until she found that an additional 4 proved to add benefit: burdock root (arctium lappa), powdered Sheep Sorrel including the root (rumex acetosella), powdered Slippery Elm bark (ulmus rubra/fulva), powdered Turkey Rhubarb root (rheum palmatum), blessed thistle, kelp, red clover and waterc