By Arrow Durfee c 2012
I had the opportunity to attend a workshop lead by the Essiac expert, Mali Klein in Missoula, Montana this past October, 2012. Mali has stood in the direct line of receivership to Rene Caisse’s papers as given to her via Sheila Snow, who worked with Rene for three years as a biographical researcher to Rene Cassie’s life history as a healer with Essiac Tea for the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases.
Sheila Snow had access to many of the writings, notes and letters of Rene Caisse. These papers were shared with Mali due to their friendship and together they wrote several books on the work of Rene Caisse R.N. based on the information they received through these papers, as well as Sheila’s firsthand experience in personally knowing Rene. Sheila Snow passed away April 7, 2008, at the age of 79, leaving Mali to continue the work of revealing the Essiac mysteries.
After reading and evaluating all the papers and historical accounts of Rene and her work they came to some very important conclusions that Essiac users should understand. All of these insights are recorded in their book called “The Complete Essiac Essentials.” Through their research into thousands of notes and personal writings and taped conversations of Rene with patients and associates they were able to conclude the likely reasons why the Essiac formula had changed over the years from the original 8 herb product that had been revealed to Rene by Mrs. Johnson which had cured her breast cancer. Today a four herb product is what is sold on the market by most manufactures of Essiac. Mali and Sheila believed that the current products on the market, although helpful to some patients, do not provide the essential ingredients in the proper form. The changes in the formula over the years potentially short change patients who hope for cure of cancer with Essiac. The intent of the book is to reveal these changes and to promote what they believe is likely the correct formula.
Originally, the 8 herb formula was given to Mrs. Johnson by a Native American medicine man of unknown name and tribe. This formula had been developed for the specific condition of breast cancer. This was the formula given to Rene Caisse from which she eventually extracted the 4 basic herbs with which to treat most cancer cases. Over the years it became evident, through the collected writings, that Rene had difficulty obtaining all the herbs of the 8 herb formula as well as obtaining them in their correct form. Due to a lack of supply of proper ingredients substitutions were experimented with.
One of the main changes made in the 4 herb formula is the substitution of the root of sheep sorrel for the leaf as the leave is more abundant and can be cut from the same roots up to three times per season. Rene was often treating up to two hundred patients at a time and sheep sorrel was considered the most important ingredient. Sheep sorrel was also processed independently from the other herbs for muscular injection purposes. In her letter to the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research dated 1975, to Dr.Stock, she stated that the root of Sheep Sorrel should always be included in the formula and that it’s the most important ingredient, with the leaves and stems no good alone. All Essiac or Essiac like formulas on the market today contain only leaf and stem.
Based on this letter, Sheila and Mali came to the conclusion that the original 8 herb formula, and consequently, the 4 herb formula, should be made with only sheep sorrel root, not leaves. The root is more powerful and in Mali’s experimentations over the years the root based products have produced better results.
During this workshop Mali provided for us tea samples from 7 commercially available Essiac like products to taste and consider. These are products that are easily assessable through an internet search or may be available in your local health food store. None of these products contained sheep sorrel in root form. Only one product listed the percentages of the different herbs used. Rene Caisse specified the percentages required to get the job done but only one manufacturer was willing to label what their percentages were. Most of the products contained visible herb. You could identify though simple observation leave, stems and roots. They were coarse ground, generally the best grind for making a decoction. One product appeared as a fine powder and was a deep cinnamon like color which made up to be a very dark brown, almost black, as a black tea. The color of this product did not resemble any of the other product constituents and hence its quality was subject to much scrutiny and objection by the workshop attendees. This single product was the one which bore Rene Cassie’s photo on the box with the Essiac name patented. No other product is allowed to use the Essiac name due to name patent laws. Some of the products in our observation did not provide the correct sheep sorrel according to Rene’s recipe. Some of the products in our observation did not specify the correct rhubarb root according to Rene’s recipe i.e. Rheum palmatum – Turkey rhubarb.
Mali stressed several times throughout the workshop that if you want to be sure that the product that you are using is the best in quality with the right ingredients it is essential that you grow your own herbs, or obtain them from a known source that is dedicated to growing the correct variety of each species, under the correct conditions with the correct herbal processing techniques. At this time there is no company that mass produces such a product. There are a very few independent herb growers who offer their very limited supply to those who come to them for assistance. If herbs are sourced from outside of the United States they have been irradiated upon entry into the country. Irradiated herbs are considered inferior products and they may not hold their original herbal potency. Contact your supplier and start asking questions.
This site offers a quality Essiac product. renecaissetea.com/
Essiac, even though it is not likely properly formulated, still often helps people with serious disease. But just consider how much better it could be if the current products offered were correctly made. Many more people would be restored to excellent health.
If you have a serious disease that you are trying to treat you must make sure that your medicine is of superior quality. Your healthy outcome depends on it and if you have been using Essiac but have not received the benefits that you had hoped for you need to reconsider the product you are using. “The Complete Essiac Essentials” book (ISBN 978-899077-10-6) is required reading for any Essiac user. It will provide dosage instructions, planting and harvesting instructions, processing considerations, storage information and all the myths and lies that have been created over the years either by ignorance, hearsay or by conniving marketing schemes.
If you are going to take the time and money to use Essiac learn to do it right. Hopefully over time market pressure will force companies to come to terms with the truth and to inspire them to create the highest quality products for those suffering from serious disease.
Please feel free to take this article to other forums. Do not change its content. Below is a video made by Mali Klein that walks you through making Essiac Tea