Essiac tea with Sheep Sorrel roots included!


A Canadian adventure is about to begin.

I am leaving tomorrow for what promises to be a very special journey... and I still need to pack. I'll be driving due north to Jasper, Alberta where I will get on a train that will let me off in Sudbury Ontario two days later, cedar boughs and all… 😉 From there I will be traveling down to Bracebridge, Rene Caisse's home town.  I will be re-visiting the sights and hopefully will be able to see what remains of the display that used to reside at the Rene M. Caisse Memorial Room, in the Octagon House. It was moved to the Rene Caisse Memorial Theater...

…And then the real adventure begins, up north. It is a Vision quest and fast with Grandmother Isabelle and Grandmother Margaret and I feel the earth moving me east like a little leaf in a big river.

Stay tuned for part 2 - Halfway to the train station - Fairmont BC and hot springs!

The online orders will continue to be processed while I am away by an amazing team that has come together in the most uncanny way over lunch today (well, there was about a ton of preparation for this meeting :D) - Anais, Kristin and Kimberly.  There will be only a brief delay in shipping orders received after 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 26.  The next shipping date will be  Monday, June 1.  The best way to contact us between May 26 and June 10, 2015 will be via the contact form on our website. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause!

And now it is 10 pm and I had better pack...

The Pilgrim

Debbie Jakovac

Thank you, customers! Enjoy your Essiac. 🙂

Open Source Essiac Information

The term 'open source'  is based upon "sharing information from publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources)."

I have been following a Facebook group called the Rene Caisse Essiac Tea Users Group.  It has been quite a journey and has really brought home a few realizations.  Facebook is like a slice of the greater world and … although free speech is a precious thing, things can sometimes get lost in the translation….or buried in the posts! Read More →

Blue Moon Herbs – A Growing Idea

Greetings all!  It doesn't seem like three whole months have passed since Mali Klein's 2014 visit. It is good to have the relative quiet of winter to absorb it all and start making plans for the coming growing season.  February is like a lingering chance to do that before the sun is flooding in again and it is time to get back in the field! One of my winter projects was putting together this little recap of 2014 in a video format.  So come along for a trip out to our Essiac growing sites in Montana's Flathead Valley to see what we have done in Phase 1 of growing the Essiac herbs.  There is also a section with a few harvesting tips and some footage of Watercress and Goldthread in the wild.  We hope you enjoy it!

It's also on Vimeo, at the Essiac Cafe! Blue Moon Herbs A Growing Idea from Debbie Jakovac on Vimeo.

Essiac Master Class 2014 – food for thought

Funny how one day things appear in a certain light, and then the next day everything changes in such a fundamental way that its like when a whole flock of birds simultaneously moves as one, in a new direction altogether.  Suddenly the picture has transformed and it's a brand new beginning!

"A new idea is like a plant. It takes time to establish a good root system before it begins to bear fruit." - Mali Klein, Essiac Master Class 2014

Food for thought:  Mali posits a plateful of it in the following synopsis:  Read More →

Preserving Communities – Goldthread and Friends

I have been researching the meaning of 'wild simulated'.  My idea of what that means was based on the permaculture principle that there are plant communities, or guilds, made up of plants that like to grow together, and they have complimentary properties that all fit together to make a well-rounded healthy ecosystem. I surmised that wild simulating would mean growing them in a setting as close to a natural one as possible. Like below! This is a picture of a Goldthread guild!

Earlier this summer I was in Goldthread country and decided to try an experiment. Instead of digging up individual plants, I decided to dig up everything growing in the whole circle of foliage surrounding a few Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) plants. Three months later and both the little tree and the Goldthread are doing quite well, better than earlier transplants that arrived alone without their neighbors. 🙂


Goldthread guild

So what does wild simulated mean? Does wild mean the seed or the location? Can you till the soil? Can you weed? Or fertilize? What I learned is that the term appears to be mostly in reference to Ginseng production..although the concept should apply to any crop that varies when planted in tilled soil as opposed to a la natural. Here's what a Virginia Tech article said:

"Since there is no tillage of the soil with wild simulated ginseng crops, all fertilizers are applied on the soil surface. Applications of gypsum and/or rock phosphate may have to be made every two or three years. Soil testing should be done every year to monitor available soil nutrients."  For the weed question, they simply recommend avoiding planting near any large stands of obnoxious weeds.

From what I have gathered, wild simulation is mainly about replicating what is happening in the wild by not intervening beyond planting the seeds - and only using shovels and hoes to do it, either in the wild or somewhere with similar soil pH and shade, moisture, etc., and commonly associated plant species growing there.

Tilling seems to be the defining no-no with wild simulation.  In the case of Ginseng, the root is different and less sought after when it is grown in tilled soil. I don't think this would apply with Goldthread, since it is just little runner roots going everywhere.

Both Ginseng and Goldthread like deep shade and plentiful moisture. The climate in Montana is a lot more arid than Northcentral Idaho, where the nearest Goldthread is.  I have learned that even a little too much direct sun will burn Goldthread and cause it to just stall out in failure to thrive mode.  If shaded under a Rhubarb leaf, for example, it will be green and  happy with only the sun that shines through the sheltering leaf. The problem with Rhubarb, however, is that it dies back and leaves the Goldthread exposed and the gardener has to get inventive. Last year it was an umbrella, lol.

So, for this year's experiment, I surrounded the little guild with other plants so that it would get a lot of shade, and I kept it well watered.  To my delight, all of the plants in all of the containers loved their circle! And - the true test - no sunburned Goldthread!


Goldthread is a very slow growing plant, however.  It is a worthy herb to propagate though, and is full of berberine, as evidenced by its bright yellow roots! The new little guild that came over the hill with me is clearly thriving although we are only starting to learn about growing it in a habitat that may fall far short of commercial quantities.  Again, it is a case of everyone growing a small amount, for the best Essiac around, using herbs that are easy enough to grow enough of for a family or a group. I do have more respect than ever for those that do get us herbs on a larger scale so we don't have to grow them all.  Make that something short of Big Ag though!

Well, there is more than one variety of Goldthread, and some of it grows faster, and is just as full of Berberine.  I did get a Coptis chinensis seedling from Horizon Herbs and it has already made new leaves in the few months since it arrived. Coptis chinensis is most likely the mystery herb Rene Caisse was trying to order from India during the summer of 1977 when they were testing Essiac and she was short on herbs.


Wishing you all a great harvest season and may you enjoy these beautiful September days!


~~ Like Essiac herb growing info and sharing? Join the Essiac Growers Guild group on Facebook!


The Beatles! My story.

48 years ago today - August 25, 1966, Seattle Colisseum - the Beatles in concert!….  there I was, just 50 feet from the stage, at what was to be the third to last concert the Beatles ever performed. I was just a Montana teeny-bopper, following the Beatles in the teeny-bopper magazines  - Tiger Beat, Datebook..I discovered that they were coming to Seattle! A mere 588 miles from Helena Montana and I didn't even have a learner's permit.  But I was a huge fan, and that would not stop me.  So, I wrote a note.  To: the City of Seattle, Seattle, Wash.  I asked them how to go about getting tickets to the Beatles concert?

They wrote back!  City Commissioner Ted Best notified me that I had two complimentary tickets awaiting me in the City Council offices!!!!  After some really fervent begging and bribing, I convinced my parents to take a vacation to Seattle, and my Mom agreed to go with me to the concert, even though she did not really like the Beatles. 🙂

Turns out, the seats were alongside the stage, in the first section, 'totally close'!  In fact…Paul did see me, I just know he did.  I still can't believe we had such good seats.  I tried to sneak off 'to go to the bathroom' - but Mom saw right through that, and would not let me out of her sight.  Ok, I confess - I was on a mission: backstage or bust! Seeing the Beatles was one of those pivotal events in my life and the memories really came back for me this Aug. 5….because

…on this magic day just three under weeks ago -  Paul McCartney actually came to Missoula Montana and gave a concert!!  Haha, Mali Klein and her Essiac master classes have started a trend, perhaps?  Meeting in Missoula, always a wonderful adventure!  Of course I went to the concert, but this time, Paul did not see me.  I was about 200 feet back this time.

But what a show.  He really has still got it.  In 1966 everyone was screaming during the songs - in 2014 we were all singing along! It was a good day. And the fans sure did come out!  Missoula has 68,000 population, and there were over 25,000 concert-goers.  They had to flag folks off the interstate so many were coming in to town!  The pre-party at Caras Park totally sold out of food, but true to western protocol, I hear there was plenty of beer. It was the largest gathering in the history of the state of Montana!

The following week Sir Paul played Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It was where the Beatles played their last concert, on August 29, 1966. Paul's August 14 concert was the last one before they demolish the stadium.

Labor day weekend is coming and the office will be closed from Tuesday August 26 - Tuesday September 2.  All orders placed during that time will ship on Tuesday Sept. 2. May you enjoy the last of August!

We're hitting the road at ReneCaisseTea - heading for Idaho to pick up the new book!  Black Root Medicine the Original Native American Essiac Formula, softcover, 54 p., 2014 Mali Klein - the last installment.  Order here, and… meet us in Missoula!  October 11Essiac Master Class 3 - Healing Cancer Can it be Done?   Prior attendance not required. Or, meet us in  Seattle on November 1 for An Afternoon Seminar on Herbs and Cancer.


"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."~  Helen Keller



Mali Klein’s Speaking Schedule Fall 2014

We hope you can join us at one of the following venues: 

Helena - October 3, 2014

St. John's Building Law Library, 25 S. Ewing
6:30 pm (FREE)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Bozeman – October 4, 2014

Emerson Cultural Center,
the Weaver Room
3:30  pm (FREE)

Polson - October 7, 2014

Montana Co-op, 401 Main St.
6:30 pm (FREE)

Missoula – October 11, 2014

Essiac Master Class:  Healing Cancer – can it be Done?

The Open Way Mindfulness Center, 702 Brooks St.
9:15 am – 6:00 pm ($100, $120 after Oct. 1)

KalispellOctober 25, 2014 

Mali will be speaking at 10:45 a.m. and we will be at the Montana Co-op table with - signed : ) - books and tea for sale afterwards!

Montana Health Expo, Red Lion Hotel
20 N Main St #150
10:45 am (FREE)

Spokane – October 30, 2014

Spokane Buddhist Temple, 927 S Perry St.
6:30 pm (FREE)

 Seattle – November 1, 2014

Essiac - An afternoon Seminar about Herbs and Cancer with Mali Klein

Works Progress, 115 N. 85th St., Ste. 202,
3-5:30 pm ($25)

Essiac – An afternoon seminar about Herbs and Cancer with Mali Klein Seattle Nov. 1

Meet us in Seattle!!


Seattle poster

‘I think that old Essiac did work… there will be a resurgence of

interest. I’m not pessimistic about the long view for Essiac.’

Dr. John Barker, October 1977


Click here  to register!

Essiac Master Class III – Healing Cancer – Can it be Done? Missoula October 11

Meet us in Missoula!!


Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 2.57.28 PM

This is the only Essiac master class offered anywhere.  It happens only once per year, and 2014 marks our final gathering in Missoula, Montana. This is a one-of-a-kind experience.  It will not be recorded, in keeping with the idea behind such gatherings, so that the experience will be intimate, candid and completely unique. The theme will be about Essiac and its role in healing in the context of our personal lives as well as how that can best compliment the world we live in. Participants will directly experience some of the healing protocols Mali Klein has developed over the past twenty years. All are welcome, including those with serious illness, as well as those in the profession of providing health care.  It is for anyone who sees the importance of keeping the knowledge and use of this and other herbal medicines alive and would like to be part of a dialogue about how we as individuals, professionals and businesspersons can help to facilitate this.

Essiac and herbal medicine can have an amazing role to play in the emerging healing paradigms of the 21st century. Master class attendees will be introduced to a perspective not shared quite so freely in the written word as it will be in this session.  Each class has been a stand-alone experience and prior attendance is not required.

The 2014 Master Class will focus on the original 8-herb formula handed down from an old Native American medicine man in Northern Ontario in the 1890s. But more than that, it will be from the perspective of the Medicine man that brought this formula to us in the 1890s. Before the days of Essiac. (The formula was later reduced to a four herb formula by Rene Caisse and those four herbs - Burdock, Sheep sorrel, Slippery elm and Turkey rhubarb, make up most of what is sold as Essiac today.)

This original eight herb formula is what Rene began working with when she first started her work with the herbs in the 1920s, and the results were impressive. Mali Klein's work now focuses almost completely on this original eight-herb formula, which has been shelved since the 1920s, and which Rene Caisse only revealed in writing once.  Virtually all of the 8-herb Essiac formulas on the market today do not contain the herbs originally used.

Mali will be sharing her findings about this indigenous formula and what happened to it in her newest book Black Root Medicine, the Original Native American Essiac Formulato be released September 1, 2014. Mali will share some insights and evidence that will forever change your assumptions about what Essiac is and how the politics and confusion about the correct formula following Rene's death resulted in so much misinformation about Essiac in the years to follow.

Included in the tuition will be signed copies of the new book!

Mali will go deep into the subject of healing and living a quality life, with or without serious health challenges, and will be sharing a unique approach to health and healing using a combination drawing from Native American, Buddhist and other spiritual traditions.  Mali will also be available for private consultations from October 1 - 24.

Register now, class size is limited!

Cost $100 early bird, $120 after October 1. Call (406) 883-0110 for more information.  

New Essiac Book! Black Root Medicine – The Original Native American Essiac Formula, by Mali Klein

Ever wonder what it must have been like to have a breast cancer diagnosis 120 years ago?  Enter Black Root Medicine - The Original Native American Essiac Formula (softcover, 2014, 54 pages). This easy-to-read companion volume to The Complete Essiac Essentials book takes a uniquely inclusive look at the early history of the Native American formula that was the basis for Canadian nurse Rene Caisse's Essiac. The book is available as of September 1, 2014  on Amazon and here at, for $12, or $30 for both Black Root Medicine and The Complete Essiac Essentials.

Mali Klein and her late writing partner Sheila Snow have documented the history of Rene Caisse and Essiac extensively in a series of Essiac books: Essiac Essentials (1999), Essiac the Secrets of Rene Caisse's Herbal Pharmacy (2001), The Essiac Book (2006).  and The Complete Essiac Essentials (2010). Sheila co-authored the Canadian Homemaker's Magazine article that brought Essiac back from obscurity in June 1977: Could Essiac Halt Cancer? The final installment, Black Root Medicine - The Original Native American Essiac Formula, takes a step further back in time, to the days before the herbal remedy became known as Essiac. 

In the 1920s when Rene Caisse was working at a hospital in Haileybury Northern Ontario, she met the woman who had originally gotten the formula from a Medicine man some 30 years earlier.  The woman had recovered from breast cancer using the remedy.  "Mrs. Johnson" is the only scrap of this woman's name not lost to history  - "or it might have been Johnston."  "A mining camp in northern Ontario" is as specific as it gets for the town she lived in.  "A very old Native American medicine man" is as specific as the tribal affiliation gets - Ojibwa is just a guess.

Piecing together  the details with such little hard evidence and a long-cold trail is a challenge Mali has met in good form.  She has taken a step into the mists to reconstruct life in those days for us and in doing so has penned one of those books you can't put down.  It is a quick read and a worthy bedside companion for ending each day on the final section!

If you are familiar with the Snow/Klein work, well, you'll be checking your preconceived notions at the door to Chapter 1.  This amazing little book draws from the written history found in the Essiac archives while shining the light on the most recent research findings about the properties of the original herbs. Black Root Medicine adds another dimension, bringing  late 19th century culture, traditions and worldview in the wilds of Northern Ontario to life in a way that makes perfect sense and symmetry. Through the pages of this book, Mali continually sheds very compelling light on how this original 8-herb formula may hold important clues for the 21st century.

Time is comin’ when all us on Mother Earth will be part of the army to save her.’ - Little Bill Penn (Uncle Yum), Twilight on the Thunderbird.

BRm coverThe book resonates with a feeling set by the illustrations as well as the pure prose of the writing.  While the earlier Snow/Klein books have been outstandingly informative, this book takes things to a new level, with a view to sorting out another time and conjuring up images as they might have been seen through the old medicine man's eyes. The intimate connection with nature and the power of the animals and plants comes alive in a palpable way in the pages of this book.

What a read! Order now and get the first copies off the press!  Only $12.  Buy it with The Complete Essiac Essentials for $30!