Essiac tea with Sheep Sorrel roots included!


We are finally underway with putting together a FAQ section.  More information will become available as it is compiled.

Can I give my pets Essiac?

Essiac has a long history of being used for pets and other critters... When Rene Caisse first began experimenting with the herbs, she experimented on mice. They showed regressions in malignant growth and longer survival rates. In Rene's own words, "These mice were inoculated with Rous Sarcoma. I kept the mice alive 52 days, longer than anyone else had been able to do, and in a later experiment with two other doctors, I kept mice alive for 72 days with Essiac....We found that on mice inoculated with human carcinama, the growth regressed until it was no longer invading living tissue after nine days of Essiac treatments."

A few pet testimonials (hopefully the FDA doesn't mind this kind - please note the medical disclaimer on this site's home page):

1. First, my own, about my dog Moe (almost 18 now):  Last December (2011) Moe had a growth on his gums that was hanging outside of his mouth, so I took him to the vet for treatment.  They removed it, but neglected to send him home with the antibiotic pills they had prescribed.  When I realized this, I was already back home and 200 miles from the vet.  I had started him on Essiac prior to the procedure, and so I began giving Moe extra Essiac to make up for no antibiotics.  We returned to the vet three weeks later and he had healed up just fine!  I kept him on Essiac for another month or so, and a few weeks later, albeit still deaf and blind, he was walking around and very alert and energetic, to our surprise, for Christmas day with family and his cousin doggies.  He is still doing amazingly well for such an ancient chap.  His fur is so shiny and soft, no more gum problems.  I periodically put him back on Essiac for maintenance mode.  He has a couple small benign growths on his head, has had them for several years, and they always get smaller when he is on Essiac.

2. "Hello, Debbie, We have received our package containing the essiac.  Thanks for being so prompt.

We have ordered it for our German Shepherd, Suz, who has had mammary cancer and now about 4 new separate bumps in different areas which the vet would like to remove.  They are not certain what they may be and hence would like to send for pathology.

Unfortunately we believe this procedure may be one of many should we continue down this avenue. As well, Suz has had some horrendous experiences with vets although the one we have now is exceptional.  She still relives her trauma every time we go so we would like to try the essiac as this bumps are not large and see how she does hoping this might work for her.

-B.B., Jan. 9, 2011

update 1: I wanted to send you a quick note about Suz!

This is her tenth day on Essiac.  She drinks it well, I mix it with a little chicken broth and she slurps it right down.  The bump that was firmly attached to her skull just above her eye has diminished to  half the size it was.  It had been quite prominent.  I had ordered the Essiac a few weeks after we had seen the vet, and in that time it had doubled.

I was very concerned about mets to the brain.  It seems to be growing into a smaller denser mass, almost like it is drying up from the inside.

Not sure if this is typical of what you hear, but wanted to let you know.  The  mass on the abdomen was larger, but it too seems a little smaller and harder.  The other thing is she has so much more energy now.;  A few days after starting Essiac, she jumped from a chair, twisting herself in midair to land upside down in my husband's lap, a move you would have had to see to believe.

I have drinking it as well and find it very good.  I love the smell when you are making it...

-B.B., Jan. 28, 2011

Update 2: Suz is doing well, the bump above her eye is very much smaller and the one near her nipple is shrinking from the inside out, amazing.  Told my dentist who is very much a dog man and he is very interested in Essiac.

-B.B., April 5, 2011"

3. "...we are using the tea to try to cure my son's 15 year old cat that has cancer of the tongue.  We have to feed him with a syringe,  but he is a fighter and has already lived 3 months longer than the Vet thought he would.  We had been using blue berry juice but now have added the tea to the regimen.  So far,  so good.

I used the tea 21 years ago to help my Mom who was fighting breast cancer at the time.  She is doing well at 81."  B.M., 11/16/10

4.  "I am giving it to my dog who was just diagnosed with bone cancer.  The vet gave him only 1 – 2 months to live unless we amputate his leg and do chemo and even then, he would be expected to live only one year.  Basically, he is telling me I have a dead dog.   So…  I remembered essiac and started right away.  I also found some new things I haven’t heard of before, dr. reckewegs tumor drops, and artemisinin which is an herb that kills cells high in iron and since cancer  cells are high in iron, it targets them. I figure I have nothing to lose, so I’m doing all three and feeding him cottage cheese and flax oil.  Whatever I’m doing, it’s working.

In just a few DAYS of doing these methods, I was able to take my dog off of all of the narcotic pain killers the vet gave us.  He was in so much pain prior that he woke up in the middle of the night crying and even when I upped the pills by 50% extra, I couldn’t get him out of the car because he wouldn’t move.  He spent the night in the garage with the car  door open.  Finally, after being in there fifteen hours, he finally got out.  Three days after starting all three, he got his appetite back, gets up and moves around, and seems mostly comfortable.  (He still limps when he walks but last week he wouldn’t put weight on his leg and this week he is limping but walking.)"  F.D., 5/5/11

5. "Dear Debbie, I wanted to take a moment to share how the healing power of essiac literally saved the life of our beloved Calico, Missy. Being a naturalist I was aware of the healing powers of essiac and had been using it myself to recover from an internal infections I suffered when our little calico girl began having problems urinating. A couple trips to the vet and numerous tests revealed that she not only had a tumor in her bladder but was also entering into renal failure, two conditions which are fatal to cats. Our second cat, a male british shorthair, had become sensitive to her condition and began holding his urine to be accommodating to her struggles in the box. As a result he was in danger of entering renal problems himself. Though the vet was trying to be optimistic we were reading between the lines that both our cats were in trouble. Not ready to part with them and ready to really put the healing powers of Essiac to the test, I began aggressive measures immediately giving both our cats an increased dose of Essiac twice daily. One week later an ultrasound revealed that the tumor in Missy’s bladder had shrunk significantly to the point where the vet thought he made an error in diagnosing it because bladder tumors just don’t shrink in size like this one did. I told the vet that I had begun giving both cats the Essiac tea twice a day along with prayer and was crediting their improvement to this. The vet knowing that I am a woman of faith and prefer naturopathic remedies was not ready to believe that tea and prayer alone could have done this but the results were undeniable. Also within the week she began to improve in her ability to urinate and defecate regularly. One month later both our cats were back to her old selves. As a result of this experience, Essiac has become a staple in our household for health maintenance and recovery from colds, flu, and other infections for we may encounter. Thanks Debbie for carrying on the legacy of Rene Caisse's work, you are a blessing to us all and the benefits of Essiac invaluable." Deborah W. 12/17/10

More pet testimonials (and human ones!) are available in The Complete Essiac Essentials, including one about using Essiac as a poultice to heal a tumor on a dog's nose.

What dosage should I use for my pet and how to administer?

The Essiac Book reports that "Animals respond very well to Essiac; use the four-herb formula as an oral remedy in conjunction with Essiac 'Gold' for acute cases.  The decoctions can be administered either in drinking water or directly down the throat, using a plastic hypodermic syringe without the needls. Sheep sorrel solution can be used topically or as an enema.  Poulticing is very effective, provided that the dressing cannot be licked or scratched off.  Assess dosage levels according to the weight of the animal.  A cat weighing 10 lbs./4.5 kg can be treated with 2 ml of the tea diluted in 2 ml tepid water once daily.  A dog weighing 100 lbs./45 kg will need the standard 30 ml (one oz.) dose daily."

My dog got used to the syringe method and did not seem to mind taking his daily Essiac at all.  I have also added the decoction to a little bit of chicken broth with good results.  Its best if the dose is given all at once, vs. putting it in a water dish, because it will not stay fresh if left for several hours.

Here is a suggested guide for dosage of the 4 herb decoction:  (5ml is about 1 teaspoon)

5 - 10 lbs. - 1 to 2 ml

10 -20 lbs. - 2 to 4 ml

25 - 40 lbs. - 5 to 8 ml

40 - 50 lbs. - 8 - 10 ml

50 - 75 lbs. - 10 - 15 ml

75 - 100 lbs. - 15 - 20 ml

over 100 lbs. - 20 - 30 ml

Who was Rene Caisse?

Rene Caisse was a lifetime native of Ontario, Canada. She died at age 90 in 1978. She was famous for her research and development of an indigenous herbal tea that she dubbed “Essiac” (her surname spelled backwards). The story goes that in the early 1890s a Native American medicine man prescribed The tea for a white woman living in a mining camp in the far north of Ontario. 30 years later, and long recovered from the breast cancer, the woman passed the recipe on to Rene Caisse.

Rene devoted her life to Essiac, but never did work out any compromises with the medical and/or political establishment that could sufficiently ensure essiac’s continuing availability to the general public based upon the preliminary anecdotal record of its safety and efficacy. There was a pivotal time in 1938 when legislation authorizing Rene Caisse to practice medicine was before the Legislature of Ontario, but politics got in the way, and in 1941, Rene closed her clinic.

However, she did continue to provide Essiac to the people that found her, always with her eye over her shoulder, always treading the line with the authorities. In 1963, Rene authored a booklet entitled "I Was Canada's Cancer Nurse" and told her story, in her own words. In 1974, Sheila Snow began working with Rene Caisse to write her biography. In 1977 She co-wrote an article called “Can Essiac Halt Cancer?” in the Canadian Homemaker’s Magazine. it triggered a huge amount of attention across Canada, and put essiac back in the limelight. Although the studies that this article triggered were not conclusive, Essiac’s anecdotal record rides on and it remains ever popular to this day.

In 1978 more than 600 people attended Rene’s 90th birthday party. a few months later Rene fell and broke her hip, and although she was able to return home for a while, she fell again, and on Dec. 26, 1978, Rene became a real angel.


What is Essiac?

Essiac is the commonly known name for a four herb decoction (liquid herbal tea concentrate) comprised of burdock root, cut and dried (arcrium lappa), sheep sorrel, whole herb including root, coarsely powdered (rumex acetosella), slippery elm, inner bark, powdered (ulmus rubra/fulva), and turkey rhubarb root, powdered (rheum palmatum).

Essiac's beginnings go back to a time before the calendars we know.  It came to a white woman living with breast cancer in the mining camps of northern Ontario Canada in the 1890s, brought by a Native American medicine man.  Some decades later, and still cancer-free, she gave the recipe to nurse Rene Caisse.  In the 1920s and 1930s, Nurse Caisse experimented with the herbs individually and refined the formula so that it could be injected.  She developed several formulae which she used in her Bracebridge, Ontario Cancer clinic to successfully treat a number of patients referred to her by doctors who said they could do no more (thus a nurse referral).

Her most well-known formula is the "classic" four-herb Essiac tea, which contains burdock, sheep sorrel, slippery elm and turkey rhubarb.  The original formula was made up of eight herbs including the above-named four plus red clover, watercress, periwinkle and an eighth herb never revealed by Rene Caisse.  Snow and Klein's research points strongly to the likelihood that this eighth herb was goldthread, as there is evidence that Rene Caisse used this herb for some of her patients both during and after the time when she had her Bracebridge cancer clinic.  Rene also injected a sheep sorrel decoction and administered the other three herbs as an oral decoction.  She occasionally used watercress but with caution, and only for certain patients.  She also developed a kidney remedy and a salve.

Rene Caisse kept her formulae secret with very few exceptions.  After Rene's death in 1978, her long-time friend and helper Mary McPherson continued to make the tea and supply many of Rene's patients for nearly another 20 years.  In the 1990s Dr. Gary Glum purchased the four-herb formula from one of Rene's trusted patients, and released it with his book Calling of An Angel. Lzter, Mary McPherson recorded a sworn affidavit, formally entering the classic four-herb Essiac formula into the public domain.

The preparation of our special blend of Essiac tea herbs is based upon the work of Sheila Snow and Mali Klein.  These authors have spent a combined total of over 40 years researching and documenting Rene Caisse's life and the story of Essiac, and have collectively written five books on the subject:  The Essence of Essiac (Sheila Snow), Essiac Essentials and Essiac - The Secrets of Rene Caisse's Herbal Pharmacy (Sheila Snow/Mali Klein), and The Essiac Book  (Mali Klein).  These books are now all out of print.  Newly released (March 2011) is the comprehensive volume, The Complete Essiac Essentials  (Sheila Snow/Mali Klein).  Sheila Snow worked directly with Rene Caisse and was a close friend of Mary McPherson's for over 10 years (Mary died in 2006).  Mali also got to become acquainted with Mary when she spent extensive time in Bracebridge with Sheila, co-authoring the books on Essiac.  Sheila spent 27 years compiling a priceless Essiac Archive collection of Rene Caisse's personal papers and correspondence, legal documents, the only existing Clinic case records, many hours of tape-recorded conversations, newspaper clippings, memorabilia and other documentation of Essiac history.

How to make Essiac Tea

Boil Essiac, covered, for 10 mins.


Essiac tea is a decoction, or concentrate – it is boiled, steeped overnight and should be stored in the refrigerator. The shelf life of an opened jar will be approximately 2-3 weeks. Supplies Needed: Enameled, glass or stainless steel pot with lid, canning jars, lids & rings (optional: brown bottles), funnel and strainer or a glass measuring cup. Do not use any aluminum or Teflon utensils. You can maximize the shelf life of Essiac tea by thoroughly sterilizing all utensils, jars, rings, lids, etc. Use unchlorinated water to make the tea.

 Step 1. Put water into pot and bring to a boil. Add herbs to boiling water and cook, covered, at a medium boil for 14 minutes for 40% sheep sorrel roots Essiac, 16-17 minutes for 65% Sheep sorrel roots Essiac Extra. Smaller quantities {2 quarts or less} will need to be boiled slowly and watched carefully, so as to not boil off too much liquid.

to make one gallon: add 2 oz. (57g) herbs (approx. ½ cup) to 5 – 5 1/2 quarts boiling water.

to make one quart: add 1/2 oz. (14g) herbs (approx. 2 Tablespoons) to 5 – 5 ½ cups of water.

Note: For most of her life, Rene Caisse used an Imperial Quart measure, which is 40 US fl. oz. (the US quart is 32 fl. oz.) - our proportions are based on this quantity.

 Step 2. Remove from heat, scrape down the sides of the pot and allow the tea to sit, covered, room temperature or cooler, for 10-12 hours (no more than 18 hrs.)

 Step 3. Prepare the jars or bottles for decanting the tea into. If only making one jar, you can wash the jar and utensils in hot soapy water, rinse well and fill with boiling water, cover with a clean cloth, and empty when ready to decant. If making several jars at once, the jars can be sterilized by boiling in a canning kettle or large pot for ten minutes. (Be sure to also sterilize spoon, funnel, strainer, measuring cup, etc. when making more than one jar).

Step 4. Re-heat the tea in the covered pot until steaming hot, but not boiling. Turn off heat and allow the tea to sit covered and undisturbed for several minutes so that the herbs will settle to the bottom of the pot. Place funnel and strainer on top of preheated canning jars and pour (decant) the liquid from the pot into the jars. (If you don’t have a funnel and strainer, simply pour carefully. It is completely normal to have sediment in the bottom of the jar even with straining.) Screw the lids on, allow to cool and then refrigerate.

The rest of the sediment remaining in the kettle can be used for poultices (add powdered slippery elm bark for a more paste-like consistency). The sediment can also be used in a cotton drawstring bag in the bath, or you can simply discard it. Store any unused dry herb mix in a glass jar or in its foil pouch in a cool, dark, dry place.


 One serving: Pour 1 - 2 fl. oz. (equivalent to 30 to 60ml, 2 to 4 Tablespoons, or 1/8 to1/4 cup) Essiac tea decoction into a cup and add 2 to 4 fl. oz. hot water, or more to fill the cup. Note: do not re-heat the decoction. Adding it to hot water will suffice. According to personal preference, the sediment in the jar can be shaken up and consumed as part of the tea, or for a clear tea, pour carefully and do not disturb the sediment. Suggested dosage – 1-2 oz. Essiac per day. You can split into two doses, or take all at once. Can also be taken cold. Essiac is not toxic in larger doses, but Rene Caisse only recommended ½ - 1 oz. per day and did not recommend more than a maximum of 4 oz. per day for more than a few days before cutting back again. Do not microwave the tea. Drink Essiac tea slowly on an empty stomach and allow enough time for it to digest before eating or drinking anything else (at least 1/2 hour). Take time off from Essiac periodically (one day/week, one weekend/month, or one week every three months, for example). Discard Essiac tea if it tastes sour or if white mold appears floating on the surface. Essiac herbs and tea are light and heat sensitive – refrigerate decoction, and store herbs in a cool, dark, dry place. For more information see The Complete Essiac Essentials book (2010, Sheila Snow/Mali Klein) and Black Root Medicine the Original Native American Essiac Formula. (2014, Mali Klein).

Blue Moon Herbs/ReneCaisseTea.com02-ssorrel-yellow-fill
PO Box 1317, Polson MT 59860
[email protected]
(406) 883-0110



Download a PDF of these instructions here.

What is the truth about Essiac?

This is the name of an article, written in the late 20th century that has not stood the test of time.  The original has long gone missing from the Internet. It was written during the years when there was a lot of hoopla and an explosion of conflicting Essiac information coming at the public from a dizzying number of questionable sources. The only remaining online reference to the original Truth About Essiac article is this December 2001 review of it:

"The Truth About Essiac, on an esoteric site called Sumeria, contains some skeptical information that debunks some of the claims commonly made about the history of Essiac, in favor of another version of the story supporting a different formulation. In fact, there are several competing formulations for Essiac, each of which claims to be the "original" Essiac, and claims that the others are second rate copies. It's a very confusing situation."

The review appears on a website called  Its creator, Steve Dunn, died of cancer in 2005, but they have kept the website live in a lasting tribute to him. The links to Sumeria don't work.

'The truth about Essiac' is a common Essiac search term today.  Because it appeared on the search engine scene so long ago, it has a high ranking, having been kept on life support for all manner of regrettable reasons. Like a trail one follows off the beaten path, only to find it goes nowhere, this search term links to all sorts of places that have nothing to do with the article or the truth 😐 about Essiac.

Do you offer Essiac in tincture or capsule form?

There is no evidence that Rene Caisse ever used Essiac except in decoction, and this is why we do not offer Essiac in capsule or tincture form.  A decoction by definition requires boiling. Herbs have varying properties depending on whether they are used fresh, dried, tinctured, in infusion (steeped) or in decoction (boiled and steeped). I am not certain which category taking herbs in pill form would translate to.

No more Essiac with sheep sorrel content 65% roots?

I want to recommend your website (Essiac Tea) to a friend, but was not finding the Essiac tea with 65% root that we recently ordered from you. All I see are the 50% root Essiac teas. Did you decide to only offer the 50%?...........

December 1, 2015: We went through much of our inventory this fall after Ty Bollinger recommended us on the Internet!  We were reaching the end of our commercially sourced whole herb sheep sorrel at any rate, but the increased sales put that on the fast track.  So, we combined the two separate blends back to one, as it was before we had our commercially sourced surplus. The new blend has a sheep sorrel content of about 40-45% roots, and holding!
As we transition to 100% sheep sorrel root from our own beds, the quality will only be going up.  Our herbs are  grown without using any machinery, and are hand-weeded and hand-harvested.  Each plant is cleaned and gone over by hand one by one before being air-dried. Our beds have just begin to produce right on schedule for this.   So - even though the root quantity is down a little, the quality is only going up. 🙂
In 2011 and prior, our root content was about 12%, the minimum recommended by Mali Klein in The Complete Essiac Essentials.  Then Pacific Botanicals took a whole herb harvest in 2013, and we were able to offer a blend (the "50%") with all commercially grown whole herb sheep sorrel. We added extra wild-harvested sheep sorrel roots on top of that to our "65%" blend. But the last harvest Pacific Botanicals took was in 2014 and they did not replant. Our new "back to one blend" has both the commercially grown whole herb sheep sorrel and our own sheep sorrel roots, like the "65%" used to, but with a slightly higher arial parts:roots ratio.
For those who want to boost the root content in their Essiac:  You may have sheep sorrel growing in your garden!  If you can identify it you can dig your own root to supplement your Essiac mix. I also found an online source for small amounts of sheep sorrel root: - but it is $80/100g (3.5 oz.).  The best alternative is to grow some sheep sorrel in your back yard garden, or a flower pot..we sell Essiac seed kits, and Horizon Herbs also sells sheep sorrel seeds separately.

Aluminum, teflon and microwaving

Why is the use of aluminum or teflon coated cookware not recommended? Is there any scientific studies which I can look up that show a decrease of stopping the effectiveness of the tea?Why isn't microwaving it allowed? Do microwaves change the chemical composition of Essiac? Or is it because it's harder to monitor its temperature when re-heating the tea?

Here is some info I have gotten from the Google search and there is a LOT out there, so it is by no means definitive.  

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) is the offending component in Teflon.  Studies in humans have found that people with workplace exposure to PFOA have higher risks of bladder and kidney cancers.  Here is the link to the source of this info: I haven't used Teflon in a long time because it is gross how it starts flaking off and I think it is best to use something that won't do that.

 As far as aluminum pots, Rene Caisse used an aluminum pot for years, but changed to enamel in her later years as aluminum began to get bad press.  I found this: 

ALUMINUM Very soft metal. Extreme chemical reaction between food and pan. "All Vegetables cooked in Aluminum produce hydroxide poison which neutralizes digestive juices, producing stomach and gastrointestinal trouble, such as stomach ulcers and colitis." Dr. A. McGuigan's Report on Findings for the Federal Trade Comm. In Docet Case No. 540 Washington, D.C. Note: The sale of aluminum cookware is prohibited in Germany, France, Belgium, Gr. Britain Switzerland, Hungary and Brazil. 

The newer aluminum pots appear to be safer because it is hardened aluminum.  I avoid aluminum because of the sum of incoming aluminum from all sources in our environment, which is mounting due to its use in other applications besides cookware, which clearly is not the biggest offender. I just think there are better choices for making Essiac.  But practically speaking, it makes sense to use what you have as opposed to investing a lot of money in replacing aluminum cookware if that is what you use and like.  

 The admonition is more about the associated possible health risks of Teflon and aluminum than any specific knowledge about how these might interact with the Essiac herbs.  This would be a good subject to further research in the lab.

 Re:  microwave ovens.  First off, they emit radiation, which is an increasingly pervasive form of pollution, from all of our electronic devices.  It depends on who wrote the article as to whether or not microwaves emit a dangerous level or not, but there is no question that they do emit some radiation, but that it's better than in the earlier days!  Then there is the matter of what the microwave does to the integrity of the molecules it blasts, and the question of over-heating.  However, as long as one doesn't heat the decoction itself, it is probably ok to microwave the water, if one must.  Info here.

 Masaru Emoto has written much on how water is affected by very subtle things, let alone microwave to avoid it.


HI Debbie, can you put me on the list of people who’d like to know when the gold thread version becomes available? Also why add the periwinkle? I thought Caisse herself stopped using this in 1929 and mali Klein did not seem to think it added much to the formula. Have you come across other benefits to periwinkle?

Its true Rene Caisse went with the four main herbs starting in the 1920s.  I don't know if she used periwinkle after that, and we don't use it in our tea at this point, but when we finally have the proper herbs to produce the original 8-herb formula (by growing them, since goldthread, sheep sorrel root, red clover root, watercress root, and periwinkle root are not commercially available at this time, anywhere), it will be.
Mali Klein has been experimenting with the original 8 herb formula, and uses the vinca major root. She has had very promising results, indicating that this 8 herb formula is very strong medicine indeed.  It hasn't been used since 1926. The beginning of her research and writing on this original formula is what the Black Root Medicine book is all about.  Mali cites some research on periwinkle in her book, there are 7 references in the index. A quick look at one of them indicates that periwinkle mediates the properties in goldthread that lead to contraindication for folks with high blood pressure.
Hope this was helpful! Both Mali Klein and I are dedicated to growing the herbs and working with the original formula more in the future.

What was the ‘something more’ that Essiac had when Rene Caisse was making it?

I came across this quote. Does anyone know what the "something more" is?
"Those of us who have become involved in researching Rene Caisse's Essiac are all aware that we have not been achieving results on the same scale as she did. From the evidence of the government records alone there can be no doubt that Essiac works. We know there must have been something more in addition to the basic four-herb recipe, the 'something more' that achieved the sometimes spectacular results recorded at the Cancer Commission Hearings of February and July 1939."

The 'something more' was Sheep sorrel root. 🙂 Rene made an injection of Sheep sorrel root decoction that many of the folks testified about receiving, with good outcomes, in the 1939 hearings. In private, Rene swore by the importance of including Sheep sorrel roots, but publicly she did not mention it. Like now, Sheep sorrel root was not commercially available, but Sheep sorrel leaf was, and the world wanted Essiac...Essiac with no Sheep sorrel roots in it is still beneficial, but for folks who are trying to reverse something serious, the root is where it is at and the more the better in proportion to the leaf. The Sheep sorrel root is the 'something more' that was in Rene's Essiac, but not in any of the Essiac that followed after she passed away - till Sheila Snow and Mali Klein discovered the evidence in her papers - until we started doing it that way back in 2008. That was Rene's secret - Sheep sorrel root, injected. I guess that has fallen out of favor as a medical procedure now...but it is yet another aspect of Essiac that deserves a closer look in the research labs.

Can you use cheesecloth to strain the herbs?

Rene Caisse used a metal kitchen strainer to strain the Essiac decoction into bottles.  There was sediment in the bottom of the bottles which patients could shake into the serving or pour carefully to avoid including it (either way is acceptable).  There is probably a good reason Rene Caisse didn't want anything more fine than a kitchen strainer to be used. It is possible that the potency increases as the sediment sits in the decoction. Rene Caisse recommended against ever using cheesecloth or anything finer than a metal kitchen strainer to separate most, but not all, or the sediment from the decoction. We recommend to do it this way because it is how Rene Caisse did it.

About the Essiac formula

Some Essiac recipes say to use 1 oz. of herb per quart of tea. But it's not clear if they mean weight or volume. Other recipes specify large quantities (pounds and ounces, or else cups). So in a nutshell, I'm wondering how your 0.35 oz. equate to the ounces or cups stated in other recipes. Is your recipe roughly the same in the end? Is the resulting tea of the same strength?

Thanks for your questions. The "1 oz. per quart" often referred to is a fluid oz. of the dried Essiac herbs. Mary's McPherson's affidavit prefaces it with "Take a measuring cup."

As for the quantity of water, Rene Caisse added extra water to compensate for boil-off and also almost certainly used the 40 oz. quart (vs. 32 oz.) up until Canada went metric in 1970... Mary's affidavit is a conglomerate of what was being done in 1994, more than  15 years after Rene Caisse's death.

The "larger quantities" references also come from Mary's affidavit, which is the recipe for a "master batch" of Essiac. We make several of these at a time when we package the premixed herbs into the smaller quantities. Mary's affidavit is what we go by for our ratios of the herbs to each other - although we base our liquid portions on a 40 oz. quart. Our 10g size will actually make an amount closer to 32 oz....but its based on a 40 oz. quart...if that isn't too confusing!  We are otherwise in complete keeping with the public domain Essiac formula (i.e. Mary's affidavit).

The main factor in the strength of Essiac is the Sheep sorrel root content. Even though there is proportionally more water in relation to the herbs in our tea, it is the correct ratio, and the root brings a special quality to the consistency of the decoction which actually makes it more full bodied - and more potent.

Even if twice as many herbs are used, the tea will not be any more potent unless the Sheep sorrel roots are included, and the higher the ratio the better.

Following Rene Caisse's recommended dosage of 1-2 fl. oz. per day, you will actually use a 2 oz. packet of our tea in the same amount of time as the discount brands with their bigger bags and higher dosages. Rene Caisse was really adamant that "more is not better" when it came to Essiac.

So...our recipe is the same in the end, and the resulting tea is actually stronger because our Sheep sorrel root content is as high as you can get it unless you grow your own 🙂 Enjoy!

Essiac recommended dosages – Is there a difference for aggressive treatment vs maintenance treatment?

There really isn't a difference in the recommended dosage between aggressive and maintenance. Some people even start below the low end (1/2 oz., or 1 tablespoon) and work their way up to the 1-2 oz. per day range of the recommended dosage. I would not recommend starting at any more than 2 oz. per day, though, as that could intensify any possible de-tox symptoms.

An extra dose of Essiac per day for a short period of time was allowed for by Rene Caisse, but she argued against taking extra on a regular basis - the so-called "more is better" approach. Varying the dosage within the recommended 1-2 oz. per day range and taking more for short periods as needed is basically the recommendation for working with full strength real Essiac (At least 10% roots - the higher the ratio the better).  If Essiac only has the aerial parts of the plant, often the manufacturer will recommend much higher dosages to make up for the lack of the root, but Rene Caisse never did recommend more than 2 oz. per day no matter what.

One nice thing about Essiac is that it is not toxic in higher doses. It would be unwise, however, to hurry things along by taking more than the recommended dosage, even though there have not been any life-threatening Essiac side effects discovered in over now more than a century of use. (And this is only in reference to the non-Natives of America..this combination of herbs goes back a good 400 years in time, to the marriage of European Sheep sorrel and American Slippery elm). Essiac works best when integrated with lifestyle and diet choices that support good nutrition, balance and moderation, and personal growth.

That all said, some people will take 3 oz. per day which might fit with the higher average weight now compared to 50 years ago. Rene would probably not be too upset with that.