MY THOUGHTS: INDIGENOUS PERSON'S RECIPE OR NOT?
Numerous rumors abound that this tea is a recipe from a Medicine Man. It has never been proven if he was from Canada or the United States, or even which tribe. The tea commonly referred to as “essiac” is not from an indigenous person. Try as I might (even with respect to my own tribal ancestry), I could not prove that. Due to all the initial information I had that this blend was of indigenous origin, I decided to name the tea blends offered by us to reflect that. After more thorough research, I decided to keep the names—honoring the catalyst of the original recipe that led Rene Caisse to develop her own blend. Yes, a recipe was given to Rene by a woman claiming to have obtained it from a Medicine Man, but that recipe was altered after Rene’s laboratory testing and her “fine-tuning” the original recipe. She narrowed it down to 4 herbs that she felt were the most beneficial.
I have read countless diatribes on the “authentic” recipe, the “original” recipe, ad nauseum. All the years of Rene working with her blend was primarily with four herbs that she tested extensively. That is what she spent her time working with. THAT is essiac. This is Rene Caisse’s formula—no one else’s. Rene’s approach to this blend was through the eyes of one trained in allopathic medicine, evidenced by the testing on mice, injections, and other accounts of her use of the blend. This recipe was extensively researched by Dr. Gary Glum, and later by Sheila Snow & Mali Klein, authors of “Essiac Essentials.” If the latter two authors research didn’t come up with anything drastically different, then I doubt it exists.
I could be very wrong here, and way off base, but this is something else I have pondered: My understanding of herbalism, and the traditional way of using herbs, is that the recipes were (or are) generally varied according to the individual patient’s needs. Just speculation, but ponder this for a moment. If the indigenous person followed that way of thinking, then the recipe he gave to the woman with breast cancer would have been geared toward her needs—not the needs of hundreds or thousands of people as a standard one-size-fits-all blend. It also would have contained plants that were easily obtained or traded for by the Turtle Island Medicine Man—not something grown in China (Turkey Rhubarb). The Medicine Man reportedly took the woman out into Nature, showing her the plants she needed to make her tea. So, let’s please just drop all the intense focus about the original-original blend. I think you will have a better chance of winning the lottery than ever knowing what that blend was. It was—in all probability—formulated for that one person.
Since her death, essiac has been pounced upon by many unscrupulous marketers wishing to make a “fast buck,” once again, totally ignoring Rene Caisse’s primary focus—to make this tea available to everyone. She also found much heartache in the fact that it was not taken seriously by the allopathic, or Western, medical community. Rene possessed pure motives in pursuing her research and use of this tea for nearly 5 decades. Pity that can not be said about those who jump at the chance to line their pockets at the expense of those fighting for their lives, or wishing to improve their health.
There were two things that stood out like neon lights to me upon studying essiac: 1) Since Rene’s death, not one entity has expanded upon her research in the true sense of the word, with the exception of Cloud’s Trust in England; 2) After researching the herb market for quality plants, I was more than a bit appalled at the prices being charged. Single minded individuals have set out to use a lot of “hot air” in promoting this tea—really themselves—with little or no consideration for the people who will be consuming it. Color me idealistic, naive, or whatever; but my intention is to take up where Rene Caisse’s research left off. You can expect no less. University of Texas Alternative Medicine department began conducting a research survey with this blend—but only on behalf of a major marketer. Biased—you bet!
This handbook is a work of love and a deep passion for the work that Rene Caisse did. It is also a work continually evolving, expanding and changing. At some point in the near future, my plans include some in-depth scientific studies on this blend. Once and for all, let’s see if we can get some solid facts about this tea, what it does, how it works, when it works, if it works, etc. Rene’s dream was to get this tea acknowledged by the allopathic community. The only way to do that is to take what we have now several leaps further—into the world of science, laboratory studies and proof. I’ll strive with all I have to do that. The effectiveness of a drug or an herbal blend can not be solely proven in a laboratory. Anecdotal evidence (similar to “clinical trials!”) is crucial. It will also help point me into avenues that may help in what I test, how I test it, etc.
By now you may have guessed I am rather opinionated and passionate about what I do, and have a great deal of compassion and caring for each one of you. I can tell you with all honesty that I find the essiac blend to be a wonderful complement to consider in your health care options. I find it worthy of continued research and exploration.
In your pursuit of health, don’t just take my word for anything. My objective is to get you to think and to understand that you have choices. Today we live in a world with many options for treating dis-ease. Seek them out—not from fear—but for the empowerment it gives you in taking your health into your own hands.
This information is provided for educational purposes and to promote discussion only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or claim cure for any disease or imbalance in the body.