Essiac Original Recipe

How did Rene Caisse believe each herb worked?

Burdock Root
(Arctium lappa)

For centuries burdock root has been regarded as an effective blood purifier that neutralizes and eliminates poisons from the body.  Burdock contains a volatile oil–especially in the seeds–that is eliminated through the sweat glands, taking toxins with it and alleviating skin problems.  Burdock contains niacin, which is known to eliminate poisons from the body, including radiation.  Burdock also supports the bladder, kidney and liver and has been said to dissolve kidney stones.  It also contains an abundance of minerals, particularly iron.  Studies have shown antitumor activity in burdock.  Japanese scientists have isolated an antimutation property in burdock, which they call the “B factor”.  The Japanese grow burdock root for food as well as medicine.  A memorandum from the World Health Organization revealed that burdock was active against HIV. 

Sheep Sorrel
(Rumex acetosella)

Rene Caisse isolated sheep sorrel leaves as the main Essiac herb that attacked cancerous tumors.  Dr. Ralph Moss points out that sheep sorrel contains aloe emodin, a natural substance that shows significant antileukemic activity.  Sheep sorrel contains antioxidants, is diuretic and has been used to check hemorrhages.  It has also been used for food, but it does contain oxalic acid which can interfere with calcium absorption.  Therefore, some people find it helpful to take some extra calcium when using sheep sorrel on a regular basis. 

Slippery Elm
(Ulmus rubra/fulva)

Slippery elm is well-known for its soothing properties.  It reduces inflammations such as sore throat, diarrhea and urinary problems.  It has been regarded as both a food and medicine.  Dr. Moss noted that “slippery elm contains beta-sitosterol and a polysaccharide, both of which have shown [anti-cancer] activity.

Turkey Rhubarb
(Rheum palmatum)

Turkey Rhubarb has been shown to have antitumor activity.  It is  diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and has been used extensively to relieve constipation.  It is medicinally more potent than garden rhubarb root and is more palatable.