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This Rene Caisse Documentary is from the 1970s and was produced in Canada. It's about the life of Rene Caisse and her work with Dr. Charles Brusch.
At the 21:00 minute mark of this video, you will see the Doctor who developed this formula. His name is Dr. Charles Brusch and he passed the formula along to us.
According to many herbalists "Essiac" is comprised of four herbs: Sheep Sorrel, Burdock Root, Slippery Elm Bark, and Turkish Rhubarb Root. The recipe is not trademarked and almost every health food store carries it. However, this four-herb formula is actually a smaller version of the eight-herb formula originally received and gradually refined by Canadian nurse Rene Caisse.
The story of "Essiac" is depicted in the Rene Caisse documentary above. This story began decades ago when Caisse heard of an herbal recipe from an elderly patient who was in an Ontario hospital where she was the head nurse. The recipe contained eight herbs and was given to the woman years before by an Ojibway medicine man. He had offered his help because he knew the woman was suffering from breast cancer.The patient recovered from her cancer and remained cancer free for the next 30 years. In 1922 she gave Rene the recipe after Rene expressed her interest in attempting helping others with cancer by administering this herbal formula.
Rene Caisse used this original eight-herb recipe two years later on her aunt, who was terminally ill with stomach and liver cancer. She eventually started calling it "eight-herb essiac" (essiac is derived from her last name -- spelled backwards). Her aunt recovered and lived another 21 years, meaning that she died only of old age. Rene and her aunt's doctor began experimenting with the herbal tea and research began on mice. The doctor, Dr. R.O. Fisher, began using it on his terminally ill patients, and some improved greatly.
Rene and the doctor began to modify the formula. They injected one herb (Sheep Sorrel) and administered the others orally. The Ojibway medicine man and his people never injected it; they had simply prepared tea, but Rene had decided to conduct formal research on her formula in hopes that she could improve it's efficacy. It was discovered that only one herb could be injected--and only into the muscle. This was a painful procedure for sick people, and many, due to their emaciated state, had hardly any muscles left for the injections. Nonetheless, this partial-injection method was used for some years and there were some successes that were documented in stories about this formula. However, there were failures too, as many sufferers were so far gone, they had little time left. In others, the disease had damaged vital organs beyond repair.
The eight-herb essiac formula varied slightly over the years from the original essiac that the woman received from the medicine man in 1892. In fact, there are some variations of the eight herb formula today. These changes happened as part of a natural testing process whereby patients were monitored and their results observed. In 1959, Rene Caisse went to the Brusch Medical Clinic in Cambridge, Mass. to join Dr. Charles Armao Brusch, MD. She became partners with Dr. Brusch with the intent of forming the "Rene Caisse Cancer Research Foundation," a charitable foundation which would have the purpose of utilizing this treatment for cancer in humans. Rene was provided with rooms for her use at the clinic and all her expenses were taken care of. Rene and Charles Brusch remained partners, co-developers and co-owners until her death in 1978 at the age of 91.
Dr. Brusch, President Kennedy's physician, had developed an interest in other natural forms of healing. His objective always the 'well-being' of the patient, which made him a pioneer of sorts. He had set up the first acupuncture clinic to collect research data, and it was operating in his medical clinic when Rene Caisse arrived in 1959. He was the first doctor in the Western hemisphere to initiate a plan similar to Medicare within his clinic for those without money for medical help. He was extremely interested in herbs and their power to heal, which he learned from a long-time friend, a master herbalist out of Missouri.
The objective at Dr. Brusch's clinic was to prove the merits of this simple, non-toxic, herbal formula called eight-herb essiac. The formula had been used with great success on so many terminally ill patients but Dr. Brusch wanted to do even better. They began their research on the eight-herb essiac using oral treatment only. No other medication was used and the herbs were given on an empty stomach. In the hope of identifying the active ingredient, they experimented with variations of solutions to be injected, each vial containing a different herb. This failed to isolate one single herb, proving that effective results are obtained synergistically though the unique combination of the eight herbs in the correct proportions.
Consequently they returned to using the eight-herb essiac formula administered in an oral fashion.
For more in-depth information, be sure to check out the Rene Caisse Documentary shown above.If you see another Rene Caisse Documentary that you think we would like, please contact us.