A couple of years ago, as part of our continuing effort to find better
herbal treatments for the ailments that plague ferrets, we discovered a blend thats
been in the background for a number of years as a cancer treatment. Called Essiac,
it came with a startling quantity of anecdotal evidence that it really works.
Further research uncovered a vast quantity of information on this secret
miracle cure. Heres what we found:
The Essiac Story
Essiac has a proven track record: In test after test, Essiac has been
shown to be an effective treatment for many types of cancer. In addition, it has been
- kill parasites in the body
- detoxify the body
- remove heavy metals
- strengthens the immune system
It has also been found effective in treating AIDS, lupus, chronic
fatigue syndrome, diabetes, and many other illnesses. But even with all the impressive
data collected over the years, the mainstream medical community continues to ignore
The History of Essiac
Rene Caisse was a nurse in Canada. In 1923, one of her doctors
patients, a woman with terminal cancer, made a complete recovery. Inquiring into the
matter, Caisse found that the woman had used an herbal remedy given to her by an Ojibway
Caisse visited the herbalist, and he freely offered her his tribes
formula. He explained that the Ojibway used their tonic both for spiritual balance and
The formula consisted of four common herbs. They were blended in such a
way that the mixture had greater curative powers than any of the four herbs themselves.
The four herbs were Sheep Sorrel, Burdock Root, Slippery Elm Bark, and Rhubarb Root.
With her doctors permission, Caisse began to administer the herbal
remedy to other cancer patients who had been assumed incurable by the medical profession.
Caisse then began to collect the herbs herself, prepare the remedy, and
treated hundreds of cancer cases. She set up a clinic in Bracebridge, Ontario where she
administered the herbal remedy free to all who sought her help.
She discovered that Essiac, as she named the herbal remedy,
couldnt undo the damage already done to vital organs. In such cases, however, the
pain of the illness was alleviated and the life of the patients was extended beyond what
was predicted. In the other cases, where the life support organs had not been severely
damaged, cure was often complete, and the patients lived another 35 or 40 years. Some are
still alive today.
Caisse dedicated her life to helping these patients. She continued to
treat hundreds of patients from her home, without charge for her services. Donations were
her only income.
The newspaper coverage of Caisses work began to make her famous.
Word was also spread far and wide by the families of those healed by Essiac.
Eventually, the Royal Cancer Commission became interested in her work.
In 1937, they conducted hearings about Essiac. The Canadian Parliament, prodded by
newspaper coverage and the widespread support generated for Caisse by former patients and
grateful families, voted in 1938 on legislation to legalize the use of Essiac. Fifty-five
thousand signatures were collected on a petition to Parliament. The vote was close, but
Essiac failed to be approved as an officially sanctioned cure for cancer, by just three
An interesting side note is that, in the 1960s, Rene Caisse worked with
the well-known Brusch Clinic in Massachusetts. Dr. Charles A. Brusch was the personal
physician for President John F. Kennedy. After 10 years of research, Dr. Brusch made this
statement: Essiac is a cure for cancer, period. All studies done at laboratories in
the United States and Canada support this conclusion.
What is Essiac?
Essiac contains four commonly occurring
Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
The leaves of young Sheep Sorrel plants were popular as a cooking
dressing and as an addition to salads in France several hundred years ago. Indians used
Sheep Sorrel leaves as a tasty seasoning for meat dishes, and they baked it into their
Sheep Sorrel belongs to the buckwheat family. Common names for Sheep
Sorrel are field sorrel, red top sorrel, sour grass and dog eared sorrel. Dont
confuse it with Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa).
Sheep Sorrel grows wild throughout most of the world. It seeks open
pastures, rocky areas, and the shoulders of country roads. It is considered to be a common
weed throughout the U.S.
The entire Sheep Sorrel plant may be harvested to be used in Essiac. Or,
just the leaves and stems may be harvested, allowing the plants to be
"reharvested" later. The plant portion of the Sheep Sorrel may be harvested
throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
What Sheep Sorrel Does:
Sorrel plants have been a folk remedy for cancer for centuries, both in
Europe and America. Sheep Sorrel has been observed by researchers to break down tumors,
and to alleviate some chronic conditions and degenerative diseases.
It contains high amounts of vitamins A and B complex, C, D, E, K, P and
vitamin U. It is also rich in minerals, including calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium,
silicon, sodium, sulfur, and has trace amounts of copper, iodine, manganese and zinc. The
combination of these vitamins and minerals nourishes all of the glands of the body.
Sheep Sorrel also contains carotenoids and chlorophyll, citric, malic,
oxalic, tannic and tartaric acids. The chlorophyll carries oxygen throughout the
bloodstream. Cancer cells cant live in the presence of oxygen. It also:
- reduces the damage of radiation burns
- increases resistance to X-rays
- improves the vascular system, heart function intestines, and lungs
- destroys parasites in the body
- aids in the removal of foreign deposits from the walls of the blood
- purifies the liver, stimulates the growth of new tissue
- reduces inflammation of the pancreas, stimulates the growth of new tissue
- raises the oxygen level of the tissue cells
Sheep Sorrel is the primary healing herb in Essiac.
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)
The roots, young stems, and seeds of the Burdock plant are edible. Young
stalks can be boiled and eaten like asparagus. Raw stems and young leaves are eaten in
salads. Parts of the Burdock plant are eaten in China, Hawaii, and among the Native
American cultures on this continent.
The Burdock is a member of the thistle family. Remember the last time
you cleaned the burrs from your clothing after a walk in the woods? Chances are, you
brushed against a Burdock without realizing it! Burdock is a common pasture weed
throughout North America. It prefers damp soils.
The first years the Burdock plant produces only green leafy growth. It
is during the second year that it produces the long sturdy stems with annoying burrs. The
root of the Burdock plant is harvested. It is harvested from only the first year plants.
The roots are about an inch wide, and up to three feet long. As with the Sheep Sorrel, the
roots should only be harvested in the Fall when the plant energy is concentrated in the
roots. And again, purchase your roots only from a reliable supplier.
What Burdock Root Does:
For centuries Burdock has been used throughout the world to cure illness
and disease. The root of the Burdock is a powerful blood purifier. It clears congestion in
respiratory, lymphatic, urinary and circulatory systems. It promotes the flow of bile, and
eliminates excess fluid in the body.
It stimulates the elimination of toxic wastes, relieves liver
malfunctions, and improves digestion. The Chinese use Burdock Root as an aphrodisiac,
tonic, and rejuvenator. It assists in removing infection from the urinary tract, the
liver, and the gall bladder. It expels toxins through the skin and urine. It destroys
parasites. It is good against arthritis, rheumatism, and sciatica.
Burdock Root contains vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and P. It contains
high amounts of chromium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, and
zinc. It also contains smaller amounts of calcium, copper, manganese, selenium, and
Much of the Burdock Roots curative power is attributed to its principal
ingredient of Unulin, which helps to strengthen vital organs, especially the liver,
pancreas, and spleen.
Slippery Elm (Ulcus fulva)
The inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree has a long history of use as a
food supplement and herbal remedy. Pioneers knew of it as a survival food. The powdered
bark has long been used, and is still being used today, as a food additive and food
extender, rich in vitamin and mineral content.
The Slippery Elm is a favorite shade and ornamental tree. It is found
throughout Canada and the United States. Only the inner bark of the Slippery Elm is used
to make Essiac.
What Slippery Elm Does:
Slippery Elm Bark is widely known throughout the world as an herbal
remedy. As a tonic it is known for its ability to sooth and strengthen the organs,
tissues, and mucous membranes, especially the lungs and stomach. It promotes fast healing
of cuts, burns, ulcers and wounds. It revitalizes the entire body.
It contains, as its primary ingredient, a mucilage, as well as
quantities of gallic acid, phenols, starches, sugars, the vitamins A, B complex, C, K, and
P. It contains large amounts of calcium, magnesium, and sodium, plus lesser amounts of
chromium and selenium, and trace amounts of iron, phosphorous, silicon and zinc.
Slippery Elm Bark is known among herbalists for its ability to cleanse,
heal, and strengthen the body.
Turkey Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum)
Weve all eaten rhubarb. Its red, bittersweet stems can be found in
supermarket produce shelves each spring. We also eat rhubarb pie, jams and pudding. The
Turkey Rhubarb is a member of the rhubarb family, whose roots contain a particularly
strong and desirable potency.
The Turkey Rhubarb grows in China. The roots are harvested when the
plants are at least six years old. This imported product has more potency than our native
rhubarb. Rene Caisse began her Essiac work using the domestic rhubarb root, later
discovering that the imported variety was more potent and less bitter. However most of the
Turkey Rhubarb imported today is irradiated, so that native rhubarb is once again the
rhubarb of choice for Essiac.
What Turkey Rhubarb Does:
Rhubarb, also a well-known herb, as been used worldwide since 220 BC as
a medicine. The rhubarb root exerts a gentle laxative action by stimulating the secretion
of bile into the intestines. It also stimulates the gall duct to expel toxic waste matter,
purging the body of waste bile and food. This cleanses the liver and relieves chronic
Rhubarb root contains vitamin A, plus many of the B complex, C, and P
vitamins. Its high mineral content includes calcium, chlorine, copper, iodine, iron,
magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur and zinc.
Essiac Has These Therapeutic Benefits:
- Prevents the buildup of excess fatty deposits in artery walls, heart,
kidney and liver.
- Regulates cholesterol levels by transforming sugar and fat into energy.
- Destroys parasites in the digestive system and throughout the body.
- Counteracts the detrimental effects of aluminum, lead and mercury
- Strengthens and tightens muscles, organs and tissues.
- Makes bones, joints, ligaments, lungs, and membranes strong and flexible,
less vulnerable to stress or stress injuries.
- Nourishes and stimulates the brain and nervous system.
- Promotes the absorption of fluids in the tissues.
- Removes toxic accumulations in the fat, lymph, bone marrow, bladder, and
- Neutralizes acids, absorbs toxins in the bowel, and eliminates both.
- Clears the respiratory channels by dissolving and expelling mucus.
- Relieves the liver of its burden of detoxification by converting fatty
toxins into water-soluble substances that can then be easily eliminated through the
- Helps the liver produce lecithin, which forms part of the myelin sheath:
a white fatty material that encloses nerve fibers.
- Reduces and perhaps eliminates heavy metal deposits in
tissues (especially those surrounding the joints) to reduce inflammation and stiffness.
- Improves the functions of the pancreas and spleen by increasing the
effectiveness of insulin.
- Purifies the blood.
- Increases red cell production, and keeps them from rupturing.
- Increases the bodys ability to use oxygen by raising the oxygen
level in the tissue cells.
- Maintains the balance between potassium and sodium within the body so
that the fluid inside and outside each cell is regulated: In this way, cells are nourished
- Converts calcium and potassium oxalates into a harmless form by making
them solvent in the urine. It also regulates the amount of oxalic acid delivered to the
kidneys, reducing the risk of stone formation in the gall bladder, kidneys, or urinary
- Protects against toxins entering the brain.
- Protects the body against radiation and X-rays.
- Relieves pain, increases appetite, and provides more energy along with
giving a sense of well being.
- Speeds up wound healing by regenerating the damaged area.
- Increases the production of antibodies like lymphocytes and T-cells in
the thymus gland, which is the defender of our immune system.
- Inhibits and possibly destroys benign growths and tumors.
- Protects the cells against free radicals.
Our Personal Experience with Essiac
With the overwhelming evidence and testimony for its use, we just had to
try Essiac. Our first experience was with Cookie, a 6-year-old DEW.
Late one night, Diane noticed a mass in Cookies abdomen. A
midnight exploratory surgery revealed a huge tumor, running up under the ferrets rib
cage, all the way down to press on the bladder. The vet asked if Diane wanted her
awakened, or if she should just put her down right there. But Diane wasnt ready to
give up just yet.
She started Cookie on Essiac: 2cc, twice a day. At first, the tumor
seemed unchanged; perhaps even getting larger. But then, within a few days, it seemed to
begin to shrink. And then it shrank even more.
Within 3 months, the tumor had shrunk to about 1/3 its original size,
and seemed to have broken loose from the organs it had in its grasp. Then, sadly, Cookie
A necropsy revealed a few interesting facts:
- Cookie died from a bleeding ulcer; it had nothing to do with the tumor.
At the time we werent familiar with the early symptoms of this ailment, and
didnt have a good treatment for it.
- Cookies tumor was lymphosarcoma; a normally deadly cancer.
Finally, and perhaps the most startling, was the fact that the tumor had
in fact shrunk: It was about 1/3 the size it was three months earlier, and was loose. Had
she lived, the tumor could now have been removed safely.
Since then, weve used Essiac to treat a number of ferrets with
various illnesses. Heres what weve discovered.
- Essiac seems to have a strong effect on lymphosarcomas. In general, they
seem to get larger and firmer at first, and then begin to dissolve.
- Weve had great success in treating ear tumors: Two ferrets
tumors have disappeared completely using Essiac.
- Essiac seems to be helpful in treating nonspecific ailments that defy
diagnosis. Ferrets on Essiac seem more alert, more active, and more playful.
- Essiac was instrumental in treating a ferret with Megaesophagus: a rare
ailment where the esophagus swells shut, preventing food from reaching the stomach. The
ferret, Moose, is doing great, and still receives Essiac three or four times a week.
- Essiac hasnt been as successful with inoperable adrenal tumors, but
it may have slowed their rate of growth, and made the ferret more comfortable in the time
it had left.
- We’ve also had good success using
Essiac to treat mast cell tumors, by applying it topically to the tumor.
Within a week the tumor falls off.
- Essiac wont help with insulinomas; in fact, it actually lowers the
blood sugar, so its more successful for treating the opposite condition: diabetes.
Using Essiac for Ferrets
Essiac comes in liquid form; the best way weve found to use it is
to add it to a soup, consisting of half A/D, half water. For others who wouldnt eat
the A/D, weve used a little Gerbers chicken
or turkey baby food (Gerber’s
doesn’t add onions to their food, so the ferrets seem to like it).
More recently, we started making a soup
out of their regular food. We boil water, then add their food and let it sit
for a few hours. Then we use a mixer to whip the concoction into a smooth,
soupy consistency, about the thickness of tomato soup.
We put a small amount of the soup in a custard cup, and then warm it
slightly in the microwave oven. The ferrets seem to go nuts over it.
The amount of Essiac depends on the size of the ferret and whether
youre trying to treat an illness, or as a supplement to maintain good health.
Click here to download our
Is Essiac a Miracle Cure?
At this point, all we can say is “maybe.” But our results
so far have been encouraging enough for us to continue using it,
and recommending it to others.
If youve had any experiences with Essiac in ferrets, wed
love to hear from you. If you have a ferret you think might benefit from it, all we can
say is try it, and good luck.