Caisse and ESSIAC® Tea
Statues of Rene Caisse stand in the centre
of Bracebridge, Ontario, and outside the Canadian College of Naturopathic
Medicine in Toronto. Do you know the story of this extraordinary Canadian
nurse? It's an inspiring tale that deserves more prominence in our country's
Rene Caisse was a registered nurse in
small-town Ontario in the 1920s. One day, while asking a patient about her
medical history, she heard something that set her life on a singular path. The
patient was an elderly woman who had been a prospector's wife. In her youth,
she told Nurse Caisse, she'd been very ill. Because she and her husband lived
far from any hospitals, a First Nations healer brought her an herbal concoction
on a regular basis.
Her curiosity piqued by this woman's
experience, Nurse Caisse began searching for an aboriginal healer who could
tell her more about this herbal tea. Her quest led her to an Ojibway elder, who
taught Rene Caisse how to select, prepare, and combine four plants (slippery
elm bark, Indian rhubarb root, sheep sorrel leaves, and burdock root) to make an herbal supplement.
Soon after she began administering the
herbal tonic to people, Nurse Caisse realized that it could be beneficial for
many. She set up a testing laboratory in Toronto for a few years, but was soon
coaxed back to her hometown of Bracebridge, where the Town Council gave her
space to establish a clinic.
Over the next decades, people travelled
from all over Canada (and, in fact, from around the world) to visit Rene
Caisse's clinic. Thousands of people experienced the power of Nurse Caisse's
tea, which she named "Essiac” – her own last name spelled backward.
Rene Caisse refused to take payment for ESSIAC®. She made it her life's work to
offer this immune supporting tonic to those who needed it.
Rene Caisse retired in the late 1970s, and sold
the rights for the ESSIAC® formula. Essiac Canada
International continues to make and distribute her original ESSIAC® formula worldwide.
When Rene Caisse was operating her clinic,
institutionalized medicine and governments were sceptical about many natural products.
Thankfully, today most health professionals see the value in taking a more
holistic approach, and some recommend ESSIAC® as an option for those who want to support their immune
is available in three forms: vegetable capsules, extract, or powder
to make an infusion. Essiac Canada International grows herbs especially for ESSIAC®
, and the plants are cultivated
without herbicides or pesticides. Visit the ESSIAC® website
for more information about this
The story of Rene Caisse reminds us that
one person can make a difference. Nurse Caisse endured skepticism, but remained
dedicated to her dream, and earned the gratitude of thousands.