I have always been curious over Native Americans for some reason. What it would be like to have been part of a tribe or what it would be like to live back in those days where you seriously lived off the land. I imagine camp fires every night, women making beautiful clothes out of fur and feathers or maybe relaxing, watching the sunsets as they play a beautiful harmony with a homemade wooden flute. But thanks to this day in time, the only thing I can think of is Jacob Black running into the woods with no shirt on, (Thank You Stephenie Meyer) and you’re welcome for that vision.
On a more serious note, this recipe was brought to my parents’ attention through someone who was diagnosed with cancer in our local home town. For many years he has been cancer free and he swears up and down it’s because he drinks this Essiac Tea, along with a few others who has had positive progression.
Ojibwa tea is a formula of four-herb blend that was given to a Canadian nurse named Rene Caisse by an Ojibwa medicine man as a cure for her mother’s cancer. It is also called Essiac, which is Caisse spelled backward. She claimed the formula was given to her by a miner’s wife who was seemingly cured of breast cancer by an herb recipe. These herbs were given to the woman by “a very old Indian medicine man”. He showed her certain herbs growing in the area and told her to pick them and make a tea and to drink it every day. 30 years later, she had no reoccurrence of cancer. Until she died at the age of 90, she helped by the remedy while others claimed living with their illness was made more bearable.
Below are the herbs, benefits and directions…
- Mix dry ingredients thoroughly.
- Measure out desired amount of dry ingredients.
- Pour proportionate amount of water into pot.
- Bring water to a rolling boil with the lid on.
- Stir dry ingredients into boiling water.
- Replace lid and continue boiling at reduced heat for 10 minutes.
- Turn off stove.
- Scrape down sides of pot and stir mixture thoroughly.
- Replace lid, let pot sit and cool undisturbed for 10-12 hours (overnight).
- Reheat to steaming hot, but do not let it boil.
- Turn off heat and allow herbs to settle for a few minutes.
- Pour hot liquid through sieve to catch sediment.
- Use funnel to fill sterilized bottles, put lids on.
- Allow bottles to cool, then tighten lids.
- Store in dark cool place, always refrigerate an opened bottle.
- Essiac contains no preservatives, discard if mold develops. “When in doubt, throw it out”.
Unopened bottles can be stored in a cool, dark place, or keep all the bottles in the refrigerator. Don’t freeze essiac or warm it up in a microwave (use hot water to dilute and warm it). Distilled water is best for brewing the essiac formula. This decoction should be prepared with stainless steel vessels and instruments. Stainless steel, while much more costly than other metals, is the most sanitary and nonreactive.
*Tip – also make sure the herbs stay cool before making (refrigerate)
This herb is the best known for its beneficial effect on the skin. It increases circulation to the skin and helps to detoxify (cleanse) the epidermal tissues. Many users report exceptional beauty and glow of the skin from its use. “Some of the conditions which may benefit from the root are: psoriasis, eczema, acne, boils, sties, carbuncles, ulcers of the stomach…”
Another beneficial feature of this root is its action as a “blood purifier.” This term means the formula helps eliminate toxins for the blood and lymphatic system. Its action is also reported to work on the respiratory and urinary systems. The liver, gall bladder, kidneys, and digestive system benefit from the properties of Burdock Root. It may also help with elimination of excess fluids from the body.
Burdock Root is rich in vitamins B-complex and E. Its trace minerals include potassium, phosphorous, chromium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, silicon, zinc and sodium.Because of its diuretic action, conditions of arthritis, rheumatism, and sciatia may be improved. Many users report a rapid decrease in swollen ankles even if the condition hasn’t responded well to other treatments.
Burdock Root contains inulin (not to be confused with insulin) which helps regulate sugar (glucose) in metabolism. Diabetics may be helped and Inulin has also been shown to possess exceptional restorative properties. It increases immunity by improving the efficiency of white blood cells.
Slippery Elm Bark
This herb’s main constituent is mucilage. Mucilage is a gum dissolved in the bark’s juices. This material has extraordinary cleansing properties. It has been reported to reduce the pain of ulcers – the mucilage coats any area it passes through.
Slippery Elm Bark has a lubricating property which helps protect membranes linings and joints. Relief of inflamed areas is commonly reported. An antibiotic and anti-microbial effect has also been reported along with an ability to remove toxins from the body.
Turkey Rhubarb Root
Turkey Rhubarb has impressive detoxifying properties, especially for the liver. The root also has antibiotic, anti-microbial, and anti-tumor properties.
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), also known simply as sorrel or dock, is a perennial plant that has been used in multiple roles for centuries, including:
- Anti-cancer therapy
- Anti-inflammatory agent
- Antibacterial agent and immune system booster
- Vitamin deficiency
- Food preparation
Burdock and rhubarb root would be placed in the west, as they are gathered in the fall and their medicinal qualities follow the body’s deep internal rhythms. Slippery elm would be associated with the north simply because bark is one of the few things that can be gathered during the long frozen winters of the Far North. Also, the medicinal action of slippery elm affects the breath (spirit). Gathered in mid-spring and healing to the skin, sheep sorrel leaves bring the aspect of the east to the formula
What is missing from this formula? A plant aspect from the south. Why? Because cancer is an imbalance of excessive growth, and the energy from the south is growth. Not only physical growth, but also the emotional, mental and visionary excesses of growth. To add herbs from the south (as some formulas add red clover blossoms) renders it less effective on a metaphysical level, according to the cosmology of the wheel
Medicine, is the respect for all life. The tea and packing are done the old way with the practice of giving back to Mother Earth and prayers for health. In Native American culture, nothing is done without prayer, whether one is beginning a new day, or conducting a ceremony. Treatment of oneself must first start with the Spirit, then the mind and lastly the body, according to how we were created.
35% Sheep Sorrel (leaf, stem, root and seed)
54% Burdock Root (and seed)
9% Slippery Elm bark
2% Turkey (or Indian) Rhubarb