Essiac is an herbal concoction created by a Canadian nurse named Rene Caisse, and it contains burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm and Indian rhubarb root. An additional Essiac product called Flor Essence also includes watercress, blessed thistle, red clover and kelp. The name Essiac comes from the nurse's surname spelled backwards. Essiac is owned by Essiac Products Inc., as of 2016.
Essiac has some notoriety due to claims that it is a miracle cure for cancer. People have reported their cancer going away completely after treatment with Essiac. However, in many cases, the cancer turned out to be a wrong diagnosis, or the people were being treated conventionally for cancer at the same time. As Essiac is not a licensed medication, it is thought to be more likely that the conventional treatments helped the cancer patients.
Essiac is available as a powder and as a liquid. The powder form can be made into tea and the instructions recommend up to 12 ounces every day, two hours before a meal. The liquid form can be mixed with fresh water and kept in the refrigerator. In this form, the recommended amount is 1 ounce consumed up to three times per day. The instructions claim Essiac can be taken continuously for up to two years.