Essiac (B.S.S.T.)

Essiac is a unique 4-herb formula with a long history of use for its amazing healing properties. It contains Burdock (Arctium lappa), Sheep Sorrel (Rumex cetosella), Turkey Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum) Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva) powder. This formula is based on a decoction originally developed and used by the Canadian Ojibwa Indians and is also called Ojibwa Tea. This herbal formula was discovered by nurse Rene Caisse in 1922 after talking with a patient who had been cured of breast cancer by a combination of herbs from an Indian medicine man. Caisse treated seriously ill patients with remarkable success for over 50 years.

There are many traditional uses of the 4-herb formula, but Essiac is most famous for its use in cancer patients; however, scientific proof is still lacking (though the individual herbs are each known to have specific anti-cancer action, among many other documented properties). There are also many potential benefits for our pets, including:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • anti-ulcer and stomach tonic
  • appetite stimulant
  • blood cleanser
  • blood sugar stabilizer
  • detoxification
  • heart and lung support and tonic
  • immune system enhancement
  • liver protectant
  • prebiotic and probiotic
  • supportive care
  • thyroid normalization
  • tonic
  • reduction of chemotherapy side effects
  • supportive therapy for cancer patients

The herbs are usually brewed into a decoction (strong tea); but they can also be extracted into a tincture. (There are also many products containing the herbs in dried, powdered form, but these are ineffective–the active principles must be decocted or tinctured in order to work in the body.) A tincture is more convenient and easier to administer than tea since smaller quantities can be used, and it also is more stable and has a much longer shelf life.

On a personal note, I gave this 4-herb formula to my dog after he had a malignant tumor removed; it never returned despite its known aggressive nature. I have used it for my own cats, as well as many patients, and I take it myself as a general tonic and immune support.

Only Natural Pet offers the same 4-herb formula in tincture in a product called B.S.S.T. (the initials, of course, stand for Burdock, Sheep Sorrel, Slippery Elm, and Turkey Rhubarb).

9 thoughts on “Essiac (B.S.S.T.)

  1. Essiac or Essiac Tea is a blend of herbs used to make a tea that is believed by some and questioned by others to have cancer-treating properties. It was discovered by a Canadian nurse, Rene Caisse, who named it after her last name spelled backwards. The original formula is believed to have its roots in native Canadian Ojibwa medicine and contains greater burdock root (Arctium lappa), slippery elm inner bark (Ulmus rubra, formerly known as Ulmus fulva), sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), and Indian or Turkish rhubarb root (Rheum officinale).

  2. A pet is an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment or a household animal, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful characteristics, for their attractive appearance, or for their song. Pets also generally seem to provide their owners with non-trivial health benefits;[1] keeping pets has been shown to help relieve stress to those who like having animals around. There is now a medically-approved class of “therapy animals,” mostly dogs, who are brought to visit confined humans. Walking a dog can provide both the owner and the dog with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction.

  3. Hi, I had done some reading a while back on the essaic story. From what I remember, the “original” 4 herb tea was what she gave to a company that said it would open cancer clinics or something. But she had doubts and so only gave a part of the formula, one which she had found worked, but not as effectively as the 8 herb formula that she was originally given. Apparently the company never built the clinics nor paid her for the “original” (4 herb) recipe. Anyway, that’s what I remember. I may Bing around and read up on it again. Anyway, if anyone at ONP reads this, I was wondering if anyone had thought to make the 8 (or 9 I think I also read) herb formula? Just curious.

      1. Oh, my thought wasn’t to change it. But like so many of the products, that you have for the same condition(s), is to perhaps offer a different choice, in this area as well. Maybe even have a “maintenance” version and the Super-duper version?? I don’t know, kick the can around a bit. Seems to be a lot of great feedback on the 8 herb versions that have been used for while out there. It might be worth the investment of researching it further?? Just an idea, since there are thousands buying the 8 herb version. Why shouldn’t your company benefit from that, of course, as well as your customers? :o)

    1. Hi Pat,

      Here is some info for you on our B.S.S.T. essaic herbal remedy, hope it helps!

      Suggested Use:

      • This tincture may be mixed with food, applied with dropper or syringe directly into mouth, or mixed with up to 1/2 cup of warm water.
      • The formula may be given in 2 doses per day if giving it in 3 doses is problematic.
      For Dogs and Cats – 3 times per day, give 1 drop for every 2 pounds of body weight up to 50 pounds, plus 1 drop for every 4 pounds of body weight over 50 pounds. For example, a 70 lb. dog would be given 25 drops + 5 drops = 30 drops, three times each day (total 90 drops).

      1. Is this the dosage for human essiac? I have the liquid and want to know how many drops of the human’s essiac for my 7-8 lb cat, who I just adopted 2 months ago, and it looks like she may have a “mass” in her liver, but that is not confirmed, cannot be without an ultrasound, which the cost is $500+ We have been treating her for hepatitis, and other meds, and giving her fluids via an IV every day and force feeding her. She is eating and drinking now and has life in her, so I refuse to put her down (which is what was suggested) until I try this. Please, please advise. Also if you have any dosage recommendations for milk thistle (1000 mg, for humans), I would love that too. I found on an animal hospital website to give the percentage of her weight of the human formula. she weighs 8, so 2.5 drops of the human dosage, for adults is 30 drops for 1,000 mgs. THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!

      2. The dosage given for our BSST product is specific to our particular formulation of the Essiac herbs and may not be the same as other products. The “rule of thumb” you found on converting human to pet dosage is a general guideline only, and may not apply to a particular herbal formula. Please consult your veterinarian for dosage instructions if you are using a different formulation!

        For info on Milk Thistle, please see:

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