Colonel Joe (Oxalic Acid)

The Colonel Joe protocol is headed by carrot juice. He claims it is the oxalic acid in the diet that kills the cancer cells. I personally wonder whether the success of this treatment is because of the beta carotene or the oxalic acid in carrots.



In the early 1920's a young Canadian nurse, Rene Caisse, received an herbal formula from a patient who had been cured of breast cancer after using a preparation given to her by a Ojibwa medicine man. Rene's initial interest was professional curiosity, but that changed when her aunt developed stomach cancer. She made the herbal preparation now called Essiac (Caisse spelled backwards) and her aunt eventually recovered.

Through both patient and doctor pressure, Renee was given permission by the Canadian government to treat cancer patients providing their condition was considered hopeless by the medical profession and she not charge for her services. She agreed and proceeded to treat thousands of people many of whom were still alive to bury her at the age of ninety. In 1937, a petition signed by over fifty-five thousand people, including many doctors, was submitted to the Canadian Parliament to legalize Essiac. The resulting bill was defeated by a mere three votes.
Rene didn't want the general public to have the formula because she feared it wouldn't be properly prepared or might be exploited. Finally, in 1977, she was persuaded to sell her formula to research for $1.00. After a five-year study by the Resperin Corporation, a government evaluation concluded that "no clinical evidence exists to support the claims that Essiac is an effective treatment for cancer."

The formula itself is quite simple. The primary herb is sheep sorrel which Rene thought effectively attacked and broke down tumors. It contains high amounts of vitamins A, B Complex, C, D, E, K, P, and U and is rich in calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, with trace amounts of copper, iodine, manganese, and zinc. High amounts of carotenoids, oxalic acid and chlorophyll increase the body's ability to utilize oxygen and vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant which helps to control free radicals. One theory is that cancer is a process of cell mutation caused by a lack of oxygen at the cellular level.

Burdock, used for centuries as a blood purifier, contains vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and P, and the minerals chromium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, and zinc, as well as lesser amounts of calcium, copper, manganese, selenium, and sulfur. Burdock also contains a polysaccharide called inulin--as much as 45% in its first-year roots. In 1984, Japanese scientists at Nagoya University discovered a substance in the root capable of reducing cell mutation.

Slippery elm bark contains vitamins A, B-Complex, C, K, and P, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and sodium, with lesser amounts chromium, selenium, iron, phosphorus, silicon, and zinc. It helps repair tissues, thus aiding in the replacement of damaged tissue.

Turkey rhubarb root contains vitamins A, many of the B-complex, C, and P, and calcium, chlorine, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulfur, and zinc. It also contains gallic, oxalic, tannic acid and malic acid, which deliver oxygen to the body. Turkey rhubarb root was used as early as 22 BC for its liver cleansing properties. Rhein, one of the anthraquinones in the root, is antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antitumor, and inhibits the growth of intestinal bacteria, including Candida albicans. As you may have guessed, it wasn't in the original formula. More likely, common rhubarb was used. Rene perhaps changed the original formula because Turkey rhubarb's action is stronger.

The testimonials for Essiac as a cancer cure are extensive. Although most of Rene's files were destroyed by the Canadian Ministry of Health and Welfare at the time of her death, a friend who was cured of cancer retained many documents and dedicated her life to distributing information in the US. Dr. Gary Glum, a Los Angeles chiropractor, brought Essiac back into the limelight through his book, Calling of an Angel. He says of his experience with the AIDS Project Los Angeles, "I took them off the AZT and the DDI and put them on Essiac three times a day. Those are the only ones alive today. The other 174 are dead." Lynn Robinson, from Hamlin, New York, has suffered from severe allergies since 1977. After taking two ounces of Essiac twice a day for one month, she no longer needs prescription drugs. There seem to be few side effects, although herbalist Jean Argus reports that Essiac "can cause painful joints, especially if you have a pre-existing condition." Some feel that Essiac isn't meant to be a tonic, but Rene took it as a tonic from 1922 until 1978. Some suggest up to six ounces a day, however Rene often gave only one ounce a week to some patients. I took two ounces of Essiac a day for six months. The most noticeable positive effect was on digestion.
Pam Montgomery is an herbalist in New York.

[ED. NOTE: When Essiac was tested on mice and human cancer patients at the Brusch Medical Center in Cambridge, MA in 1958-59, Dr. Charles Brusch reported that it reduced pain, caused a recession in cancer cell growth, weight gain, and improvment in general health. Later, the Office of Technology Assessments of Unconventional Cancer Treatments stated that burdock and Indian rhubarb may have anti-tumor actions, however, they found no "substantive evidence" to support the anti-cancer claims.]


Calling of an Angel. By Dr. Gary Glum. Silent Walker Publishing, P.O. Box 92856, Los Angeles, CA. 90009. 1988. 233 pp. $35.00. A biography of Rene Caisse, with case histories.
The Essence of Essiac.. By Sheila Snow, Box 396, Port Carling, Ontario, Canada POB 1J0.
Essiac: Nature's Cure for Cancer. By Elisabeth Robinson, Wildfire Vol. 6:1 "Sheila Snow Explores the Controversy Surrounding the Famous Cancer Formula, Essiac." By Sheila Snow.

Canadian Journal of Herbalism, Summer 1991.

"Essiac Regains Popularity as Cancer Remedy." By Rick Desylva, Ontario's Common Ground Magazine.
By Marijah McCain, M.H.

I feel that the healing attributes of Essiac are not strictly from a medicinal point of view. To use and prepare this formula requires a large shift in consciousness for many and when it is made up with reverence and hope, miracles happen. The formula contains very strong blood purifying herbs, but that does not account for the many people who stop taking their morphine medication because it alleviates their pain! There are no active medicinal pain killers in the formula--not as medical science knows it anyway. This formula not only helps cancer, ulcers, and AIDS, but psoriasis, allergies, sinusitis, pain, skin rashes, and fungal infections.

The Essiac formula published by Dr. Gary Glum calls for a five-gallon pot and a cup of herbs, but it's not neccesary to make so much. I feel it is very important to use good quality, organically-grown herbs. Not everyone follows the directions for certain herbs being powdered or cut, but I've tried to stick to the original formula as closely as possible. I've also found that tinctures aren't as effective as tea. They can be far too potent and cause adverse reactions, even in people who have no problems taking other tinctures.

A student of the Herbal Healer Academy tells her story: "Approximately 8 yeas ago I was diagnosed as having an inoperable brain tumor, and the year before, Crohn's disease. My life was medications (too numerous to remember), pain, doctors, hospitals and tests. I believe I've had every medication, test, procedure known to modern medicine. Every day was a struggle. There were days I was in such pain, I didn't even know my name. With the constant diarrhea (facing colostomy), I was further limited. I was always doped up on medication and pain killers. Each new medication brought new side affects. I was merely surviving; I had little will to live. I was taken off the Crohn's medication, for fear of drug inter-reaction. So, for one year I tried over-the-counter medications. The only good that came out of this was my discovery of herbs as medicinals, and a more natural, healthier way of eating. I recently started to discover my spiritual side and use prayers even more. I took my first dose of Essiac on November 15, 1993. I take it 3 times a day. The beginning of December, I started decreasing my prescriptions and since mid-December, the only medication I've had to take occasionally is for severe pain, and my diarrhea is almost gone. I can enjoy life and do things again. I believe my tumor is gone or at least much smaller (I have a dent in my head). The tests are so expensive, I haven't any scientific proof, but I know this to be true; I have my life back. Essiac has been the answer to our prayers."

Marijah McCain is an Herbalist and director of the Herbal Healer Academy, Mt. View, AR. 72560.


ARLIN J. BROWN INFORMATION CENTER INC., PO Box 251, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060. Phone: 703-752-9511. Information on alternative cancer therapies.

CAN HELP, 3111 Paradise Bay Rd. Port Ludlow, WA 98365-9771 Phone: 206-437-2291. Cancer therapy info. $400/packet of treatments, research from medical data-banks, and articles within one week. Free phone-in questions for clients.

CANCER CONTROL SOCIETY, 2043 N. Berendo St., Los Angeles, CA 90027. Phone: 213-663-7801. Inf. on cancer clinics.

FOUNDATION FOR ADVANCEMENT IN CANCER THERAPY (FACT), PO Box 1242, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113. Phone: 212-741-2790, PO Box 215, Wynnwood, PA 19096. Phone: 215-642-4810. Info. on nontoxic therapies.
HEALTH RESOURCE, 209 Katherine Dr., Conway, AK 72032. Phone: 501-329-8700. Individualized cancer research report.

PEOPLE AGAINST CANCER (PAC), Box 10 OTHO, IA 50569-0010; Phone: 515-972-4444. Info.n on alternative therapies, but no referrals or recommendations for specific treatments.

PEOPLE WITH CANCER. A PAC subgroup that lobbies for insurance reimbursement and the right to alternative therapies.

Cancer Therapy; The Independent Consumer's Guide to Non-Toxic Treatment and Prevention (Equinox Press, 1992) Ralph Moss Ph.D. discusses herbs that are reportedly effective against cancer. Treating Cancer With Herbs, By Hong-Yen Hsu. (Oriental Healing Arts Institute.)

The Cancer Chronicles: Serious Consideraton of Alternative Ideas. Bimonthly / $24. International / $36.
These and other books and tapes are available from The Equinox Catalog, Equinox Press, 144 St. John's Place, Brooklyn, NY 10019. 718-636-1679.

Seven modalities to fight cancer questioned by the American Cancer Society are explored, including vitamin C, pau d'arco tea, Hoxsey therapy[*], macrobiotic diet, and Gerson diet. Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 43(5): 309-19.10/11-93.
What Your Doctor Won't Tell You About Cancer. Documentary from Malibu Video, 6955 Fernhil Dr. #14, Malibu, CA 90265. 310-457-0833

[*]The Hoxsey formula, from his book, You Don't Have to Die (Milestone Books, 1956), contains potassium iodide with some or all of the following, depending upon the case: burdock root, licorice, red clover, Stillingia root, Berberis root, poke root, cascara sagrada, prickly ash bark, and buckthorn bark. Studies show possible anti-tumor properties of buckthorn and cascara, as well as burdock.]


3 oz. Burdock Root - Cut (Arctium lappa)
oz. Sheep Sorrel Herb - Powdered (Rumex acetosella),
4 oz. Turkey Rhubarb Root - Powdered (Rheumpalmatum)
oz. Slipper Elm Bark - Powdered (Ulmus fulva)[*]

Mixed herbs.

Bring sodium-free distilled water to a rolling boiling in 1 gallon pot.
Stir in 1/5 cup of Essiac formula. Replace lid and boil 10 minutes
Turn off stove. Scrape down side of pot and stir thoroughly.
Replace lid and let set 12 hours.

Turn stove to full heat for 10 minutes. Turn off stove.
Strain & pour hot liquid into sterilized bottles. Cool; tighten caps.
Refrigerate. If mold develops, discard.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE: Heat 4 Tablespoons sodium-free distilled water. Add 4 Tablespoons Essiac (shake bottle first.) Mix and drink. Take at bedtime on an empty stomach, at 2 hours after eating.
[*ED NOTE: This species is endangered; consider U. rubra. -AMC]
The AHA welcomes your herbal cancer therapy experiences. For example, is anyone using an Essiac tincture
By Pam Montgomery

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A visionary vegetable
Just one serving of rhubarb--at its peak this month--supplies a healthy dose of vision-sharpening vitamin A. The tart red stalks need a bit of sugar to soften the tang. (Discard any green leaves--they contain oxalic acid, a toxin.) To top yogurt, cereal, or frozen desserts: Combine ½ pound of chopped rhubarb with 1 pint of sliced strawberries; ¼ cup each of water, orange juice, and sugar; and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes or until syrup thickens and stalks are tender. Chill. (4 servings: 100 cal, 1 g pro, 23 g carb, 0.5 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 3 g fiber, 4 mg sodium)

By Gloria McVeigh