Friday, June 09, 2006

The move to is live!

Well, dear readers, the time has come to close up this shop and move over to The new site went live today at noon EDT (1700 GMT) along with a snazzy new homepage and, count 'em, 25 new bloggers!

I am deeply indebted to all of your who have supported me here over the last six months and I'll close sometime over the weekend with a (hopefully) thoughtful thank-you post. So many of you have been instrumental in the success of our little blog that I want to give this last post some serious thought.

Until then, saunter over to the new and improved Terra Sigillata.

For those of you on your PDAs, the new URL is:

For those of you getting our RSS feed, the new feed is at: http://scienceblogs.terrasig/index.xml

This site will remain up indefinitely although I will slowly transfer some of the more classic and timeless posts over to the new blog at Sb. C'mon over, grab a beer or glass of wine, and kick the tires. I launched with an essay entitled, "A Sort of Homecoming."


At Sat Jun 17, 01:13:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herbal therapies have been around for thousands of years and were widely prescribed by doctors until the late 1800s when the American Medical Association (AMA), a trade union of doctors committed to partnership with the budding pharmaceutical industry, used its economic and political muscle to suppress the use of natural substances. The use of herbs once was mainstream medicine but, because there is no great profit to be made from these unpatentable wonder drugs, they have lost their status as mainstream therapies.

Nevertheless, although the AMA, NCI (National Cancer Institute) and ACS (American Cancer Society) would prefer that you not know, several herbs produce patentable derivatives which are mainstays in the orthodox treatment of cancer. These herbs are "messed with," biochemically speaking, to produce unique, semi-synthetic compounds which retain some of the activity of the original herb and yet are patentable. Examples are vincristine, vinblastine and eteoposide. Taxol, a new experimental drug for cancer, is derived from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.

The fear of the cancer establishment is, of course, that people themselves would be able to treat their own cancer at least as well as the approved therapies for a tiny fraction of the cost, simply by finding the proper herb and preparing a tea or by eating the plant. For this reason millions of dollars are poured into the creation of synthetics and into the advertising necessary to convince people that laboratories can improve over nature.

We will focus on only a few herbal therapies, because it is not possible in the confines of this book to cover all the herbal treatments which may be effective in cancer. Besides that, only two percent of the herbs in nature have been tested as possible cancer therapies. It is certain that many effective herbs still lie undiscovered.

Essiac Tea

In 1922 Rene Caisse (pronounced as one would pronounce the words "Rin Case"), a nurse in Ontario, Canada, noticed an elderly hospital patient with a scarred and gnarled breast. When Rene Caisse asked about the scarring, she was told that twenty years earlier the woman had her breast cancer healed by an Indian medicine man using an herbal tea. This woman had been told by doctors that her breast must be removed. She refused this advice and decided to take her chances with the herbal tea. This woman handed over the information on this herbal remedy to Rene Caisse.

Rene Caisse put the formula aside, deciding that if she ever developed cancer she would use it. Two years later, one of her aunts developed stomach cancer and was told she had six months to live. Caisse remembered the herbal formula and, in partnership with her aunt's doctor, Dr. R. O. Fisher of Toronto, gave the herbal tea to her aunt. She recovered after two months and lived free from her stomach cancer for 21 years after that. Following this event, Caisse and Fisher began to treat terminal cases of cancer, curing many of them.

Not knowing what to call the stuff Rene Caisse spelled her own last name backward and came up with "Essiac." It seemed as good a name as any, so this is how it has come to be known. Rene Caisse, beginning in the 1920s until her death in 1978, offered this tea to thousands of people, many of whom were restored to health and many whose lives were prolonged and whose pain was lessened.

By 1937, the fame of Essiac had spread to the U.S. and Caisse was commuting to Chicago to treat patients at Northwestern Medical Center. After a two year evaluation the doctors at Northwestern concluded that Essiac tea eased the pain of cancer and prolonged life.

As with all such discoveries, Rene Caisse was forced to battle the medical establishment. This resulted in the formation, in 1938, of the Canadian "Royal Cancer Commission." Showing up to testify for Essiac were 387 of Caisse's patients. Of these, only 49 were allowed to testify. People who free of tumor after using Essiac after the failure of orthodox treatment were interpreted by the Royal Cancer Commission as "recoveries from orthodox therapies." In cases with no previous therapies, the interpretation was "misdiagnosis."

Rene Caisse, after years of harassment, and fearing imprisonment for her work, closed her clinic in 1942. Over the next thirty years she treated patients in great secrecy from her home, even while under surveillance by the Canadian Health Department, I suppose the "Royal" one.

As with most cancer treatments, orthodox, as well as progressive, some people respond and some do not. Undoubtedly, some people have been made free of tumor with Essiac, and others have died from their disease. As I read the literature on Essiac, it appears that its main use is to cause regression of tumor size and to reduce the pain induced by the tumor. It is thus an excellent adjunct to other therapies. If I had cancer I would choose several progressive therapies and not rely on just one. Essiac would be one of them.

Caisse sold the formula to the Resperin Corporation in late 1977 and died at age ninety just over one year later. It is still possible to obtain Essiac. You can buy Essiac Tea at well-stocked organic groceries. Essiac is, after all, a blend of herbal teas � not so easy for a government to regulate, although the government of Canada gives it a good try. They forbid the makers of Essiac to use the word "cure," so they simply distribute patient testimonials.

Hoxsey Therapy

Harry Hoxsey, who passed on in 1974 at the age of 73, was not a doctor but rather a self-taught healer who used a combination of herbs which he said was passed on to him by his father... Hoxsey's preparation helped many people with cancer, and his fame spread far and wide. In the 1950s, his clinic in Dallas and its seventeen satellite clinics represented the largest progressive cancer therapy approach in the world.

Naturally, his success drew the attention of the medical establishment and during the McCarthy era in the 1950s, Hoxsey was harassed by the AMA, FDA and NCI. They pronounced his therapy fraudulent without as much as a fact-finding mission to his clinic. (The FDA has not yet gotten the message that the McCarthy era is over.) Hoxsey closed his clinic in 1960 and three years later reopened in a freer country, at least from a medical point of view, Mexico.

At Tue Oct 31, 01:41:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found you blog are very informative. I hope you don't mind I've bookmarked your blog for my future reference.

Cancer Type


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