A cold herbal tea, Essiac was first obtained from a Native American healer in Canada. Based on age-old traditions, this combination of herbs has proven successful for thousands of people with cancer over many decades. It was eventually rigorously tested and endorsed in the United States by President Kennedy’s personal physician, Dr. Charles A. Brusch. As the story goes, many herbal supplements began with trial and error cures:


In 1922, a kindhearted nurse of Haileybury, Ontario, noticed 
a female patient with a severely scarred and disfigured breast. 
Asking the woman about her scars, She was told an amazing 
story of how years earlier the woman had been diagnosed 
with breast cancer. Canadian doctors had told the woman she 
must have her breast removed immediately. However, in 
desperation, the woman turned to a more natural route that 
had been told to her by an Ojibwa Indian medicine man.

The Indian medicine man told her of a combination of herbs  
to brew into a tea and drink daily. He told her this would cure 
the cancer in her breast and not require it to be removed.  
She did as the medicine man instructed and as she sat telling 
her nurse the story years later, she obviously had not had the  
surgery and yet she had no recurrence of the cancer!

The nurse asked the patient for the formula for the tea and 
wrote it down but never really pursued making it. A few years 
later when her aunt was diagnosed with inoperable cancer,  
Rene began giving the tea to her aunt. After two months of  
drinking the tea daily, The aunt rallied and lived an  
additional 21 years with no recurrence of cancer just as the 
lady with breast cancer had done!

In her desire to help the sick, the nurse began to give the  
tea to others with wonderful results. People with various kinds 
of cancer, diabetes and more seemed to improve with the use 
of this tea. She decided the unique combination of these  
particular herbs somehow seemed to cause the different organs 
in the body to “normalize” helping the body’s own immune  
system to fight and “correct” whatever was wrong.


This amazing formula, made up of only four simple herbs, is  
believed to normalize the body systems by cleansing the blood,  
purging toxic build up, promoting cell repair and aiding in  
effective assimilation and elimination. While incredibly  
simple, when combined with each other, these four herbs and  
their separate individual effects are greatly enhanced.

The nurse decided to called the tea “Essiac®,” her last  
name spelled backwards. As time went on, Rene Caisse  
continued to “treat” those considered terminally ill with  
very positive results. Health officials vacillated back and forth  
between a love/hate attitude toward her. While she never  
openly claimed the tea would cure ALL cancers it did seem  
to have a definite effect on many and it undeniably promoted  
wellness, general good health and strengthened the immune  

Her desire was to make the tea available to everyone. She 
operated a Cancer Treatment Clinic in Canada using her 
tea for many years, but never charging for any services.  
She used the herbal tea herself every day and finally died in 
1978 at the age of 90.

Her desire was never for financial gain but rather that the 
formula for this old Indian herbal tea could be used to help 
mankind. Rene did not want to “sell” her formula to drug  
companies since she did not want it to get tied up in 
bureaucratic “red tape” or “shelved” and discredited 
like so many other “natural” remedies. However, as 
she grew old, she finally sold the rights to this formula for  
only $1. She did this hoping the tea could be developed 
and made easily available to the public. Now many  
companies are using a combination four herb formula  
and making it available to everyone.

Essiac is currently mass-produced in a variety of forms and by a variety of companies. Many people have continued to experience success with it for cancer, but as with any mass-produced herbal treatment, finding a good quality product is extremely important. Combining Essiac with some other alternative cancer approaches has also proven helpful for many cancer patients. (However, it cannot be combined with Protocel). 

Laetrile –B17

This alternative treatment for cancer is possibly the most misunderstood by the public, as a result of massive misinformation propagated by the cancer industry and press decades ago. However, it is still being successfully used to treat cancer in Mexico as well as in a few places in the U.S. Intravenous treatments along with other nutritional supplementation (and sometimes other adjunctive treatments) is usually combined for best results.

The following was adapted from

How Laetrile – B17 Works

Laetrile (i.e. amygdalin or Vitamin B17) therapy is one of the better known alternative cancer treatments. It is very simple to use and is very effective if used in high enough doses and if the product is of high quality and if it is combined with an effective cancer diet and key supplements (in other words, you need to do your homework to maximize its benefits).

Laetrile is theorized to work by targeting and killing cancer cells and building the immune system to fend off future outbreaks of cancer. It involves a strict diet (as do all cancer treatments) and several supplements.

How to Obtain Laetrile or Vitamin B17

The FDA has made the purchase of laetrile supplements difficult to obtain, even though it is a perfectly natural and safe supplement. In order for a doctor to use laetrile supplements, they must have a patient sign a statement that the treatment is solely for detoxification and NOT to cure cancer. In other words, all “treatment for cancer”, NOT just Laetrile, are effectively illegal unless one is an oncologist.

Fortunately Laetrile is available on the internet either as apricot kernels, pills, or in some cases in liquid form. I personally believe that the apricot kernels are the best form as they are in more of a ‘whole food’ form.

In the middle of a peach or apricot is a hard shell. If you break open the hard shell with a nut cracker, pliers or hammer, you will find a small seed/kernel in the middle that looks like an almond. However, it is much softer than an almond and certainly does not taste like an almond (it is bitter and not very tasty). It is this seed that is rich in natural laetrile.

If you search for “apricot kernels” (use the quotes) on Google you will be able to find a lot of vendors of apricot kernels. Be advised, however, that apricot kernel sites cannot legally make any medical claims about laetrile being used to treat cancer.

Most experts will recommend a daily dose of apricot kernels from between 24 kernels a day up to 40 kernels a day, spread throughout the day. For a person in remission, 16 apricot kernels a day should be used as a minimum.

Other things rich in laetrile are millet grain and buckwheat grain. Breads made with these grains, however, generally do not contain a high percentage of millet or buckwheat or else they would be too hard.

Also, the seeds of berry plants, such as red and black raspberries are rich in laetrile. Red raspberries also have a second cancer killer in their seeds: Ellagic Acid, a phenolic. About four dozen foods have Ellagic Acid, but Red Raspberries have the highest concentration. Strawberries also have Ellagic Acid.

This means that when you buy berry jelly or jam, make sure you buy preserves that have the seeds. Basically, the seeds of any fruit, except citrus fruits, have laetrile. I have always eaten apples including the core and seeds, it’s the best part!

Of course, apricot kernels are the best source of laetrile. Those who do not yet have cancer might want to plant a few apricot or peach trees in their back yard for a long term source of laetrile. The kernels can be frozen while still in the shell.

The Theory Behind Laetrile for Cancer

When the laetrile compound molecule comes across a cancer cell, it is broken down into 2 molecules of glucose, 1 molecule of hydrogen cyanide and 1 molecule of benzaldehyde. In the early days of laetrile research it was assumed that the hydrogen cyanide molecule was the major cancer cell killing molecule, but now it is known that it is the benzaldehyde molecule that is by far the major reason the cancer cell is killed.

The reason laetrile therapy takes so long to work, in spite of the marvelous design of the laetrile molecule, is because if the laetrile molecule must chemically react with the enzyme of a non-cancerous cell (i.e. rhodanese), before it reacts with the enzyme of a cancerous cell (beta-glucosidase); the rhodanese will break apart the laetrile molecule in such a way that it can no longer kill a cancer cell. Thus you have to take enough laetrile molecules, over a long enough time, that enough laetrile molecules coincidently (as far as we know) hits all of the cancer cells first.

The Basic Treatment Plan Using Laetrile

The specific therapy that I discuss comes from the Binzel book: Alive and Well. There are other sources of a laetrile diet, but I would compare any other diet with the Binzel diet if you want to use another one.

As with any alternative cancer treatment, the place to start is with the “diet,” meaning the foods you can and cannot eat. The Binzel diet is very similar to the Raw Food diet. This is interesting because he was taught by Dr. Krebs himself, thus the laetrile diet probably dates back over 60 years.

It is CRITICAL to take the Pancreatic or Proteolytic Enzymes during the Laetrile Therapy!

Note that zinc is also one of the most critical parts of this therapy:

  • “Zinc is the transportation mechanism for laetrile and nitrilosides in the body. Biochemists and researchers have found that you can give Laetrile to a patient until its coming out of their ears, but if that patient did not have sufficient level of Zinc, none of the laetrile would get into the tissues of the body. They also found that nothing heals within the body without sufficient vitamin C. They also found that magnesium; selenium, vitamin A, and B, all played an important part in maintaining the body’s defense mechanism. This is why it’s important to understand that cancer is best treated with a total nutritional program consisting of diet, vitamins, minerals, laetrile and pancreatic enzymes.”

Warning #1 – Laetrile May Cause Low Blood Pressure

This is an important message Cancer Tutor received by email: “Laetrile ingestion may occasionally cause a temporary low blood pressure reaction due to formation of thiocyanate, a powerful blood pressure lowering agent. In metabolism, nitriloside is hydrolyzed to free hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde or acetone and sugar. This occurs largely through the enzyme beta-glucosidase produced by intestinal bacteria as well as by the body. The released HCN [hydrocyanide] is detoxified by the enzyme rhodanese to the relatively non-toxic thiocyanate molecule.”

Normally, lowering blood pressure is not an issue, however, for those who are already taking blood pressure medications, or have heart issues which would be made worse by a drop in blood pressure, be advised that laetrile can lower blood pressure.

Warning #2 – Proteolytic Enzymes may act as Blood Thinners

Because many people on laetrile also use proteolytic enzymes (i.e. pancreatic enzymes), it is important to know that proteolytic enzymes are blood thinners. Proteolytic enzymes, such as Vitalzym, should NOT be used in conjunction with prescription blood thinners unless the medical doctor understands they are being used.

Also, high doses of proteolytic enzymes should not be taken, just as too high of a dose of any blood thinner should never be taken. See the bottle for maximum doses.

Warning #3 – Do Not Take Laetrile with Probiotics

From an email: “It was our experience that taking laetrile with high strength probiotics may also increase the amount of free hydrogen cyanide and thus could create adverse side effects.” Space out probiotic use at least 30 minutes from eating any apricot kernels.

Warning #4 – Combining Laetrile With Other Alternative Cancer Treatments

Whenever a person combines two or more alternative cancer treatments together, it is critical to do your homework. For example, Vitamin C should be taken with laetrile, however, high-dose Vitamin C should not be taken with Protocel, graviola, hydrazine sulfate, etc.

In other words, if you are taking a second or third alternative cancer treatment with laetrile, or if laetrile is being used to supplement another treatment, be careful to watch the warnings on each treatment.

Liquid Laetrile and Laetrile Tablets

Laetrile can also be purchased in liquid form and tablet form usually from Mexico. Laetrile is a very popular treatment in Mexico especially at cancer clinics. Taking both laetrile tablets and apricot seeds are the most common form of taking laetrile, but it is necessary to “build-up” to therapeutic doses over a several week period!

Unfortunately I cannot give the URL of a company which sells this product because of FDA persecution of liquid laetrile. But if you copy and paste the line at the end of this paragraph into Google you might be able to find a vendor of the liquid and tablet form. Personally, I do NOT use the liquid form. In Mexico laetrile is called: Amigdalina. Amigdalina apricot Mexico.

This was an excerpt from Dr Conners’ book, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause.

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