Ineffective Anti-Cancer Remedies: Shark Cartilage and Essiac Tea

From the January 2006 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Shark cartilage

This is a perfect example of how a good story can sprout a billion dollar industry. After the book Sharks Don't Get Cancer aired on television, showing cancer patients using shark cartilage apparently doing well, millions of cancer sufferers took (expensive) shark cartilage for years, until the first well-designed study followed cancer patients over time and found the shark cartilage had no discernible effect. Since then, manufacturers have stopped claiming that shark cartilage has any beneficial anti-cancer properties.

Essiac tea

Essiac tea is an herbal remedy that was prescribed and promoted for about 50 years by Rene M. Caisse, a Canadian nurse who died in 1978. Shortly before her death, she turned over her "ancient" formula and manufacturing rights to the Resperin Corporation. Essiac tea generally is a mixture of four herbs: burdock root, sheep sorrel, rhubarb root, and slippery elm bark. It was claimed that this secret combination of herbs directly attacks cancer, and that no one knows why many people no longer have cancer after consuming the product. It is said to work "synergistically." Several animal tests using samples of this tea have shown no anti-tumor activity, nor did a review of data on 86 patients performed by the Canadian federal health department during the early 1980s.
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Moe Bulbenik - December 19, 2006 11:03 AM

Essiac was promoted as a magic cancer cure by the Native American writer Sun Bear, a.k.a. Vincent Laduke, shortly before he died of cancer. Evidently, it didn't work.

Tracey - September 23, 2008 9:46 AM

Nurse Caisse has a historically verifiable history using Essiac tea for several decades in the Toronto area. Additionally, there are literally thousands of people who are using the tea currently with good outcomes. Do they all survive? No, but their outcomes are better than conventional therapies could ever hope to achieve. Why has it survived a centruty of use? Because it is effective for many people.

Essiac never claimed to have any magic cure for cancer. She worked with patients that the doctors using conventional methods had given up on. She had good success. Not with every patient - but, considering that the doctors had done all they could - her success was amazing.

Jay Perkins - March 2, 2012 12:28 AM

It's not a magic solution to cancer but its a lot better than having your hair and teeth fall out from chemo and radiation which will probably kill you faster than the cancer.
I'd rather sip essiac tea and eat flax oil and cottage cheese like my uncle who has been cancer free 4 years after getting a virtual death sentence from his doctor. They practically begged him to get into radiation right away, but he decided if he was dying he would at least enjoy his last days. Here's more info on essiac tea and the budwig diet

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