Angela Harris Master Herbalist

Angela Harris: Master Herbalist
Herbal Therapy Information by Angela HarrisAngela Harris: Master Herbalist

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Why are there so many herbs to take?

With herbs, it's not like having a concentrated down chemical in a pretty little tiny pink pill. From the bark or the leaf you may have only one tiny little portion that you need. People that are used to taking just one pill sometimes have a hard time with herbs, because they have to take three or four of everything. The medical profession is not used to it either and so, often times, they will tell you to take just one herb, however, that is not the case with herbs, that's just not enough to do what needs to be done.

If you can't swallow the capsules, you can get it in liquid extract or you can open up the capsules and put it in a drink. When I had cancer I was drinking a big, thick glass of herbs that was like mud, four times a day. I called it my gunk, but Collette, one of my daughters, told me I needed to call it "my strength". She would make me this big cup of herbs, because there was no way I was going to be able to swallow as many capsules as I was taking of the stuff at that time. It tasted nasty and it looked nasty, but you know, to get rid of my cancer, I would have taken almost anything. You can do it. You just have to want to get better bad enough. And remember, when compared to chemotherapy, there are no deleterious side-effects you'll have to put up with, only healthy ones.

How much should I take and how often?

Studies show that small doses of herbs often provide little or no benefit. When a certain threshold is achieved, the desired results can then occur.

Factors which vary the 'proper' dose for each individual include: body size and weight, strength, health history and sensitivity to herbs and drugs in general.

  • Adjust the dose according to your size, weight, and strength
  • Start low, increase the dose, and taper off
  • Make sure you take enough of the herbs
From: Herbal Remedies for Dummies By: Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac.

Essiac Tea

Renée Caisse was a Canadian nurse. She received an herbal recipe from an elderly female patient, who was in an Ontario hospital where Renée was the head nurse. The recipe she received was given to the woman years before by an Ojibwa Medicine man. He offered his help, because he knew the woman was suffering from breast cancer. The patient recovered from her cancer and saw no return during the span of the next 30 years. In 1922, she gave Renée the recipe in response to Renée's request that it could possibly help others.

Renée called it Essiac - "Caisse" spelled backwards. Renée left the hospital and went to Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada, where she began administering Essiac to all who came to her. She harvested the herbs and brewed the tea in her own kitchen, as it was important the herbs were gathered, dried and combined properly. For instance, when the Sheep Sorrel was four to six inches high, she would cut it back and it would grow up again, and she'd cut it back again. She would do this about three times and then let it go to seed growing, 14 to 18 inches.

She would then take the herb cuttings and lay them out at room temperature to dry them. She'd let them sit there for three or four days before she would begin turning the herbs. She would turn them every two days until they were properly dry, which took about ten days to two weeks. It takes about a bushel of harvested Sheep Sorrel to produce one pound of the dried powdered herb which is used in the formula.

The majority of those whom she treated came on referral with letters from their physicians certifying they had incurable or terminal forms of cancer and they had been given up by the medical profession as untreatable. In cases where there was severe damage to life support organs, her patients died - but they lived longer than the medical profession had predicted and, more significantly, they lived in large part, free of pain. Still others listed as hopeless and terminal, but without severe damage to vital organs, were cured and lived 35-45 years.

Renée used this recipe on her aunt, who was terminally ill with stomach and liver cancer. Her aunt recovered and lived another 21 years, dying of old age. Renée and her aunt's doctor began experimenting with the herbal tea and research began on mice. The doctor, Dr. R. O. Fisher, began using it on his terminally ill patients, and some improved greatly.

Renée's patients swore by her. They were devoted men and women who believed she cured them of cancer. They told their friends and families, wrote letters to doctors and politicians, swore affidavits, testified before the Canadian Parliament and pleaded with Renée Caisse to supply them with more Essiac when they needed it. Some husbands and wives of patients who died wrote Renée letters thanking her profoundly for making life easier - free of pain - and longer for their loved ones.

In 1959, Renée Caisse went to the Brusch Medical Clinic in Cambridge, Massachusetts to join Dr. Charles Armao Brusch, MD. She became partners with him with the intent of forming the "Renée Caisse Cancer Research Foundation", a charitable foundation, whose purpose was to be the utilization of this treatment for cancer in humans. They stayed partners, co-developers and co-owners until her death in 1978 at the age of 91.

Dr. Brusch, a medical doctor of noted background, had developed an interest in natural forms of healing; the objective always the "well-being" of the patient. Experiments were done, reactions and results were noted. It was proven that best results were obtained by the combination of the proper active herbs, and not in just one of the herbs individually.

Some of the positive results noted were: Cessation of pain, increased appetite (emaciated patients gained weight), improved sleep, feeling of well-being, energy, a noted decrease in depression, anxiety and fear, and a prolongation of life and a decrease of nodular masses. Dr. Brusch stated that the herbal tea identified the toxins, gathered them, broke them down, and discharged them.

Through the years some testing was done at noted facilities such as Sloan Kettering, Northwestern University, and Christie Street Hospital in Toronto, as well as many others. However, as Renée Caisse would never give over the full formula, conclusive results remained incomplete. Renée had received large offers over the years to disclose the formula, but always declined as she believed the formula would be exploited, that patients would be charged exorbitant prices to make a fortune and thereby placing it beyond the means of the poor, or that the formula would be misused, discredited and buried.

After Renée's death in 1978, Dr. Brusch continued to work with the formula and many of his patients were the beneficiaries. Many imitators have since jumped on the band-wagon with drops, capsules, liquids, and dry versions, all claiming to be the "original" Renée Caisse Tea. In fact, Renée and the doctors she worked with developed several versions of the formula, even experimenting with injections of some of the herbs. Dr. Brusch determined that as the injections were very painful and not that effective, he discontinued this method in his practice.

Currently there are two prevalent formulas most often called Essiac, an eight herb and a four herb formula. I received the four herb formula from Dr. Gary L. Glum who published a book relating his experiences and the formula called, Calling of an Angel - The True Story of Renée Caisse and an Indian Herbal Medicine Called Essiac - Nature's Cure for Cancer (ISBN 0-9620364-04). It has been my experience that the four herb formula is actually more potent than the eight herb formula, and so I use it as described in herb formulas.

Dr. Gary Glum learned about Renée Caisse from Mary McPherson who was a close personal friend and patient of Renée's. Mary had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in a Detroit hospital where she was eventually given up as incurable and terminal. She was given ten days to live. She convinced her husband to make a trip to Canada where she went to see Renée Caisse. She was treated with Essiac and in a short time she didn't have a cancer cell in her body. Mary's mother and her husband were also treated for cancer and cured by Renée. Thereafter, she dedicated her life to disseminating information about Essiac in the United States.

In an interview Dr. Glum was asked why a non-toxic herbal cure for cancer was not better known. His opinion is interesting as I too have wondered why it is not more widely used. "The information is withheld because cancer is the largest revenue producing business in the world, next to the petrochemical business. Money and power suppress this truth. No one has ever sought to cure cancer - only to control it. I mean, the research institutes, federal governments, pharmaceutical companies, anybody that has a vested interest in the health care of cancer, including the American Cancer Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, and of these so-called benefactors to those who have contracted this disease - all of these institutions are involved in the money and power around cancer. These institutions have influence over the government and regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA recommends only allopathic treatment for cancer and other life threatening disease."

At the time I received the Essiac formula, I had been using some herbal formulas and had changed my diet for about four months. I don't believe Essiac by itself cures cancer, but I do believe that it strengthens the immune system so the body can take care of itself.

My lumps started going down very slowly. I had some visible lumps and I could tell the Essiac was working. I had prepared my body with lots of herbs and eating good foods. I think Essiac is a corner stone of what people need to use to get well. We've also had numerous reports of the reduction of pain when using Essiac.

System Cleanse Tea

In addition to being a laxative-type product, System Cleanse Tea promotes the dumping of toxin and cleansing of the liver. When I started using it, my lumps went from the size of an egg to the size of a pea in one week. It helps the body slough off and dump the cancer. It doesn't taste good, you may want to plug your nose when you take it, but I think it is as important as the Essiac tea.

Colon Care

There are all kinds of different things you can use for keeping the colon and intestines clean. The key is to keep the colon moving. You can use Smooth Move by Traditional Medicinals, Milk of Magnesia, Magnesium, Metamucil-type products without sugar or artificial ingredients, or other products with Psyllium in them (drink a lot of water with Psyllium products).

Products with Psyllium help clean and scrub the inside of the colon to remove all the old, leftover debris that's been in there lining the walls and not allowing the herbs and nutrients to assimilate into the body. Psyllium is a really good thing, but you have to drink a lot of water or it will completely clog you up.

When you're healthy, you need to have one to two bowel movements every day. When you're trying to get well and especially if you have cancer or some other debilitating illness where you're trying to slough off something, you need two to three bowel movements a day. Every time you eat you need to have a bowel movement, just like a baby. It's important to keep things moving along regularly.

If the sewer in your house backed up, you wouldn't leave it for a week. I work with people who have only 1 bowel movement every couple of weeks. When the bowels become hard and round instead of soft and one piece, the liquid and toxins that are in the colon absorb back into the bowels and into the body and blood stream, so it makes you sick and it makes you very, very ill.

You need to keep your bowels moving all the time. For some people it's a constant problem and for others, it's very simple. Backed up bowels and other problems with the bowels is one of the number one causes of health problems and illness.

Liver and Kidney System

Both the liver and kidneys are part of the body's filtering system. People who are ill, especially when they have things like cancer, do not have a filtering system that is working right. One of the many jobs of the liver is to take the excess cancer cells (we all have cancer cells floating around in our bodies) and filter them out. When the liver is not working properly, these cancer cells are not filtered out and they set up shop someplace and we get cancer or other illnesses as viruses or bacteria take hold instead of being filtered out. It is therefore, very important to keep the liver and kidney systems healthy.

Milk Thistle

The reason we take Milk Thistle is to rebuild and strengthen the liver. There's a lot of research showing that Milk Thistle does exactly that. I have seen people completely reverse their Hepatitis C, and that, in the medical profession is unheard of. You need to make sure you get a good quality brand of Milk Thistle. Cheap Milk Thistle is just cheap Milk Thistle. It doesn't have the right components in it to help strengthen and rebuild your liver. Get a good quality herb, even though it's more costly.

Immune System Formula

This is basically an immune system therapy. That's all we're doing. The whole thing is to build the immune system so that the body can take care of itself. When you break your leg, the doctor doesn't give you anything to heal it, the body heals itself if it has enough strength and if it has the nutrients.

After years and years of eating bad things and not taking care of themselves, a lot of older people find that when they break a leg, they don't heal, or when they get a cut their wound doesn't seem to heal. That's why we keep our immune system up and our strength up, so that we are able to heal ourselves.

Echinacea and Goldenseal Plus

Used to boost the immune system and fight underlying infections. You have to use Echinacea angustafolia root and Goldenseal root. A really good source of it will smell very strong and very pungent. Almost everybody that is trying to get over any ailment, should go on a two-week schedule. It is amazing to see how many ailments will go away and how many health problems will go away, just by following this 2 week regimen.

Two Week Schedule:
1st day: 1 dose every hour - during waking hours only
2nd day: 1 dose every 2 hours - during waking hours
3rd day: 1 dose every 3 hours - during waking hours
4th through 14th day: 1 dose every 4 hours
- during waking hours

Now, a CAUTION for people with blood sugar problems. If you find your blood sugar is too low, every time you take Goldenseal you need to take Licorice root. You can either eat a piece of good Licorice, like Panda brand Licorice or other brands that have real Licorice in it, or you can take Licorice in capsules. Take 1 or 2 capsules every time you take Goldenseal root for the whole 2 week schedule.

Coffee Enemas

Did You Say Enema?

Even those of us who have seen the advantages of taking herbs as an alternative to drugs often hesitate at the mention of 'the enema'. However, reluctance can be overcome by the desire to live and be well. Enemas are that important. Here's why:

1- Until the colon is cleaned out, there is nowhere for toxins to move out of the body and they back up and build up. As the colon is cleansed, the rest of the body's tissues, glands, and organs can wash out the poisons and toxins into the colon and kidneys for elimination and get back to the business of being healthy.

2- When the colon is congested, nutrients cannot be properly absorbed and all of the body's cells are weakened as they become vulnerable to further disease.

What you will need:
Plastic enema bag or bucket with plastic hose
Organic ground coffee solution
Pad to place under you while taking enema
Vaseline or Vitamin E
Biodegradable food-use detergent
Hydrogen peroxide 3%

General procedures:
To make coffee solution for approximately 2 enemas: Add 2 tablespoons organic ground coffee to 2 quarts distilled water. Simmer (not boil) for 20 minutes. Cool until you can put your hand in solution and keep it in without unusual discomfort.

If your bucket's plastic hose becomes kinked, run a small amount of hot water through it to soften it.

Run a little of the coffee solution through the tube into the toilet to warm the tube; close the stopcock. Lubricate rectal or enema tube for about 2" at the end with petroleum jelly or vitamin E. Hang the enema bucket not more than two feet above you. Lying on your right side, draw both legs close to the abdomen, relax and breathe deeply.

Insert tube into rectum 5" to 8". Open stopcock and allow fluid to run in very slowly to avoid cramping.

Retain 1 quart (32 oz.) of the solution for 12-15 minutes. If you have trouble retaining or taking in the full quart, lower the bucket to the floor to allow the flow to slow down a bit to relieve the pressure. After 12-20 seconds, slowly start raising the bucket toward its original level. You can also control the flow of solution by pinching the tube with your fingers or adjusting the plastic ring in a partially closed position. You will quickly learn what works best for you.

Keep your equipment clean:
Do not place the tube back into the bucket until after you have thoroughly cleaned both the tube and the bucket (use biodegradable food-use detergent and rinse well. Rinse as often as needed, with hydrogen peroxide 3%). The bucket and the tube can be growing grounds for bacteria if they are not well cleaned.

Frequency of enemas is increased with symptoms of toxicity such as headache, fever, nausea, intestinal spasms and drowsiness. Upon awakening in the morning if headache and drowsiness are experienced, an additional enema is recommended during the following night. For pain, the coffee enema can be used as often as every 4 hours.

As a general rule, eat a little something before your first coffee enema of the day to activate the upper digestive tract. A small piece of fruit is sufficient. This rule applies whenever considerable time has elapsed since the last meal, juice or snack. Nourish first -- then detoxify.