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Nurse Caisse's Unwavering Commitment to Essiac: Decades of Herbal Healing and Generosity

Rene Caisse and the Legacy of Essiac: A Journey of Herbal Healing

    In 1922, a patient spoke to Nurse Rene M. Caisse about a Canadian Ojibwa Indian herbal formula. Nurse Caisse prepared her original herbal formula into a drink named Essiac, which is Nurse Caisse's name spelled backwards.

    From 1922 to 1978 Nurse Rene Caisse lived in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. She ran her clinic on Dominion Street from 1934 to 1942 and continued to give Essiac to people until the late 1970s. When people came to see her she instructed them to “cross the silver bridge and turn left”. Although she refused payments for her services, she accepted donations to help support her clinic.

    In 1977, Nurse Caisse signed over all her rights to her original Essiac formula only to Resperin Corporation Limited. Dr. Charles Brusch of Cambridge, MA, witnessed the signing of the agreement between Rene Caisse and Resperin attesting that her original herbal formula was never revealed to anyone other than to Resperin.

     Resperin gave her the assurance that she sought, namely, that Essiac be produced and distributed. On May 29th, 1995 Resperin transferred the rights to Essiac® and the corporation was voluntarily dissolved. Essiac Products Inc. owned and manufactured the Essiac® herbal formula and distributed it through Essiac® Canada International. Today, Essiac® Canada International owns the rights to the Essiac® formula and exports it worldwide.

     Rene Caisse continues to be loved and remembered for her contributions to naturopathic medicine. Bronze sculptures of Nurse Caisse have been dedicated in Bracebridge and at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.

Bracebridge, Ontario

Customers and merchants scrutinize the photographer as he captures Manitoba Street, circa 1900. Even the dog eyeing the fire hydrant has paused for the occasion. The striped pole on the right signals the Joseph Caisse barbershop. Frizelda Caisse stands in the door, two daughters alongside. The child walking along the boardwalk profiled against the empty brick wall may by Rene Caisse. The house can still be found relocated behind the Owl Pen Book Shop.

Rene Caisse

Rene at her last birthday. Former patients, politicians, friends, and neighbors gathered in Bracebridge for her 90th birthday celebrations. A lifetime of affection was poured out for Canada's Nurse.

Rene Caisse

1922 when Rene - 34 years old, head nurse at Sisters of Providence Hospital in Haileybury

Rene Caisse's monument

Bronze memorial on granite base with plaque at Totem Pole Park, Bracebridge, Ontario, officially unveiled by Mayor Scott Northmore November 15, 2000.

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