Essiac: An historical perspective

Laureen LeMoine


It is believed that over one-half of people diagnosed with cancer will at some point use an unconventional therapy (Hopkins & Brigden, 1991). In light of this, nurses have a professional responsibility to learn about unconventional therapies (Fletcher, 1992) so they can help their patients make informed choices. This article focuses on Essiac, an unconventional therapy that has historically and is presently being used by some cancer patients. While reasons patients might choose unconventional therapies are identified, the majority of this article focuses on the history of Essiac, where it stands today, and the need for scientific research.

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