This is one of my personal favorite products. Simply because of the name! It is so fun to say, and even more fun to hear new clients try to pronounce! The name, Maskekiwapwe [Mas-key-key-wah-pu-ee] is a Cree term, for ‘herb tea’ or ‘the drink that heals’. This powerful tonic is a Fortner Original Formula.



To begin to explain this product, I must first give you a background on the notorious Essiac formula. Victoria penned an excellent history of this cancer formula and its creator in the following article that has been reprinted with permission.

“From 1922 until her death in 1978, Rene Caisse; a nurse in Ontario, Canada; treated hundreds of cases of terminal cancer with an herbal formula she had gotten from an Annishanabek (Ojibway/Chippewa) herb doctor. She named the formula Essiac. Administered both orally and by enjection, Rene treated many forms of cancer. Where there was damage to life support organs the patient died, but lived without pain until the end. In patients free of damage to life support organs, these were cured and lived 35-45 years longer.

“The results of the herbal formula could not be dismissed by the Canadian Government, and in 1938, Essiac came within three votes of being legalized as a remedy for terminal cancer. The book ‘Calling of an Angel’ by Dr. Gary L. Glum recounts Rene Caisse’s courageous struggle to restore health to hundreds of cancer patients despite the difficulties the Canadian Ministry of Health & Welfare put on her and her work. This same ministry burned all of Caisse’s records (40 years of clinical data) when she died. Cancer is considered the second largest revenue producing business in the world, next to petrochemicals, and should a cure be found, a lot of businesses would be hurt financially.

“The Brusch Clinic in Mass. Worked with Rene Caisse from 1959 until 1962. In the words of Dr. Charles A. Brusch (personal physician to the late Pres. John F. Kennedy) “Essiac is a cure for cancer, period. All studies done at labroatories in the Unitied States and Canada support this conclusion.” The United States government is reported to have issued to Dr. Brusch the option of enduring a ‘gag order’ or permanent residence in a military hospital. Dr. Brusch’s Essiac studies have not been heard of since.

“The Essiac formula that did find its way to parts of the general public in the U.S. in recent years, came to us through a patient and friend of Rene Caisse. This person offered the formula and information on Ms. Caisse to Dr. Glum. Although the formula is “out” and being used in many parts of the world, some herbal companies are offering a premixed powdered formula in which yellow or curly dock is being substituted for one of the herbs (sheep’s sorrel) of the original Essiac formula. This substitutions renders the formula relatively useless. It seams that money speaks louder than morality everywhere, for when Dr. Glum published Rene’s story at his own expense, the IRS hit him with half a million dollars in tax liens and told him, “You know this has got nothing to do with taxes. It’s all about cancer.” And confiscated the books.

“Because herbs (at this time) do not fall under the jurisdiction of the AMA or FDA, you can use this formula in the privacy of your own home. The interest that the AMA, FDA and pharmaceutical companies have in exerting authorit over this herbal product, is to the extent of whom the patent goes for the formula and who to sue in the case of a wrongful death. Here the insurance companies would get involded and the cost for the remedy would sky rocket.

“Rene Caisse administered her formula at no cost to patients. The criteria under which patients were allowed to seek Rene’s help were that, 1. They must be terminally ill and given up as hopless by their personal physician, 2. Their disease was to be certified by a pathology report, and 3. Rene could not charge for any of her services. For thirty five years Ms. Caisse carried out her work, and in spite of the effort of the national goverments. We can still reap the benefits of it.

“Essiac (which is also being used to fight diabetes, HIV and AIDS) is available under the name Maskekiwapwe (a native term for herb tea) from Shawnee Moon.”

Sheep Sorrel – Rumex acetosella – Used in all kinds of cancers, kills putrefaction in the blood, used for bacterial infections and cutaneous tumors. This herb is the main cancer fighter in this formula. Is also anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant, diuretic, antiscorbutic and antipyretic.

Burdock root – Arctium lappa – As a strong blood purifier, it is apparent why this herb is included in this formula. It is also alterative, antipyretic, aperient, cholagogue, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic and generally detoxifying.

Slippery Elm – Ulmus rubra – As a nutritive tonic this herb is beneficial as a healing aid to mucus membranes and connective tissues. It is also a demulcent, anti-tussive, nutrient, expectorant, emollient and antiseptic.

Turkey Rhubarb – Rheum palmatum – The anti-tumor properties found in this herb make it an excellent addition to this specific formula. It is also a laxative, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, hemostatic, purgative and cholagogue.

Kerry Brock, Certified Herbalist and owner at Shawnee Moon, is a researcher of plants, an eater of herbs, a drinker of coffee and a formulator of remedies. She keeps busy trying out pinterest diy’s and often failing at cooking in her backwoods home in rural southeast Missouri with her fantastic husband, Davy, two dogs, an assortment of cats and a unbelievably supportive family near by.


The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only; it is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure disease. It is simply for use in the maintenance and promotion of good health in cooperation with a licensed medical practitioner. Kerry Brock and Shawnee Moon are not licensed to treat or diagnose disease. Consult with your physician for diagnosis or treatment. By using this information you agree that the decisions regarding your health are your own responsibility and understand that Kerry Brock and Shawnee Moon are not liable for your health decisions.

Sources and continued reading:

Prescription for Nutritional Healing James & Phyllis Balch, Weiner’s Herbal Michael Weiner, The New Age Herbalist Richard Mabey The Way of Herbs Michael Tierra, The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine Daniel Mowery, Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible Earl Mindell, Victoria Fortner, The School of Natural Healing Dr. John Christopher, Back to Eden Jethro Kloss, The Complete Medicinal Herbal Penelope Ody, A Modern Herbal Mrs. M. Greieve, The Complete Illustrated Holistic HerbalDavid Hoffmann, The Green Pharmacy James A. Duke, Ph.D., 20,000 Secrets of Tea Victoria Zak, The Herb Book John Lust  Various informative websites containing herbal and health information, including Wikipedia.

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