How much essiac tea should a dog or cat be given each day?

While Rene Caisse’s work with her formula did not involve pets, Sheila Snow and Mali Klein (currently the most highly regarded authors of authentic Rene Caisse information) say this about pets in their 1999 book Essiac Essentials: “As a guide for treating animals, it is best to assess the dosage according to their weight. A cat weighing eleven pounds is doing well on 2ml daily whereas a large and heavy dog of 120 pounds would need an adult dose of 30ml daily.”

1/16 cup = 1/2 oz. (fluid ounce) = 1 Tbsp. (tablespoon) = 3 tsp. (teaspoons) = 15 ml (milliliters)

Essiac Tea Daily Dosages for Pets

Pet WeightMilliliterTeaspoonTablespoonLiquid Ounce
under 5 lbs.75 ml1/8 tsp
5 lbs1.25 ml1/4 tsp
10 lbs2.5 ml1/2 tsp
20 lbs5 ml1 tsp
40 lbs15 ml3 tsp1 Tbsp1/2 oz
60 lbs20 ml4 tsp
80 lbs25 ml5 tsp
100+ lbs30 ml6 tsp2 Tbsp1 oz

The best results we have heard about with pets have been animals who had a much larger dose than these recommended doses. I think that the best hope for good results is to increase the dose as much as possible. We don’t know what Ms Caisse was really doing. There may have been something different about the sorrel, and she may have been using more parts of the plant than we can get now (short of growing it). She may have been adding some other ingredient that we don’t know about. Whatever the reason, the dose she recommends does perhaps help animals feel better, and it may extend their lives, but may not make them better. As an aside, she did not vary the dose by weight with humans as far as I have ever heard, a 100 pound woman got the same dose as a 200 pound man.

An issue with large doses for pets is the amount of Rhubarb they end up taking. Rhubarb is a laxative, and that is probably the main reason it is needed in essiac. In the first 70 years of the 20th century chemotherapy regimens tended to cause constipation, and that is not the case anymore. Dogs have much shorter digestive systems than people, and they are much more susceptible to diarrhea. So the larger dose of essiac must be balanced against the amount that can be taken without causing diarrhea. One way to decide what the dose for a pet ought to be is to increase the amount until they get diarrhea and then back off.

How much essiac should I buy, and should it be pre-made bottled or a dry mix?

Herb sellers/essiac companies are geared for human consumption and that puts pet owners at a disadvantage because small animals consume relatively small amounts. You can find small 1 oz. packets of dry essiac herbs but they are often outrageously priced. However, larger packages of herbs can be divided into the correct amount to make smaller amounts of tea at one time. I make tea a quart at a time. That way less has to be thrown out. You can even make a pint at a time. There is disagreement about making such a small amount. Some people think that the tea is not the same when you don’t make at least a gallon.

With health food store ready-to-use bottled essiac tea, the options are expensive. You can find bottled 17 fluid ounce Flor-Essence online and in local health food stores, and they are each about $25 per bottle. You might feel the cost is worth it. Flor-essence is an 8 herb formulation. You can also find essiac in a tonic form. It is more concentrated than the other teas and requires a smaller dose, possibly making it easier to administer to picky animals. It also contains 18% alcohol, which allows it to keep much longer. Another form of essiac can be found in capsules. The liquid is removed and the powder that is left is put in capsules. I have seen this, it is interesting and might be much easier to get into some animals. A few people have reported very good results with their pets with the capsules. Many sources say not to use them because they are inferior, but it isn’t clear to me that there’s a good enough reason for that. I know of some people who are taking both the tea and the capsules, among other things. It isn’t clear what the end result will be, but they are improving right now.

3. How long can you keep essiac tea after opening it?

The common wisdom and the essiac marketers all say an opened bottle of essiac tea will keep in the refrigerator two weeks or more. I think that essiac tea made from the traditional recipe begins to spoil after about 4 days. Some of the essiac tea that is sold, although made from the four essiac herbs, is not the traditional recipe, and one reason for that is to allow the tea to keep longer. If the tea is sour it is not the traditional essiac recipe. It may very well keep longer than four days. I think the sour teas have more sorrel, which is very acidic and will discourage mold. But they are not the essiac recipe that is considered “correct”. It isn’t possible to say whether the traditional recipe is better or not. I would be uncomfortable about very large doses of tea with these formulations, which have a smaller ratios of burdock and slippery elm to buffer the sorrel.

4. How long can dry herbs be stored?

The way dry herbs are stored dramatically effects how long they will keep. If you store them in plastic containers in light places they will not keep very long. Plastic bags are not a good choice for storing herbs. If you store them under a vacuum seal (for instance using a Foodsaver and Ball jars) in glass jars in a dark cool place they can keep a very long time. When you buy any dry herbs, whether they are mixed already or separate, it is a good idea to become familiar with how they smell. When they lose their fragrance they are not good anymore. Leafy herbs do not keep as long as roots and stems. Cut herbs or chunks keep longer than powdered herbs, especially if they are not stored very carefully. As a rule of thumb dry herbs can be kept for a year, but this is a very general rule, totally dependent on how you care for them.

5. How do I make essiac tea for my pet?

When brewing the essiac tea recipe for your pet, you can make a pint or quart of tea at a time (instead of the usual 1 or 2 gallons in marketer directions) in a 1-2 quart stainless steel, enameled, or Pyrex glass pot with lid. Choose one of these directions to make 1 pint or 1 quart essiac tea. Powdered herbs will usually have chunks of burdock in them, they are still powdered. If your herbs are all chunks and stems and leaves they are cut/sifted (c/s)

1. One quart boiling distilled water, add 2 Tablespoons powdered herbs OR 4 Tablespoons of C/S herbs, stir, boil 10 minutes.

2. One pint boiling distilled water, add 1 Tablespoon powdered herbs OR 2 Tablespoons of C/S herbs, stir, boil 10 minutes.

After the 10 minute boil with lid on, allow pot to cool enough to put in the refrigerator and let steep for 10-12 hours or overnight. Reheat just to simmer point to kill bacteria and then pour hot tea into hot sterilized bottle using funnel and stainless steel sieve to catch residue. The residue (sludge) can be refrigerated and saved for skin poultices or used as garden compost.

Regarding final results, you will always end up with less tea than expected (as much as 1/4 less) due to water loss due to boil evaporation and absorption by residue. However, brewing the tea is so easy that making it fresh every few days can become a simple routine. See these pages for tips about bottles you can use and how to sterilize them in a microwave oven.

6. Besides essiac, what other supplements and remedies are worth trying?

Here are some suggestions:

Last summer I ran across lactoferrin. Right now I would use lactoferrin with any cancer. It is an extract of bovine colostrum, and it may be angiogenic, which means it may deprive tumors of their blood supply. It also is a very good immune system booster. If it does nothing it will at least not hurt them. You can get it at most health food stores. I get the Jarrow 250 mg lactoferrin. If one of my human sized dogs had cancer I would give them 1500 mg a day.

Reishe mushroom extract is the next thing I would use. It is also widely available. There are many formulations that include a lot of other ingredients, so it is necessary to be sure you get plain reishi mushroom extract. This comes in capsules of standardized extract.

Red Clover/Blue Violet Leaf as tea (equal parts both) or capsules. Because these two herbs should be steeped but not boiled, they could be added to essiac tea after the 10 minute boil. The 8 herb essiac products already have red clover in them, but not blue violet leaf.

Flax seed oil mixed with cottage cheese sometimes helps, a human or giant 100 pound dog would take 1 tablespoon flax seed oil blended into 1/4 cup cottage cheese three times a day (cottage cheese or yogurt acts as a necessary co-activator). According to animal authorities Mary Wulff-Tilford and Greg Tilford (authors of “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs For Pets”), most pets and cats in particular do not get enough Omega 3 fats and flax seed is the best source for them. A recent issue of Whole Dog Journal has an article about flaxseed oil and cottage cheese, also see this page for info on the Budwig protocol. The best flax seed oil is at You need to keep it refrigerated as it spoils easily, and you would want to make tiny quantities fresh each day (you could eat the excess yourself, it is guaranteed good for you). You need cold pressed flax seed oil. It must not be heated and and must be refrigerated. If you use ground flax seed you need to use three times as much. Adjust the dose based on the weight of your pet.

Coenzyme Q-10 is good (but expensive), it needs to be given in fat. It would probably work added to flax seed oil + cottage cheese. A giant dog needs 600mg CoQ-10 a day, in 6 doses. An average (40 lb) dog could be given 300mg daily, a small dog or average cat 150mg. Capsules containing powdered CoQ-10 (it should be a bright yellow powder) can be opened and mixed with fat. The formulations mixed with oil in gel capsules are not as good.

Pycnogenol and grape seed extract are excellent anti-oxidants for dogs but I do not know how cats react to them.

Another thing you might look into is IP6 and Inositol.

Diet is very important, your pet should be eating food made from human grade ingredients. I no longer feed my dogs anything made with ingredients I would hesitate to eat myself. Dog foods made with human grade ingredients will say so on web sites or possibly in pamphlets but they may not say so on the bag. If no source says they are made from human grade ingredients, you can be pretty sure the food is not made with human grade ingredients. Some dog food manufacturers are trying to skate around this by using other words, mostly they don’t mean anything. I don’t know if “USDA meats” means that it is considered fit for human consumption