At first, she accepted whatever anyone could easily afford, even eggs and produce, for her services. She turned no one down. After 1937, she charged no fees! She didn’t make money off the tea though she successfully treated many hundreds. Her rewards were harassment by the Canadian Health Ministry, and betrayal by a private corporation she had hoped would help make Essiac tea a legal cancer cure.
Though the name of the tea, Essiac, was derived from spelling Rene’s surname Caisse backwards, she was not the original formulator. The ingredients and recipe came originally from an Ojibway Native American medicine man in remote northern Canada.