Essiac tea is an herbal tea that has gained popularity among natural health enthusiasts in recent years.
Proponents claim that it can kill cancer cells, boost immunity and help with detoxification.
However, others consider it a questionable cancer therapy, pointing out that the evidence to support its use is insufficient.
This article examines the ingredients, benefits and potential side effects of Essiac tea.
Essiac tea is a popular herbal tea touted for its so-called anti-cancer properties.
In the 1920s, a Canadian nurse, Rene Caisse, promoted Essiac tea as a natural cancer treatment, claiming that it had been administered to her by a patient who had received it at the ### Originated by an Ojibwa Ontario physician.
Although tea is still considered a natural remedy for Native Americans, there is limited evidence to support this claim.
Essiac tea is a blend of different herbs, including burdock root, slippery elm, sorrel and Indian rhubarb.
In addition to its anti-cancer properties, Essiac tea is believed to enhance detoxification, enhance immune function and reduce inflammation (1).
Tea is usually sold in powder form, but varieties in capsules and tea bags are also available.
Traditionally, it is made by combining two ounces (57 ml) of concentrated tea with the same amount of heated spring water.
Manufacturers recommend drinking 1 to 12 fluid ounces (30 to 360 ml) daily for best results (1).
summary Essiac tea is made from a blend of herbs claiming to fight cancer, improve immunity, increase detoxification and reduce inflammation.
Specimen and animal studies show that Essiac tea is rich in antioxidants and may offer anti-inflammatory properties (2, 3).
Its four main ingredients have all been associated with various health benefits.
These primary ingredients are:
- Burdock root: This root contains compounds known to promote blood circulation, improve skin texture and stabilize blood sugar (4).
- Slippery elm: Revered for its medicinal properties, red elm is rich in antioxidants that fight diseases and can help in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (5).
- Sheepskin: Also known under his scientific name, Rumex acetosella, sheep sorrel has potent antiviral properties in specimen studies (6, 7).
- Indian Rhubarb: A recent animal study has shown that Indian rhubarb is rich in antioxidants and can inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells in rats (8).
summary Essiac tea is rich in antioxidants and consists of a mixture of herbs with properties potentially favorable to health.
Research on the anticancer effects of Essiac tea has had contradictory results.
For example, a study on a test tube showed that tea had antioxidant properties and prevented damage to cells and DNA, which could potentially help protect against cancer (2).
Another study on specimens revealed that Essiac tea blocked the growth of breast cancer cells and leukemia when administered at high concentrations (9).
There is also anecdotal evidence that some types of cancer have responded well to Essiac tea, including a case reported in a man in remission from prostate cancer and attributed to this tea (10).
However, many studies have shown that Essiac tea has little effect on cancer development, including a review of 17 animal studies that did not detect any anti-cancer properties (1). ).
Numerous other animal and specimen studies have also shown that Essiac tea has no effect on cancer cells and may even, in some cases, stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells (1, 11, 12, 13).
In addition, since human studies are currently unavailable, more high-quality studies are needed to understand the potential impact of Essiac tea on cancer development in the general population. .
summary Animal and specimen studies have shown conflicting results regarding the effects of Essiac tea on the growth and development of cancer cells. Human studies on the proposed effects are needed.
The consumption of Essiac tea has been associated with many side effects.
These include nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, increased intestinal transit, skin problems, flu-like symptoms, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes (1).
In addition, tea manufacturers also note that pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid this product (1).
Some also recommend avoiding Essiac tea if you have breast cancer because studies on animals and specimens have shown that it can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells (12, 13) .
summary Essiac tea can cause side effects and is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. Studies in the animal and on specimens indicate that it can increase the growth of breast cancer cells.
Current research on Essiac tea is limited and most of the available studies focus on animals and individual cells in the laboratory rather than on humans.
In addition, although its effects on cancer have been studied, research on other Essiac tea health claims – such as its detoxifying and stimulating properties of the immune system – are lacking.
In fact, many of Essiac's allegedly beneficial health benefits come solely from anecdotal reports.
In addition, the product has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer or other medical conditions (1).
It can also be associated with many side effects, including nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, and increased intestinal transit (1).
Therefore, there is a need for further research on the potential health effects of Essiac tea before it can be recommended.
summary Current research on the effects of Essiac tea is limited to animal and specimen studies, as well as anecdotal reports.
Essiac tea is made from a mixture of herbs that can have beneficial health effects, but only its supposed anticancer effects have been studied – with contradictory results.
In fact, tea has been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer in specimen and animal studies. In addition, it can cause unpleasant side effects.
Therefore, it is best to consult your doctor before consuming Essiac tea, especially if you are taking any medication, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any health problems.
In addition, if you notice any side effects or symptoms, decrease the dose or consider stopping completely.