Essiac tea is a herbal cancer treatment developed by Renee Caisse in 1922. The name 'Essiac' is 'Caisse' in reverse.
Caisse claimed that the formula for Essiac tea was given by a patient whose breast cancer was cured by drinking tea made from the same formula.
Essiac tea is said to prevent new cancer cells from forming and destroys already-existing cancer cells.
Essiac tea has four main herbs - burdock, Indian rhubarb, sorrel and slippery elm.
There are several anecdotal stories about the effectiveness of Essiac tea in combating cancer. Caisse herself opened a clinic for over twenty years prescribing Essiac tea, and Charles Brusch, John Kennedy's doctor, has been quoted as saying, "Essiac tea has merit in the treatment of cancer."
Some tests on Essiac tea have suggested that it has no affect on cancer cells. However, independent tests on the individual components of Essiac tea have indicated they show anti-cancer properties.
Essiac tea ingredients
The main ingredients of Essiac tea are burdock, Indian rhubarb, sorrel and slippery elm.
Burdock is thistle and a common pasture weed throughout North America. In Essiac Tea, the root is used. The root is harvested either in the fall of the first year, or the spring of the second. Burdock is said to increase circulation and detoxify the body.
In several studies, Burdock has been shown to block the growth of tumors. It has also been shown to prevent mutation activity.
Indian rhubarb has also been shown to block the growth of tumors.
Both Sorrel and Slippery Elm have not yet demonstrated any observable medicinal benefits, but some of the substances contained within these plants are known to have anti-cancer and anti-mutation qualities.
Sorrel contains aloe emodin, which has been shown to have anti-leukemic qualities, white Slippery Elm contains beta-sitosterol and polysaccharide, which has shown to have anti-cancer qualities.
Sorrel is another common weed found in North America, with narrow pointed leaves and tall spikes of red flowers. The leaves are used for Essiac tea.
Slippery Elm is a tree with whitish branch bark. The bark is used in the making of Essiac tea.
Side effects of Essiac tea
Essiac tea is generally mild, but there are side effects that should be noted.
The three general side effects are nausea and/or indigestion, intestinal or digestive discomfort and an early increase in the size of the tumor. The nausea and indigestion is caused by eating or drinking too soon before and after taking the tea, while the discomfort is caused by the body attempting to eliminate dissolved toxins.
The increase in tumor size is caused by metastasized (or changed) cells gathering at the original site of the tumor. The size will reduce as the tumor softens.