Essiac tea is a healing herbal tea originally created by Rene Caisse. This natural remedy has been used to treat cancer, tumors, and cysts. It has also be used to treat other chronic health problems like fibromyalgia and strengthen the immune system.
Renee Caisse was a nurse in Canada that created the formula for this healing tea. After her death, the formula continues to be used. The name, “Essiac” is her last name, spelled backwards.
Can an Herbal Tea Really Cure a Serious Disease?
Skeptics may scoff at the idea that a tea could actually cure a chronic or terminal disease. Can plant matter and water can cure what expensive chemicals cannot? Indeed, many turn to the Essiac remedy after they have been given no more hope from the medical community.
Plants have chemical components. Many of them. Modern drugs are also made up of chemicals, usually synthetic ones. Most people realize that certain plants are poisonous and can even kill a person or a pet. Deadly nightshade and hemlock are commonly recognized poisonous plants. If a plant has components strong enough to cause death, is is not reasonable to believe that a plant has components that can bring healing as well?
What Herbs are in Essiac Tea?
The original four herb recipe includes four herbs: burdock root, slippery elm bark, turkey rhubarb, and sheep sorrel.
Burdock root is used as a food in some cultures. This herb has blood purifying properties. It is mild tasting. It has been used to treat a variety of diseases, including acne, rheumatism, sciatica, fibroids, edema, lymphatic congestion, and diabetes. Burdock root is also used in preparations for topic use to treat burns, rashes and poison ivy. When used internally, it is usually used over a course of many months to bring complete healing.
Sheep sorrel is a common weed that most who see will consider a nuisance. However, this abundant “weed” has abundant healing within. It has been used traditionally to treat cancer, vitamin C deficiency, diarrhea, and inflammation. Sheep sorrel is also used topically for eczema and rashes.
Slippery elm is a bark that is used to treat a variety of ills. It is a very nutritious herb and can be used as a healing food for the very sick or elderly. Slippery elm has a history of use topically for wound healing and burns. Internally it is used for disease that need some sort of soothing – sore throats, ulcers, colitis, gastritis, and Crohn’s disease. The bark from the slippery elm is what is used as medicine. It has mucilage properties, making it slippery when mixed with water. This is what makes it soothing to the lining of the digestive tract and the throat.
Turkey rhubarb is the herb in Essiac of which there is the least. Turkey rhubarb has a stimulating laxative effect. It is common in herb formulas for constipation, bowel cleansing, and parasites. This herb is classified as a bitter and has tannins in it, which have astringent properties. Turkey rhubarb is also used topically for some skin problems.
Where Can I Buy Essiac Tea?
Essiac tea can be found online or in some health food stores. Look for reputable companies and organic ingredients.
Essiac tea can be purchased in many ways. Currently, Essaic can be found in a bulk tea form to prepare yourself at home. It can be purchased in capsules. It can be bought in bottles of ready made tea.
The best way to buy Essiac is to buy an organic blend of Essiac, or buy each herb individually and mix it yourself. Making Essiac yourself will give you the assurance that is is the strength you desire. This will also be the least expensive option.
Essiac capsules are relatively new on the market. Capsules were never part of the way Essiac was originally used. While convenient, there are many problems with the capsule form of Essiac. First of all, Essiac tea is boiled for ten minutes and then the herbs steeped for 12 hours. The boiling and steeping are critical for drawing out the needed herbal properties from the herbs. Your body never reaches even half the temperature of boiling to extract the properties from the herbs. Taking herbal capsules works well in some health conditions with some herbs, but teas will do the work of extracting for you and will do it better than your body will do. Barks and roots especially need to be boiled to maximize their medicinal value.
Pre-bottled Essiac tea will be the most expensive option. If making the tea yourself is out of the question and you have a source for the bottled tea, then this may be a good option for you.
Mix Your Own Essiac Herbs
If you would like to buy and mix your own loose Essiac tea, you will need the following:
- 1 1/2 pounds burdock root, cut
- 1 pound sheep sorrel, powdered
- 1/4 pound slippery elm, powdered
- 1 ounce Turkey Rhubarb root, powdered
- Mix the herbs together. Keep them in an airtight container in a dark cabinet.
How to Make Essiac Tea
- Using a stainless steel or glass pot (not aluminum) bring 1 quart of distilled or spring water to a boil.
- Add 1 ounce of your dry Essiac blend.
- Cover and boil gently for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Cover. Steep (no more heat added) for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, reheat the tea mix, but do not boil it again.
- Strain out herbs with a stainless steel mesh strainer or cheesecloth. If some of the herb gets into the tea, that is fine.
- Pour into clean glass jars and cap tightly.
- Store in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- Essiac can be sweetened with honey or raw sugar if desired. Do not add artificial sweetener to it.
How to Take Essiac Tea
Essiac tea should be taken on an empty stomach. The risk of digestive upset increases if you take it on a full stomach. If taking it on an empty stomach is impossible, take it with a light meal or snack. Bedtime is a great time to take this tea.
For general health, immune strengthening and detoxing 1/2 ounce of Essiac Tea is added to two ounces of warm water and taken once a day.
For serious health conditions and cancers, 1 ounce of Essiac tea is added to two ounces of warm water and taken once a day.
Essiac tea should be followed with a glass of water. Plenty of water is a good idea all day long to help the body to flush out toxins.
If you notice undesirable side effects, decrease the amount of tea you take each day, or take a break from the tea.
As wonderful as Essiac tea is, it is NOT for every person, every health problem, or even every cancer. Each person is an individual with diverse needs. If you have a serious health condition and you are considering using Essiac, please find a qualified health professional to help you monitor your health and help you to evaluate the effect that this natural remedy could have on your particular situation.
Essiac is not recommended for pregnant women. Turkey rhubarb, having a laxative and stimulating effect could cause premature contractions.
Essiac is not recommended for nursing mothers. The safety of it has not been evaluated on nursing mothers. Also, herb combinations that are designed to “detox” the body should not be used by breastfeeding mothers and the toxins can exit the body through breast milk and have a negative effect on the nursing child.
Because of its oxalic acid content, Essiac may not be suitable for people with kidney disease.
If you take over the counter or prescription medications, Essiac may not be appropriate for you. The slippery elm in Essiac can hinder the absorption of medication. Turkey rhubarb, another herb in Essiac can affect diuretic medications.
Because Essiac can initially cause a tumor to swell, Essiac is not generally recommended for people with brain tumors. Even slight increases in brain tumor size can cause serious problems.
If you decide to take Essiac tea, do not exceed the recommended dosages. More is not always better. A body usually takes time to get into a sick or compromised state. It is reasonable to allow the body time to heal in a slow and steady way.
Essiac tea may cause side effects for some people. Because of its purgative effect, it may cause digestive distress, diarrhea or cramping. Because it detoxifies the body, it may cause a detox reaction which can include headache or nausea.
Final Thoughts on the Use of Essiac Tea
If you have a serious health problem, the use of Essiac tea should be part of a holistic approach to the improvement of your health.
Essiac tea is a great start to better health for many people, but the possibility of success is greater if it is part of a lifestyle approach to health.
If you are dealing with serious illness, your body needs quality foods. Avoid processed foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, MSG and fried foods. Eat a variety of whole foods. Drink plenty of water.
Get some exercise and sunshine each day. Exercise will improve your mood and sweating helps with detox. Sunshine also helps with mood and the vitamin D is needed for health.
Consider making healing baths part of your health routine. These baths can improve sleep and impart some extra healing.
Have you tried Essiac tea? We would love to hear about your experience!