Essiac tea is an herbal remedy originated in Canada which is promoted as a treatment for cancer and other illnesses. Around 100 years ago, a Canadian nurse named Renee Caisse first heard of the powerful benefits of an herbal tea made from a combination of different plants from her patient. Despite being diagnosed with cancer, the patient survived for many years without any surgery or medical treatment, all because of the power of the herbal tea. After a personal research and a test on her mother who was also suffering from cancer, Caisse started promoting the tea as a remedy for cancer and other illnesses. The tea was then named Essiac as a backward spelling of the nurse’s name because of her work making the tea popular.
Essiac tea was made by boiling four different herbs together to make a tea drink. Each of these herbs has certain beneficial biochemical properties and therapeutic values. Together, this combination of herbs creates a symbiotic effect with much better effect than each of the individual herb provides. The original Essiac tea which was introduced by Renee Caisse contains burdock root, sheep sorrel, Turkey rhubarb or Indian rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale) and powdered slippery elm bark.
As the time passes, people have experimented with different ingredients of Essiac tea. Today, new combinations of Essiac tea formulations have emerged. A modified version which is currently named as Flor Essence has become popular. The formulation consists of watercress, red clover, blessed thistle, and kelp. Despite the growing popularity of this modified formula, the original Essiac tea is still the most well-known and sought-after one. This is not without reasons as many people have claimed that this herbal tea gives them major benefits for their health.
So why do people love Essiac tea? What are the health benefits of drinking this tea?
1. Strengthens The Immune System
As an herbal remedy, Essiac tea enables prevention from diseases and permanent healing from some chronic illnesses when consumed regularly. According to a study that was published in the 2007 issue of International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment, Essiac tea is revealed to possess some characteristics that stimulate cells’ activities associated with immunity. Moreover, in-vitro studies of the herbal tea also demonstrated that the tea has immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties. Drinking Essiac tea regularly will boost your immune system and help your body fight free radicals that can cause chronic illnesses as well as common contagious diseases because your immune system is down. The burdock root which is an ingredient in Essiac tea will also help with the cleaning of the lymphatic system. This process is necessary for a strong immune system and the general body wellbeing.
2. Fights Cancer Naturally
Essiac tea has been widely promoted as an effective herbal remedy that fiercely fights cancer. In fact, this is what Essiac tea was first famous for. Despite the fact that most claims are testimonial anecdotes from ex-cancer patients, there were several studies made to find out whether the tea is actually beneficial in fighting cancer. A study that was published in The Canadian Journal of Urology might confirm this. It reported a 54-year-old patient who suffered from hormone-refractory prostate cancer and experienced remission because of his regular consumption of Essiac tea. According to the report, it was the herbal tea that was responsible for the decrease of the cancer cells.
The finding was not actually very surprising considering that all of the ingredients of Essiac tea are known for their anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. A study that was published in the Journal Ethnopharmacology looked into the effects of Essiac tea on the dangerous free radicals in human’s body. Free radicals are the cause of many chronic and fatal diseases including all types of cancer. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to avoid free radicals because of the oxidation process as well as environmental pollution that expose us to free radicals. Essiac tea has exhibited scavenging properties on free radicals by stabilizing them and thus preventing harmful reactions. There were two properties that were observed in Essiac tea: antioxidant and DNA-protective ability. Both of these properties are keys in many other natural and effective anti-cancer agents. Some doctors even testified that Essiac tea’s effectiveness can extend the life of cancer sufferers up to many years. For this reason, it is recommended to drink Essiac tea to complete the conventional chemotherapy prescribed by the hospital.
3. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
When consumed regularly, Essiac tea also delivers anti-inflammatory effects that can greatly help the body to function properly. This is because inflammation is the root of all human diseases. Fighting inflammation is thus important to strengthen your body’s immune system and prevents diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties allow Essiac tea to treat many types of ailments. However, it is most popular when used to deal with chronic and inflammatory pain related to arthritis and cancer.
As one of the key ingredients of Essiac tea, sheep sorrel has traditionally been used to treat inflammation that comes with sinusitis, fever, and other conditions. Combined with the three other ingredients, Essiac tea is guaranteed to ease the pain that comes with inflammation.
4. Treats Sinusitis
Sheep sorrel in Essiac tea is commonly used to reduce inflammation, including the type which accompanies sinusitis or sinus infection. A sinus infection can be very painful and debilitating to people who suffer from it. As an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herbal remedy, Essiac tea will reduce the pain caused by the inflammation. Moreover, its high vitamin C content is very good at reducing the swelling that comes with sinusitis. Both pain relief and swelling reduction are keys in treating a sinus infection.
5. Detoxifies Blood
Burdock root, which is one of the four key ingredients in Essiac tea, is a very effective blood purifier. The plant can clear out the bloodstream from toxins and take them out of the system. Traditionally, burdock root is often described as alternative or blood purifier. The active ingredients in Burdock root do not only clear the blood from toxins but also helps remove the heavy metals from the blood as well as improve the overall health of the body. Cleaner blood means better blood circulation which includes better circulation to the surface of the skin which will result in a healthier and more rejuvenated skin.
Moreover, the Turkey or Indian rhubarb root which also presents as a key ingredient in the tea also helps with the detoxification process by acting as a laxative. Despite the effectiveness, the laxative characteristic is gentle and not abrasive. The rhubarb root also helps removes waste and toxins from the liver, supporting the liver’s role in cleansing the body. The liver is one of the most important organs to detoxify the body, making Essiac tea even more important for blood purification. Traditionally, the herb is also used in a small amount as a laxative that can also purge toxins and waste buildup from the liver.
6. Eases Gastrointestinal Problems
Essiac tea is also good to soothe gastrointestinal problems. Slippery elm bark as an ingredient in Essiac tea is known to be very effective in treating gastrointestinal ailments. It contains mucilage, a form of a substance that turns into a slick gel once it is mixed with water. This substance will coat the lining of stomach and intestines, soothing the inflammation that occurs in the area. Moreover, the antioxidants in the slippery elm bark will also help relieve the inflammation and make gastrointestinal conditions easier to deal with. Moreover, slippery elm also stimulates the nerve endings in the tract to secrete more mucus. When the mucus secretion levels are increased, gastrointestinal tract will be more protected against acidity which can be harmful to the system. Because of this, slippery elm is commonly used to treat conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, coughs, and sore throats.
Moreover, the existence of Indian or Turkey rhubarb as an ingredient of Essiac tea also further improves the gastrointestinal system. Indian and Turkey rhubarb contains malic acid. The acid can stimulate the body to generate ATP more efficiently. As a result, the body’s ability to heal improves, which influences the functionality of the digestive system as a whole.
7. Serves As A Potent Antioxidant
The Ojibwe, the indigenous group in the North America which inspires the formulation of Essiac tea, have been known to use the original four herbs to create a concoction that can maintain physical and spiritual balance. This ability refers to the effects of antioxidants that are found in the Essiac tea. The antioxidants scavenge free radicals and prevent dangerous reactions that can lead to inflammation, cancer, heart problems, liver damage, Parkinson’s disease, and premature aging.
Each ingredient that comprises Essiac tea is rich in vitamin A, C, E, tannins, beta-carotene, and selenium. These substances are among the most powerful antioxidants that can help human to fight free radicals. A 2007 report detailed the potent antioxidant properties in Essiac tea and its significant effects. Surprisingly, the study discovered that Essiac tea has more potent antioxidants than red wine, black tea, and even green tea. Because of this, the herbal drink can be used to delay aging symptoms and prevent cancer.
8. Strengthens Lymphatic System
Our lymphatic system is essentially the body’s “drainage system.” It is a network of lymph nodes and blood vessels that connect to carry fluids from the blood into the tissues around the body and the other way around. Burdock root as an ingredient of Essiac tea helps improve the lymphatic system by inducing detoxification and improves drainage. Since Essiac tea naturally cleanses and purifies the blood, it also affects the lymphatic system in a positive way. When your lymphatic system is stronger, your body will be better protected against many kinds of serious and chronic health issues.
9. Stimulates Kidneys
Essiac tea also improves the work of your kidneys because of its function as a natural diuretic. Diuretics promote healthier kidneys by helping the body throwing out the unnecessary fluid and sodium. When you consume enough diuretics like burdock root in Essiac tea, your kidneys will easily eliminate excess water from your system by stimulating more urination. When your urine output is elevated, excess water, sodium, and waste can be removed from your body, avoiding dangerous waste buildup. If you have problems related to fluid retention and inability of kidneys to remove enough excess water from your system, you should consult your doctor besides taking Essiac tea as an alternative remedy.
10. Improves Skin’s Beauty
One of the results of body detoxification is the improvement of skin health and beauty. Some of the ingredients of Essiac tea, such as burdock root, have been traditionally used as a topical remedy for common skin issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. When consumed orally as an herbal remedy, these ingredients provide thorough blood cleansing and skin cooling. The removal of waste and toxins build up from the bloodstream will result in cleaner and brighter skin. Moreover, the antioxidant properties of Essiac tea will fight free radicals that may cause multiple skin problems. Scientific studies even demonstrated that the ingredients in Essiac tea may delay aging. Regularly drinking Essiac tea will eliminate signs of aging skin such as dullness, wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. The cooling abilities will also soothe dry skin.
11. Treats Enlarged Spleen
The spleen is an important organ that serves as a guardian to protect your body from viruses, bacteria, and all sorts of dangerous pathogenic infections. When your spleen is enlarged, it is usually a clear sign that your immune system is under attack. Your body is struggling to defend you against threats that can be harmful. Your spleen becomes enlarged because it’s trying too hard to remove the threat and is failing because it can’t keep up with the hard work.
Essiac tea is a blood purification herbal remedy. Drinking the tea will cleanse your blood and protect the spleen which is in constant contact with the stream of your blood. When your blood is clean from toxins and pathogens, your spleen’s work will be easier. Besides improving the quality of your blood, Essiac tea also improves your blood circulation, liver health, and eases inflammation. All of these contribute to the strengthening of your immune system which will result in positive effects for your enlarged spleen. In the end, it will promote faster and better healing.
12. Treats Tonsillitis
Essiac tea can also help treat your acute tonsillitis. Tonsillitis can be very painful. Acute tonsillitis happens as a result of virus attacks that causes inflammation of the tissues within tonsils. The viral attack infects the tissue and causes pain. Essiac tea’s burdock root that can speed up and improve wound healing and reduce inflammation.
13. Decreases Mucus
The sheep sorrel root in Essiac tea reduces production of mucus in the body because of its drying effect. This is why drinking Essiac tea is good for people suffering from a common cold or other types of flu. The sheep sorrel root contains tannins, the polyphenolic compounds that are commonly present in some plants and plant-based foods, such as jasmine and black tea. Tannins have astringent properties which will dry excess mucus by inhibiting its production. If you are suffering from a common cold or any other issues that involve an excessive production of mucus, drinking Essiac tea will definitely make you feel better.
14. Protects Against Diabetes
People who are at risk from diabetes will also gain major benefits by regularly consuming Essiac tea. The discovery of Essiac tea’s benefits for diabetes began when one of the patients of Cassie claimed that the Essiac treatment for her cancer also made her diabetes disappeared. The astounding result even made a Nobel laureate named Dr. Frederick Banting become interested in investigating the potential of Essiac tea, although the research never took place because Cassie refused to close her clinics temporarily to focus on the research.
Many Essiac enthusiasts claim that the detoxifying characteristic of Essiac is one of the main drives behind its success to treat diabetes. Essiac tea is especially effective to treat type 2 diabetes. It is the type of diabetes where the pancreas loses its ability to function normally because of various reasons including bad diet, dangerous attacks from pathogens, and environmental damage. Consuming Essiac tea regularly is reportedly one of the best ways to get rid of toxins from the system. As a result, the body’s organs, including the pancreas, will regain its function. When the pancreas starts functioning normally, the insulin will start being produced at a normal level.
Moreover, Essiac tea also helps to treat diabetes because of its burdock root as a constituent herb. For centuries, people have been using burdock root to stabilize blood sugar. There is at least a study that demonstrated how the mixture if burdock root and astragalus root might bring down the level of blood sugar in diabetic patients.
It is important to discuss the use of Essiac tea to treat diabetes with a professional. This is because as a substance that can lower blood sugar, Essiac tea may induce hypoglycemia when not taken in the right way or combined with other medications or substances.
15. Treats Hypertension
Essiac tea may also be helpful for those suffering from hypertension because of its ability to stabilize blood pressure. Sheep sorrel contains potassium which is an essential mineral for the body. One of the important roles of potassium is balancing the fluid in our body. The mineral will reduce the stress level in your cardiovascular system by promoting relaxation in your blood vessels and arteries. As a result, your blood pressure will be lowered, reducing the risks of dangerous diseases like coronary heart problems and blood clots or potentially fatal events like strokes and heart attacks.