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What Kind of Tea Is Essiac Tea?

Essiac tea is an herbal tea that was named after the Canadian nurse, Renée Caisse (Essiac is Caisse backwards). The tea has been used to treat people with cancer, and some claim that it can help cure the disease.

Essiac History

Nurse Caisse apparently got the formula for Essiac tea from a patient who had used the tea to cure her breast cancer. A traditional Native American doctor or healer in Ontario, Canada had reputedly treated the patient with the special herbal brew. The tea is thus presumed to have come from native Ojibway medicine, and all the herbs it contains are found in the Ontario region growing wild.

Caisse went on to treat thousands of cancer patients at her clinic in Ontario, up until its closure in 1942. Although there has been huge controversy over whether or not the tea has anti-cancer properties, many people have testified to the wondrous properties of Essiac, and many claim their recovery was due to the formula.

Essiac today

Nurse Caisse never published the exact formula for Essiac tea, so the exact original formula is impossible to verify. Furthermore, there are restrictions on the marketing and sale of Essiac tea in the US and Canada. Several companies sell Essiac tea, but the authenticity of their formulas should be checked carefully.

The tea

All the ingredients of Essiac tea can be found in the Canadian wilds. The four main ingredients are commonly: Burdock root, Slippery elm, Sorrel and Indian Rhubarb. Together it is claimed that these herbs can help to balance the body by purging and purifying the blood, ridding the system of toxins and aiding the reparation of cells.

The ingredients are also claimed to help strengthen the immune system, which could help the body to fight cancer. Because of these alleged immune-boosting properties, the tea has been used to treat many other diseases and disorders, including AIDS, diabetes and degenerative diseases. Supporters claim it can alleviate symptoms of skin problems, digestive ailments and thyroid conditions.


Some studies have found that Burdock root can be poisonous in high concentrations – you should always consult your health practitioner before starting to use herbal or any other treatments. In particular, pregnant or nursing women should check before embarking on a course of treatment. While there is much anecdotal evidence of the positive effects of Essiac tea on patients, there have been no clinical studies to prove the effects of the tea. You should also try to verify the quality and source of the tea – some suppliers may be more reliable than others.

Corinne Waldon is an experienced author who writes tea-and-more.com/chai-tea-articles tea articles for The Tea Spot. The Tea Spot is a complete tea resource website where you can find information about tea-and-more.com/tea-pots.htm tea pots, tea forums, directories and more.

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