Laboratory / Animal / Preclinical Studies
In 2004, a mixture of the Essiac herbs showed a decreased proliferation in a prostate cancer cell line. Results of laboratory studies of Essiac have been reported.
In the mid-1970s, the developer submitted both dried and liquid samples of Essiac to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for evaluation of its immunotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic potential. No immunostimulatory or chemotherapeutic activity was detected in eight animal experiments that utilized the S-180 mouse sarcoma tumor model.
In the early 1980s, the corporation that acquired the four-herb recipe for Essiac from the developer submitted another sample to the MSKCC for evaluation in additional animal studies. No anticancer activity was detected in 17 separate experiments that utilized a variety of animal leukemia and tumor models.
In 1983, the National Cancer Institute tested a liquid sample of Essiac that was provided by the manufacturer after the Canadian Department of National Health and Welfare requested that it be tested in animals. These studies revealed no anticancer activity in the mouse P388 lymphocytic leukemia tumor system and found lethal toxicity at the highest concentrations of Essiac administered to test animals. It is not known, however, how the concentrations used in these animal tests compare with the concentrations achieved in humans after the consumption of the manufacturer’s recommended doses.
The Individual Herbs of Essiac and Flor Essence
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Every year, all over the world, approximately 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer. Its the number two killer in the United States. This year just as in every other year more than half of those 14 million people diagnosed are going to die.
The numbers of survivors in any given year can be misleading since the cancer may simply claim their life in another calendar year. It is a horribly painful truth.
Theres an ongoing information war between conventional cancer treatment and alternative cancer treatments .
Whatever your thoughts on conventional medicine or your personal choice about following standard medical advice, there are available holistic therapies you can use in conjunction with your current cancer treatment to increase your chances of surviving a brutal and unrelenting disease. Saving lives should be everyones goal by any means necessary.
All of these herbs are either antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial. They also have immune stimulating properties and when taken together they create a beneficial synergistic effect ie. the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts!
Human / Clinical Studies
No report of a clinical study of Essiac has been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Brief descriptions of one incomplete clinical study and one retrospective evaluation of Essiac as a treatment for cancer have been published. It is not clear whether the described patient populations consisted entirely of adults or whether they included children.
As noted previously , the developer provided a four-herb recipe for Essiac to a Canadian corporation in 1977. In 1978, the corporation filed a preclinical new drug submission with the Canadian Department of National Health and Welfare and received permission to conduct studies on the safety and the efficacy of Essiac in cancer patients. In 1982, the Department withdrew its permission after determining the research was not being conducted as planned . At that time, the available incomplete data were reviewed, and no clear evidence of improved survival could be demonstrated for treated patients. Pain control and quality of life were not assessed in these studies. The review of the data indicated, however, that Essiac was not toxic. Because no evidence of harm was found, the Canadian government allowed the corporation to distribute Essiac to cancer patients through their physicians under Canada’s Emergency Drug Release Program. Nonetheless, restrictions were imposed on the promotion of Essiac as a treatment for cancer. Access to Essiac under Canada’s Emergency Drug Release Program has since been discontinued.
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Research Into Essiac In Cancer Treatment
Most of the websites that promote Essiac use opinions not backed up by research. Some of this information is often anecdotal evidence. That means it is based on hearsay.
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre tested Essiac in the laboratory. They found it had no anti cancer features.
The National Cancer Institute in the U.S tested Essiac several times. Their testing found that Essiac had no anti cancer effects. One study in 2006 found that when Essiac was added to breast cancer cells in test tubes, it stimulated the cancer cells to grow.
In 2009 researchers reviewed all studies into Essiac and Essiac preparations. They found there were no well carried out clinical trials to show that Essiac can help with cancer.
The CAM-Cancer organisation reviews scientific research evidence. In 2011, they looked at all the reviews about Essiac and Flor Essence. They couldnt find any well carried out clinical studies. They said that some of its ingredients could cause harm.
We need well designed clinical trials to test Essiac and its herbs. Only then will we know if Essiac works or is safe for people with cancer.
Purpose Of This Summary
This PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the use of Essiac/Flor Essence in the treatment of people with cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions.
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Evaluation Of Cam Therapies
It is important that the same scientific methods used to test conventional therapies are used to test CAM therapies. The National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health are sponsoring a number of clinical trials at medical centers to test CAM therapies for use in cancer.
Conventional approaches to cancer treatment have generally been studied for safety and effectiveness through a scientific process that includes clinical trials with large numbers of patients. Less is known about the safety and effectiveness of complementary and alternative methods. Few CAM therapies have been tested using demanding scientific methods. A small number of CAM therapies that were thought to be purely alternative approaches are now being used in cancer treatmentnot as cures, but as complementary therapies that may help patients feel better and recover faster. One example is acupuncture. According to a panel of experts at a National Institutes of Health meeting in November 1997, acupuncture has been found to help control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and pain related to surgery. However, some approaches, such as the use of laetrile, have been studied and found not to work and to possibly cause harm.
Essiac/flor Essence Health Professional Version
On This Page
This cancer information summary provides an overview of the use of Essiac and Flor Essence, which are proprietary herbal tea mixtures, as treatments for people with cancer. The summary includes a brief history of the development of Essiac and Flor Essence a review of laboratory, animal, and human studies and possible side effects associated with Essiac and Flor Essence use.
This summary contains the following key information:
- Essiac and Flor Essence are herbal tea mixtures originally developed in Canada. There may be differences between Essiac and Flor Essence in their mixture content and effects.
- These products are marketed worldwide as dietary supplements.
- Proponents have claimed that Essiac and Flor Essence can help detoxify the body, strengthen the immune system, and fight cancer.
- Proponents of Essiac have further claimed that it can help relieve pain, reduce side effects, improve quality of life, and reduce tumor size.
- Molecules with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, or immunostimulatory activity have been identified in the individual herbs in the Essiac and Flor Essence formulas.
- No controlled data are available from human studies to suggest that Essiac or Flor Essence can be effective in the treatment of patients with cancer.
- Some evidence suggests that Flor Essence may increase tumor formation in an animal model of breast cancer.
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Herbal Remedies And Other Substances
Substance based practices use substances found in nature such as herbs, foods, non-vitamin supplements and megavitamins, animal and fungal products, and minerals, including use of these products in traditional medical practices that may also incorporate other methods. Examples include healing claims for non-vitamin supplements, , , , , , and ., or phytotherapy, includes not just the use of plant products, but may also include the use of animal and mineral products. It is among the most commercially successful branches of alternative medicine, and includes the tablets, powders and elixirs that are sold as “nutritional supplements”. Only a very small percentage of these have been shown to have any efficacy, and there is little regulation as to standards and safety of their contents.
Do Not Turn A Blind Eye
How are you expected to manage your health goals when powerful organizations trump every move made in the quest for alternative cancer treatments?
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My Essiac Story For Hodgkins Lymphoma:
Essiac is an EXCELLENT natural therapy for lymphomas since it helps release and flush toxins from the lymph system, altering the environment that encouraged circulating cancer cell activity in the first place.
My experience with Essiac was pretty incredible. I added Essiac into my daily natural cancer protocol about 6 weeks after I started my anti-cancer diet. Its results were noticeable within 2 weeks.
I had a walnut-sized lymph node in my neck that began shrinking quite rapidly to the touch within days after beginning Essiac. I was grateful it was palpable from the surface and we could gauge my progress from its behavior.
Two months after beginning my natural cancer treatment I went to a local living foods center to receive detox therapies and was asked ONLY to consume the foods and juices there for my 12 days there. So, in keeping with the instructions I stopped consuming two parts of my protocol: the Budwig mixture and Essiac.
After my 12 days there I actually noticed an obvious INCREASE in the size of my lymph node. It was coming back! I immediately began Budwig and Essiac again and never turned back. My cancer has been in remission since 2009 and that lymph node has NEVER increased in size again.
Cancer Research On Essiac
Scientific research on Essiac has yielded mixed results, but the consensus is clear that it cannot cure cancer.
All human clinical trials were either stopped by government authorities or kept hidden from the public. An unpublished 1977 report of a Phase II clinical study of Essiac in cancer patients found the tea did not affect survival or shrink tumors.
Nonhuman studies have found evidence that Essiac both slows and promotes the growth of different cancers, according to a 2005 National Cancer Institute review of Essiac research. Some studies found Essiac had no positive or negative impact on cancer.
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Origins Of Essiac Tea
The original Essiac tea formula is believed to be Native American in origin. It was first brought to light by a Canadian nurse named Rene Caisse in the 1920s. She received it in some form from a Ontario Ojibwa medicine man but may have created the exact proportions of herbs herself.
In case you’re wondering about the name of the tea, it’s simply the last name of the nurse spelled backwards.
Ever since it’s “discovery”, Essiac tea has been a very popular natural cancer remedy. However, there’s no evidence that Rene Caisse ever claimed it cured cancer, although she gave it frequently to cancer patients dealing with pain or a poor prognosis.
Alternative Cancer Treatments Conspiracy
Caisse explained that her efforts to perform clinical research on the effectiveness of Essiac faced challenge as a result of nothing less than a conspiracy against finding a cure for cancer . Do you agree?
The cancer industry is comprised of a complex network of corporations which make profit from cancer patients seeking an end to their suffering. Pharmaceutical companies produce chemicals that are known to cause cancer as well as toxic cancer treatment drugs. In fact, AstraZeneca is a drug company which originally created National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take note to the campaigns lack of drive to find a cure for the problem.
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What Does The Evidence Show
Caisse believed that 80% of her patients were cured of many types of cancer. But when the Royal Cancer Commission of Canada looked into Caisses claims, researchers found little evidence that the tea was effective as a cancer treatment.
Today, proponents claim Essiac tea is not only a cancer cure-all but also an immune system booster. Proponents also say it soothes irritations, reduces inflammation, cures viral disease like COVID-19, is a source of antioxidants, an antimicrobial, a detoxifier, and a way to improve overall health and wellbeing. Some websites even encourage use in children.
Whenever a product is touted as a cure for a wide range of illnesses, be skeptical. Such broad claims are a red flag that the claims are not valid.
There is little scientific evidence to support any of the claims for Essiac tea. Multiple studies exploring the effectiveness of the tea on cancer regression did not show meaningful results:
To this day, there is no evidence published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal indicating any positive effects on cancer. The National Cancer Institute also affirms the tea is not an effective cancer treatment.
A Concentrated Source Of Antioxidants
Essiac contains high levels of the following antioxidants: flavones, anthraquinones, tannins and polysaccharides . Studies have shown that Essiac tea used at varying concentrations reduces the presence of free radicals by up to 84% . Free radicals can lead to DNA damage and trigger a series of adverse health responses.
In fact, pharmaceutical agencies manufacture drugs derived from these antioxidant sources. Adriamycin is chemotherapeutic drug designed to treat 13 various types of cancer and contains anthraquinones .
An even greater threat to cellular damage is superoxide radicals. Superoxide radicals have the ability to not only create cellular damage, but also to activate other free radicals . Plant-derived polysaccharides have been valued in traditional Chinese medicine for its role as a powerful antioxidant . These healthy polysaccharides prevent against oxidative damage in the body by scavenging dangerous superoxide radicals .
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Claims Of Essiac As A Cancer Cure Are Anecdotal
The claims that Essiac cures cancer are anecdotal, meaning self-reported and not proven by scientific research. Clinical studies have not found evidence that Essiac can cure cancer. But research has found it high in antioxidants.
- A 2006 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows Essiac contains antioxidants that protect against DNA damage. Antioxidants also help to counteract the effects of aging and exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos.
- A 2007 study published in Anticancer Research reported Essiac has greater antioxidant properties than red wine, green tea and cocoa.
Overall, scientific research has confirmed Essiacs antioxidant power and presented no evidence it can cure cancer.
In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cited a brand of Essiac tea on a list of fake cancer cures that consumers should avoid.
The FDA has not approved Essiac or Flor-Essence to treat cancer or any other medical condition. Companies sell Essiac and Flor-Essence as herbal dietary supplements, which the FDA does not regulate.
Risks Of Conventional Cancer Treatments
Cancer treatments today can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and immunotherapy. Serious and some life-threatening side effects from these therapies include:
- Hair loss
- Unusual bruising and bleeding
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
For a continued list of possible side effects which may result from currently approved cancer treatment drugs, visit A to Z List of Cancer Drugs compiled by the National Cancer Institute . Reflect back upon the list of possible side effects that can occur from Essiac.
Why do the public health agencies that approve of the current list of cancer treatment drugs with life threatening side effects put up so many obstacles along the road to alternative cancer treatments?
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Essiac Tea Recipe + How I Used It To Heal Cancer Naturally
I have been wanting to write about Essiac Tea and its role in healing cancer for practically forever. This post is a long time coming and Im excited to share this easy Essiac tea recipe with you!
Unfortunately for me, I couldnt drink Essiac tea while pregnant or nursing. Its almost the only natural cancer remedy that should be avoided while pregnant!
So, while I wrote about practically everything else I did to heal my body naturally from cancer, Essiac was left on the back burner until finally this past summer and I couldnt wait to start detoxing with Essiac again!
Nurse Rene Caisse