Essiac Side Effects
Detox Symptoms and Dosage

There are known Essiac side effects due either to prolonged use or mild detox. What is the safe dosage to drink?



Essiac Tea is a herbal blend that is used for treating cancer. Although its cancer fighting credential are still being debated, most experts agree that this herbal blend seldom causes side effects.

Studies conducted by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the 1980s reported that it did not appear to have any anti-cancer effect, but did not seem to do any harm either.

Reported Essiac Side Effects

According to the Cancer Research UK, prolonged use of Essiac Tea can cause

  • Diarrhoea or constipation

  • Feeling and being sick

  • Liver and kidney damage

  • Decreased blood sugar levels

  • Low levels of potassium in the blood

  • Skin redness and inflammation

  • Severe allergic reaction

In addition, it is not recommended for people who have kidney or liver problems. This is because the plants in Essiac contain chemicals called oxalates which can damage the liver and kidneys.

Detox Symptoms

Since Essiac is a mild body cleansing formula, drinking it can cause the discharge of waste and toxins in your body. There may be unpleasant symptoms accompanying the toxin release, such as:

  • Headache

  • Mild diarrhoea

  • Nausea

  • Skin blemishes

  • Runny nose

Now, these symptoms should be of light to moderate intensity. If your symptoms are severe and prolonged, you have to reduce your dosage and proceed more slowly. Alternatively, you may want to seek medical advice.

The most important thing is to drink PLENTY of water. It is recommended that you drink 2 litres of water daily to help flush out the toxins released by the tea.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the safe use of Essiac during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and there are potential risks from the included herbs.

Oxalic acid and anthraquinone glycosides in the included herbs may be unsafe during pregnancy. Rhubarb and burdock may lead to contraction of the uterus; some publications note that whole slippery elm bark can lead to abortion, although there is limited supporting scientific evidence.

Dosage and Preparation

According to Flor-Essence, manufacturer of the 8-herb Essiac Tea, one box of the herbal liquid makes 1 litre (32 ounce) of tea when prepared as directed.

They recommend diluting the liquid with an equal amount of filtered hot water and sipping slowly.

As an antioxidant supplement or for maintenance, one should take 30 ml (1 ounce) once daily.

For periodic cleansing, one should consume 30 to 60 ml (1 to 2 ounces) one to three times daily. Continue for as long as you wish, depending on the extent of detoxification desired. Start with the lowest dosage and increase gradually.

The tea should be taken on an empty stomach, an hour and a half before any meal, and at bedtime. It can be safely taken during chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

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References

Medline Plus. Essiac. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-essiac.html

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