Essiac Powder Counterfeit Warning!
Herbal Tea Buyers Guide

Things to watch out for when buying Essiac powder and products. Why herbal quality is important. Beware of counterfeit.

While buying Essiac liquid from proprietary brands may be convenient for starters, long term consumers may want to consider Essiac powdered herbs to prepare themselves. Not only is this more cost effective, you may have more control over the ingredients used.

The only problem is that counterfeit products are commonplace. Here is what to watch out for:

Essiac Powder Tip #1:
What's the Formula?

While it is possible to buy each herbal powder separately, many products come with the individual herbs combined. When buying the blended powder, you should know exactly what proportion has been used.

Herbal medicine needs to be prepared using exact ratios to function properly, and Rene Caisse' Original formula is the only one that has been tested with anecdotal success. As far as I am aware, there have only been two highly reliable formulae released into the public domain.

For further information, read Essiac Tea Recipe.

Essiac Powder Tip #2:
Sheep Sorrel

Probably the most important herb in the formula, Sheep Sorrel is chiefly responsible for Essiac's anti-cancer credential. This herb is costly to source, and you may find some products using cheaper substitutes such as curly dock or yellow dock.

Once the herbs have been dried and powdered, it is difficult to tell them apart. Experienced drinkers may find the cheaper sorrels lacking a distinctive "tang" in taste. For beginners, it is more a case of buying from reputable stores, comparing products, and if possible, growing your own!

According to Essiac Essentials, in the original Rene Caisse recipe, the Sheep Sorrel plant is a whole herb and not just leaves. The authors recommend that you grow your own Sheep Sorrel because commercial growers harvest only the leaves and stems. The roots contain important health benefits, but harvesting roots is usually avoided because it kills the plant and can be costly.

Also look for the date of manufacture or (if that is not available) the date of packing. Sheep Sorrel can be kept for only 15 months. Ideally you want the herbs to be as fresh as possible.

Essiac Powder Tip #3:
Further tips

According to Essiac Canada International, inferior counterfeit products are commonplace:

Companies selling cheap powdered herbs may sell you herbs that are infested with bugs and bacteria. Some companies go as far as grinding down bugs at the mill, and passing them off as quality herbs to consumers. And if the herbs don’t look good enough they add tumeric to make them look better.

Here are further pitfalls to avoid:

  • Watch out for harvesting or packing dates. Herbs exposed to air, moisture and even light lose their potency over time. Some herbal powders have a shelf-life of up to 3 years. You want your powder to be as fresh as possible for maximum health benefits.

  • Check whether the product is organically certified.

  • Does the manufacturer perform microbiological assays to check for herbicides, pesticides, moisture content and other contaminants?

  • Ideally, the herbs should be harvested at optimum age. Rhubarb root must be six years old, while burdock root must be from first year plants.

  • Among the original four herbs, Turkey Rhubarb is the only herb that cannot be sourced from North America. Imported Turkey Rhubarb root could be fumigated or irradiated. To consider the pros and cons, read Indian Versus Turkey Rhubarb Root.

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