The health benefits of drinking tea have been known for thousands of years. From the Chinese and Japanese to the indigenous cultures of North and South America, Africa, and elsewhere, brewing tea has been a longstanding art form and a recognized form of healing.

These days, the benefits of drinking tea are even more widely understood. Those ancient tea drinkers have been proven right again and again, as study after study has demonstrated the profound health boost a simple cup of tea can provide.

Essiac tea in particular is thought to have enormous health benefits, and every day, more people are discovering this delicious remedy for what ails them. If you are new to the world of Essiac tea, you probably have a few questions, and many of those questions are answered in the rest of this article.

What is Essiac Tea?

Essiac tea is a herbal tea that is best-known for its potential ability to kill cancer cells. It has become extremely popular among enthusiasts of natural health practices. Essiac tea derives its name from Renee Caisse (Essiac is Caisse spelled backward), a Canadian nurse who discovered a natural healing formula, which she had used to heal herself and others.

Even though she had discovered what would become a profound breakthrough in health and well-being, Caisse took no money for her discovery; she was reluctant to even take credit for the healing she provided to her patients. Even so, her legacy lives on in the amazing tea that bears her name.

The tea is usually sold in powder form, however bags and capsules are also sold. It is usually recommended that you drink 1-12 fluid ounces each day in order to see results, ideally on an empty stomach.

What Does Essiac Tea Taste Like?

Essiac tea is known for its rather strong, distinctive taste. While some people are able to get used to the taste after a few days or weeks, other find the taste makes the tea  difficult to stomach. The tea is distinctly grassy and earthy in taste. For this reason, lots of people like to sweeten the tea or mask the flavor in some other way.

Essiac tea tends to taste better if it’s consumed warm or hot. It can also help to add ingredients to improve the taste. However, there are certain ingredients that should never be added, including:

  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Can Sugar
  • Artifical Sweetener
  • Protein

Instead, try using:

  • Orange Juice
  • Apple juice
  • Tomato Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Another, sweeter herbal tea

Essiac Tea Ingredients

The ingredients in Essiac tea give the formulation its power. The ingredient list is a simple one, and its simplicity makes the health benefits of Essiac tea that much more impressive.

Essiac tea is made up of four basic ingredients, each of them an herb thought to have healing properties. The formulation includes burdock root, the inner bark of the slippery elm, Indian rhubarb root, and sheep sorrel. All four of these herbal ingredients are said to have healing properties, but it is the combination that gives Essiac tea its real power.

The Benefits of Essiac Tea

The health benefits of Essiac tea are still being studied, and a number of clinical trials are currently underway. Given the power of the individual ingredients, there is reason to think the results of those formal efficacy trials will be quite positive.

  • Anti-Inflammatory: Essiac tea is thought to have important anti-inflammatory properties. Since so many of the ills that befall us are accompanied by inflammation, such a tea can be an effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions and all manner of illnesses and chronic conditions.
  • Detox: Drinking Essiac tea on a regular basis is also a good way to detoxify the body. Every day, we are under assault from pesticides in the environment, impurities in our food and water and air pollution inside our own homes. The detoxifying properties of Essiac tea allow us to fight back, giving us a head start on the good health we all crave.
  • Gastrointestinal Health: In addition, Essiac tea is thought to improve gastrointestinal health, however the scientific evidence is lacking.

What Tea is Best for Fighting Cancer? Is it Essiac Tea?

There is reason to think the ingredients could be a natural cancer fighter. While clinical trials are still underway, there is reason to hope that Essiac tea could be the cure for a number of maladies, both modern and ancient. Most people interested in drinking Essiac tea are interested in its cancer-killing properties. But how much truth is there to the claims?

Well, it’s hard to say. One study showed that Essiac tea could prevent damage to cells and DNA, thus, potentially, protecting against cancer. In another study, it was shown that Essiac tea could stop the growth of breast and leukemia cancer cells if given in high concentrations.

In addition to these studies, some individual cancer patients are convinced that tea is responsible for curing their cancer. In one case, a man with prostate cancer went into remission and attributed his cure to Essiac.

However, all of these studies and stories need to be taken with a grain of salt. Some studies have conflicted with the above evidence and suggest that the tea is actually not effective when it comes to cancer. For instance, in 17 animal studies, the tea was found to have absolutely no effect on cancer cells.  There have been several other similar animal studies that have indicated that Essiac tea may not only have any effect on cancer cells but can actually encourage the growth of breast cancer cells.

It’s important to note that Essiac tea has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for cancer or, in fact, for any medical conditions.

Does Essiac Tea Kill Candida?

Candida is a condition that results from yeast developing into a fungus. There is very little information about Essiac‘s effect on candida, however one Essiac company does claim that the rhubarb in essiac can help to prevent bacterial growth that leads to candida.

Essiac Tea Side Effects

Unfortunately, drinking essiac tea may result in some unpleasant side effects. These can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Increased urination and bowel movements
  • Swollen glands
  • Fever

It is also strongly recommended that women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid drinking tea.

Essiac Tea Dosage

Rene Caisse, the originator of Essiac tea, recommended a dosage of 1 fluid ounce daily for the treatment of serious medical conditions. That recommended dosage was to be continued for up to two years, with a resting period of a week off between every four weeks of treatment.

This one-week resting period was thought to stimulate the body and increase the tea's efficacy. Modern drinkers of Essiac tea largely follow the original recommendations, while making accommodations for their own health and the nature of their illnesses.

Essiac Tea Recipe

There are many recipes for Essiac tea, and many practitioners have created their own specialized formulations. Even so, the classic recipe for Essiac tea includes 6-1/2 cups of cut burdock root, 1 pound of powdered sheep sorrel, 4 ounces of powdered bark from the slippery elm tree, and 1 ounce of powdered root from the Indian rhubarb plant.

These four essential ingredients are then mixed thoroughly and distilled into an aromatic and surprisingly good-tasting tea. The mixture is a powerful one, and only a small amount of the tea is needed to improve health, reduce inflammation, and provide a host of benefits for the drinker.

How Do You Make Essiac Tea?

It is pretty much impossible to make your own Essiac tea from scratch, as it uses a range of herbs.

When you purchase Essiac tea, be sure to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer carefully. Usually, you will need:

  • Glass or steel pot
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Jars

Avoid using aluminum tools, which can react badly with the tea.

A 2-ounce package of essiac should make one gallon of tea. The tea lasts for roughly two weeks in the fridge, so bear this in mind when you make a batch—avoid making too much, as it will go bad.

  1. Pour a gallon of water into your pot and boil it on the stove.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in 2 ounces of essiac tea. Leave the herbs in the water for 10 minutes.
  3. Allow the tea to brew for 8-12 hours. Keep a lid on the pot and store it in a warm place.
  4. After letting the tea brew, reheat the mixture, careful not to re-boil. This will help to mellow the flavor of the tea.
  5. Using a strainer, pour the tea into a series of clean jars.
  6. Refrigerate the jars for up to two weeks. If the tea has a sour taste or a white mold appears on the surface, do not consume the tea.

What is the Best Essiac Tea?

Here are a few of the best brands of Essiac tea.

Starwest Botanicals Organic Essiac tea - This is an organic herbal blend made in the US. It is certified by QAI in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program Guidelines. This blend is made with burdock root, organic sheep sorrel, organic rhubarb root, and organic slippery elm bark. The tea will arrive in a well-sealed, foil bag.

A Nurse’s Tea - This brand uses the original Rene Caisse recipe and formula, including real sheep sorrel roots And high-quality American herbs. The herbs are hand blended to ensure the release of nutrients. This company also focuses on producing eco-friendly essiac teas, using glass bottles and recycled materials.

Essiac Powder Canada - This is the official essiac supplier in Canada. This company sources all of its herbs in Canada and the product is sold in powder form.


You already know how beneficial drinking tea can be, and Essiac tea in particular is thought to have major healing properties. If you have been looking for a natural way to boost your energy and improve your health and well-being, try adding some Essiac tea to your daily diet. You will be glad you did.