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Frequently Asked Questions


Did you use Essiac tea? There seems to be so much confusing and conflicting information available about this. Can you steer me to some reliable information?

Essiac Tea Information:
So many people have asked me what I know about Essiac Tea and if I have used it. The short answer is "No, I have not used it at any point in my recovery." From the reading I have done, my opinion is that the tea is generally safe for cancer patients to take as a supplement or complement to conventional cancer therapies. However, finding reputable information about the tea, reliable sources at reasonable prices may be the difficult aspect of consuming this tea. There are many web sites to obtain information or to purchase the tea, but the following web site http://essiac-info.org/index.html tries to give people unbiased information with the purpose of helping them sort through the maze of confusing and conflicting information available about this herbal supplement.

Special Note: I would NOT recommend using this supplement as your only cancer therapy. In addition, I do urge you to tell your oncologist the names and types of all complementary therapies you are using as part of your personal *healing recipe*.

Update January 2005:

Recent research has shown that the commonly consumed commercially available form of Essiac tea called Flor-Essence® did not inhibit, stop, or reverse the growth of estrogen-receptive breast cancer in mice. In fact, the data actually show that the consumption of this product caused more and larger tumors to form in the mice given the Flor-essence® to drink before they were injected with the substance that induces breast cancer. This study was not designed to show the effect of Flor-essence® in mice who had already developed breast cancer, which would have more comparable to *real life*. However, the results are worrisome and should give one pause before choosing to recommend or use this product as part of a treatment plan for a breast cancer diagnosis.

Flor-Essence® herbal tonic does not inhibit mammary tumor development, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 88 (1):87-93, 2004, LM Bennett, JL Montgomery, SM, Steinberg , KS Kulp.

Essiac® and Flor-Essence® herbal tonics stimulate the in vitro growth of human breast cancer cells, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, March 16, 2006, Kulp, KS, et al.


Posted 8/02, Updated 1/05, 3/06


Back to Main QandA Page

Herbs and other Dietary Supplements

Can herbs interact with any of the chemotherapy drugs? posted 4/01, updated 9/02
Is the herbal product Amrit® safe to take during chemotherapy? posted 9/02
Did you use Essiac tea? There seems to be so much confusing and conflicting information available about this. Can you steer me to some reliable information? posted 8/02, updated 1/05
Herbs Do you know anything about the recalls of the herbal products SPES™ and PC-SPES™, both made by BotanicLabs? posted 6/02
Herbs Which herbs might cause problems with blood clotting? updated 8/03, 1/04
Herbs Can you tell me if a product called Sun Soup is useful for patients with lung cancer? posted 1/03, 4/04, 1/05
Herbs What is your opinion on IP6? I've been hearing good things about its effect on cellular health. posted 2/04
Herbs Should I drink wheatgrass juice to help fight my cancer?posted 2/04



These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.


Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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