Essiac tea has been used a dietary supplement for more than 90 years and is one of the many herbal drinks that have become quite popular among health buffs. It is usually composed of four ingredients – rhubarb root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark and burdock root. But there are currently new versions of it that involve watercress, red clover, kelp and blessed thistle. They come in tea packages as well as soft gel capsules. And the recommended daily intake is around 3 oz. But this can be adjusted upto 12, depending on the user’s tolerance to its bitter taste, the need as well as his or her weight.
There are no clinical studies to confirm the publicized effects of Essiac tea. However, on their own, each of the ingredients it incorporates has been proven to provide certain nutrients and biological advantages, from relief of constipation to improvement of immunity functions. Despite this promising attribute though, experts warn people about freely taking in Essiac without proper medical consultation. Some of its components do not accommodate certain conditions, medications and diets well.
For instance, pregnancy is a big contraindication to taking Essiac as some of the components tend to promote menstruation. On top of that, caution is also raised regarding consumption while breastfeeding as it may be passed on the infant. Kidney problems are also a big concern as well as kidney infection, bowel obstruction, and diarrhea. Turkey rhubarb may be able to accommodate all of these problems and improve them to some degree. However, in cases of medical emergencies, its effects may actually aggravate if not hide the real causes of the symptoms. And since it is known to promote elimination, it may not be a good idea to drink it during an episode as it may promote dehydration and electrolyte imbalance more.
On top of that, there is also a huge red flag raised for people experiencing ulcers as well as those that have increased blood iron content. Some of the Essiac tea’s ingredients actually irritate the bowel and adds more iron to the system, thereby encouraging the development of hemochromatosis. And although there have been no studies conducted in the safeness of the drink among kids, it is highly recommended that users keep those under the age of 12 from drinking it.
Insulin dependent diabetics are also advised to be mindful of their intake and their blood sugar levels as this drink tends to lower glucose availability. The same warning is issued to those who have just recently undergone surgery, are suffering from osteoporosis and taking heavy medicines like cardiac glycosides. Now, if you are not sure about your current state of health, it would be wise to submit yourself for a check-up first. See if you can get a clean bill of health. And while at it, ask your physician for advice when it comes to drinking Essiac tea.
The bottom line here really is to never be careless about your decisions. Regardless of what the label states, you can’t expect that what applies to others will be the same thing for you. Yes, Essiac has had a good run when it comes to being a health supplement. But it may not be compatible with your physiology.