Thursday, December 14, 2017

Essiac Tea Powder - Pros And Cons

Essiac was introduced to the public through all of the tireless work of Rene Caisse, who was a Canadian nurse.  She used Essiac for treating cancer patients for more than 50 years, with a multitude of successful cases being reported.

Over her decades of working with Essiac, Rene Caisse used the mixture exclusively in tea form, except for the sheep sorrel's component for intramuscular injection during her early days.  As more people started using Essiac, other forms for ingesting herbs started appearing in the market, specifically capsules, tonics, and tinctures.  And although consumers have the freedom now for choosing among various forms, you do need to be aware of what the advantages and disadvantages are that are associated with them.

Essiac Capsule Advantages  

A majority of people agree that the most convenient way for ingesting herbs is to take Essiac in capsule form.  That is probably the most compelling reason why to choose capsules instead of other forms.  Tinctures and teas both require a degree of having to measure an Essiac dose and mixing with a beverage like water.  On the other hand, capsules may be taken right out of the bottle.  Capsules, like tinctures, have an advantage over tea due to how convenient they are to store based on their small volume and not having to be refrigerated.  In addition, capsules are very well suited to continue using Essiac while you are traveling.

Essiac Capsule Disadvantages    

The benefits received from Essiac depend on what the bioavailability is from the molecules that are in the constituent herbs.  What that means is the molecules need to be extracted from herbs in some way.  To release these biologically useful molecules out of the herbs that are contained in Essiac (or another herbal mixture), these herbs need to be immersed in some kind of solvent, which is usually water and/or alcohol.  When it comes to teas, boiling water is used to extract molecules.  With tinctures, the process takes place through using alcohol to steep the herbs for days or even weeks.  When it comes to capsules, there isn't any extraction before ingesting the Essiac.   

The extraction that Essiac capsules rely on is through exposing the capsules to oral water, digestive enzymes, and stomach acid intake.  Many people think that results in decreased potency and reduced absorption of essential compounds for capsules.  Also, the constituent herbs going into capsules are in the form of powder, which tends to decrease potency when it has been a long time since the herbs had been pulverized.  There is one potential solution to the problem of unknown periods of time since the powdering herbs happened is creating your own capsules completely from scratch.  It is possible to get the supplies from a health store.  Many individuals who are open to making capsules are much more likely to do it mainly to use while they are traveling when they empty the contents of the capsule into their boiled water for making tea.   

In addition, there are numerous Essiac fans who are strongly opposed to any other form besides traditional tea.  For this perspective, all of the decades worth of positive outcomes that Caisse experienced were solely from tea, and therefore Essiac consumers should stay faithful to this form.  All of the evidence for the efficacy of Essiac comes from research and using the tea, where capsules and tinctures are not studied too much.  For people who are reasonably healthy, it is a very convenient way for ingesting beneficial herbs. 

There are several forms that Essiac comes in, from the traditional, well-studied tea, to capsules and tinctures.  Although there is a strong argument that capsules are the most convenient form, there are also concerns about their potency as well as their ability to providing the key compounds that are responsible for the proposed health benefits of Essiac.

This is a guest blog entry.

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