Written by Katja Boehm and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated February 8, 2017

Essiac

Abstract and key points

  • Essiac is a herbal mixture mainly administered as tea.
  • There is no evidence for Essiac as an effective and safe cancer treatment.

Essiac is a herbal mixture usually administered as tea. It is promoted mostly via the internet as an alternative cancer cure.

There is no evidence from clinical trials to indicate that it is effective. No clinical trial has been carried out to assess its efficacy and the only published uncontrolled clinical investigation did not suggest that Essiac has an effect on tumour burden.

The safety profile of Essiac is largely unknown but some of its ingredients are associated with possibly considerable adverse effects. Patients are advised not to use any other cancer treatments including chemo- or radiotherapy.

Read about the regulation, supervision and reimbursement of herbal medicine at NAFKAMs website CAM Regulation.

Citation Katja Boehm, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Essiac [online document]. http://ws.cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Herbal-products/Essiac. February 8, 2017.

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