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.
CitationKatja Boehm, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Essiac [online document]. http://cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Herbal-products/Essiac. February 8, 2017.
Assessed as up to date in February 2017 by Barbara Wider.
Assessed as up to date in April 2016 by Barbara Wider.
Assessed as up to date in January 2015 by Barbara Wider.
Assessed as up to date in February 2013 by Katja Boehm.
Fully revised and updated in December 2011 by Katja Boehm.
Fully revised and updated in August 2009 by Katja Boehm.
Summary first published in May 2005, authored by Katja Boehm and Edzard Ernst.
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