Essiac Tea and Diabetes
Ever heard of the tea of life? Well, that's what many have come to call the Essiac tea. The healing power of this natural health tea has been with us for thousands of years, and some have claimed it helps them manage low blood sugar levels.
Many studies have shown that some of our favorite teas can help with weight loss, heart disease, and regulating normal blood sugar levels.
People with type 2 diabetes are among the most likely to use or experiment with various roots and natural tea extracts. Therefore, the Essiac has featured in many cups of people trying to lower blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance.
More often than not, people with diabetes are always searching for simple remedies that are outside the range of healthcare professionals, so herbs and supplements are usually their options of choice. So, do Essiac tea and diabetes work?
Although some, like essiac tea, come with undeniable health benefits, a lot of their claims are not supported by verifiable evidence. So, speaking to your doctor before you add any tea or herbal supplements to your diet remains the most effective way to maintain wellness.
Essiac tea has been a constant feature in the diet of several people that are conscious of their health and well-being and particularly people with diabetes who are constantly loaded with one "new discovery" that will apparently help with blood sugar levels.
People with diabetes have been using this tea to soothe their pains after insulin injections. Another well-known claim is that it supports the healthy functioning of the pancreas as it acts as a flushing agent to toxins and pollutants that clog organs.
This was agreed by one of the finders of insulin, Dr. Frederick Banting, who confirmed that Essiac does seem to have the potency to revive the pancreas into producing insulin.
But as we will find out in this article, among the many benefits of Essiac tea, there are a lot of warning signs that we should naturally not look away from.
Here is how we will be dissecting the Essiac tea
What is Essiac Tea
Ingredients in Essiac and Functions
Health Benefits of Essiac Tea
Side Effects of Essiac Tea
Drugs That Interact With Essiac Tea
What is Essiac Tea
Essiac tea was made popular by nurse Rene Caisse and if you look at her last name closely, you will see that it spells essiac when you read it from the back.
In around 1920, she presented it as an alternative cancer treatment and according to her story, this essiac blend was given to her by a patient who claimed essiac tea cured her breast cancer and that it had been given to her by an Ontario Ojibwa herbalist.
Alleged to be a native American natural remedy, this tea has a few antioxidants that may protect against DNA damage and even help to boost the immune system, even though a lot of this claims lack any recent study to back it up.
Ingredients in Essiac and Functions
Essiac tea is originally a mix of four ingredients which are:
Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)
Burdock root (Arctium lappa)
Indian rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum)
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
These are the main ingredients of Essiac tea, but with time, a few modern additions have been blended with the former. Let's take a close look at the health benefits of some of these ingredients.
Slippery elm is rich in mucilage, a substance that helps with cough and throat irritation.
Burdock and Rhubarb roots have revealed anti-cancer effects in rat and test-tube studies. Indian Rhubarb, in particular, is packed with antioxidants and has been shown to help lung function in cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.
Sheep sorrel has been shown to have powerful antiviral properties after a test-tube study.
Like other widely used teas, Essiac is diluted, so measurement per cup remains a challenge. It lacks proper details on the amount of protein, fiber, calories, fat, carbohydrate, and sugar.
Depending on who gives the details, every single ounce of Essiac tea is believed to contain a small amount of potassium, vitamins A and C.
It is mainly sold in its powdery form but also has options for tea bags and tablets.
Health Benefits of Essiac Tea
When it comes to the benefit of Essiac Tea, there are more anecdotes than verifiable claims as to its all-around wellness benefits.
As with many other herbal solutions, if you have diabetes, ensure you inform health professionals before you add any tea or supplement to your diet. The one thing you don't need is to disrupt your progress in terms of managing your blood sugar levels.
We understand this and if you do need a health brand to talk to about your diabetes and what should be your next step with it, then do join us at Klinio so we can use our years of experience in the field of health and diabetes to give you the much-needed support.
Now, about the benefits…
Detox Your System
Essiac tea, as claimed by those who use it, helps people with diabetes detoxify. People with type 2 diabetes experience weakened pancreas function due to toxins from an unhealthy diet. Although the reason can also be due to environmental pollutants or microbial pathogens attacking.
Essiac tea is believed to clean out these toxins as it aids the kidney, skin, and liver organs to flush them out and consequently restore the production of normal insulin levels.
It must be stated that none of the clinical studies back this up and because type 2 diabetes deals more with insulin resistance than insulin deficiency, it's difficult to agree with this claim. Still, for people with type 1 diabetes, this benefit appears plausible when you consider that the function is to clear antibodies and restore the pancreas.
Aside from its detoxification qualities, Essiac tea has claim to be a hypoglycemia agent and this is because of the burdock root, which is typically used as a digestive aid for low blood sugar in people with diabetes. This 2014 study found that burdock roots could prevent high blood glucose.
A note of caution as hypoglycemic agents can be dangerous when used out of proportion, so your doctor should guide you on what to take and how to take it.
Helps With a Common Cold and Sore Throat
It's tea, after all, and like a lot of herbal teas, it's great for warming up the body away from the common cold. Again, the presence of Burdock root, with its antibacterial properties, helps to clear the windpipe from irritations.
Essiac is a known detoxifier and with its stimulant and antioxidant properties, it's an effective collection of herbs to cure acne.
Acne is typically high during the teenage years owing to psychological and hormonal changes and this causes toxins to come out from the sebaceous gland in the skin, which secrete sweat. More oil is secreted, which blends with dead skin and consequently blocks the pores, and as this toxic substance is unable to pass through, acne breaks out.
Essiac is also known to help with scars and red inflammation because of its vitamin C component.
An immune Booster
Essiac tea contains antioxidants, which can boost one's immune system and protect cells from damage.
There are several testimonies to support this, but a 2007 study on mice found no evidence of it boosting the immune system.
Aids Weight Loss
Essiac tea is a diuretic, meaning it influences the urinary tract to remove excess fluid and waste from the body.
Passing out urine is key in fat metabolism and it's common that when you drink large quantities of water, the number on the scale increases slightly, and when you urinate, it reduces as well.
Keeps You Well Hydrated
Staying hydrated is very important to one's health and wellness. Tea is always a good source to keep hydrated as it's almost all water. Water in your system ensures that your temperature is well regulated, your bowel is positively fluid, and your joints don't get creaky.
Low in Calories
Essiac tea is said to be low in calories as many green herbs. It's not packed with a large quantity of sugar; some people prefer to use it as a sweetener.
Use for Cancer Treatment
This one comes with more controversy than clarity, as Essiac tea was originally presented to kill cancer cells. This is much debated and going on scientific evidence. Many researchers have disproved the efficacy of essiac tea as a cancer cure. It is even claimed that it can help cancer to grow.
Although some researchers used a high concentration of Essiac to kill cancer, they went on to say that more research is needed to confirm this effect.
What Are the Side Effects of Essiac Tea
For many teas and even supplements, moderation is usually critical regarding usage. Still, a call to your health guide can help you know if you need to take that drink or food item.
Side effects of taking Essiac are the feeling of:
Nausea and Vomiting
This puts it in a bad light, especially for women during pregnancy. If you don't want to feel lightheaded, make sure you do the necessary before drinking this herbal tea.
Low blood Pressure
We have stated that it can take your hypoglycemia to extremely low levels, but it can equally put your blood pressure at a dangerously low level.
Experts also warned that it could cause:
Skin redness and inflammation
Irregular increase in passing urine and bowel opening.
Some have complained that it caused tiredness and abdominal pains, while another informed that taking Essiac tea can effectively reduce the speed with which your body breaks down drugs in the system.
All of these claims are individualized and not entirely supported by science, but you must reach your own conclusions—especially with the help of a health professional—before introducing anything new to your diet plan.
What Drugs Interact with Essiac?
First, your doctor must be in on this one. Drugs ranging from birth control pills and diabetic drugs will most likely interact with Essiac tea.
Other drugs that can also interact include hormone replacement drugs, drugs related to the kidney and liver, as well as experimental chemotherapy drugs like DX-8951f.
On a Final Note
People with diabetes are quick to jump on the bandwagon of alternative medicine that promises to help reduce high blood sugar levels. Understandably, you might see the likes of Essiac tea and want to try it out to see if it will help treat diabetes.
But failing to take the time to consult your doctor can also put you at serious risk. So, talk to your doctor before changing your diet in any way, including adding Essiac tea.
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