Message Number: YG3380 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-05-09 01:00:00 UTC
Subject: Essiac ingredients

> I am not sure what is in Essiac or how it is supposed to work.
> however if your ferret is terminal then it will not hurt to try it

There is a Website which lists the Essiac ingredients and some
information on each of them at:
I've never actually used Essiac, so I can't offer any personal info.
on how it works .. but I know a lot of cancer patients do try it, and
the individual herbs that are in it are taken by many others for
various health complaints. Anyway, here are the main ingredients,
and a bit of info. on each one:

The 4 main essiac ingredients (classified by the FDA as food items)
are: burdock root (arctium lappa), sheep sorrel (rumex acetosella),
slippery elm (ulmus fulva) and turkey rhubarb (rheum palmatum). Some
manufacturers add extra herbs.

Burdock root (arctium lappa) - key constituents are bitter blycosides
(arctiopicrin), flavonoids (arctiin), tannins, polyacetylenes,
volatile oil, inulin (up to 45%) and sesquiterpenes.

The inulin is the principal active ingredient of the burdock root,
and is thought to attach itself to the surface of white blood cells
and make them more efficient. Also, studies in Germany (1967) and
Japan (1986) showed that the polyacetylenes in burdock root have
antibiotic effect. Native American Indians used to rely on burdock
root as a food source during cold winters.

Sheep sorrel (rumex acetosella) - key constituents are
anthraquinones, chrysophanol, emodin, physcion, and oxales. Limited
research has been done on this herb. It is known to be high in
vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as the B vitamins. (Vitamin A
strengthens the immune system by increasing the production of white
blood cells and T cells, both of which combat cancer). It is also
very rich in minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, silicon,
sulfur, chlorine, and some iodine and zinc. Other important elements
in sheep sorrel are the carotenoids and chlorophyll.

Slippery elm (ulmus fulva) - key constituents are mucilage, starch
and tannins. There is also limited research on this herb. The
mucilage that it contains simulates the natural mucilage present in
the body, providing a lubricating action that protects and softens
the membrane linings in the body. This can be particularly important
if these membranes are damaged by chemotherapy and other cancer
treatments. The mucilage also helps to "gather" toxic wastes in the
body and discharge them.

Turkey rhubarb (rheum palmatum) - key constituents are anthraquinones
(about 3-5%), rhein, aloe-emodin, emodin, flavinoids (catechin),
phenolic acids, tannins (5-10%), and calcium oxalate. The medicinal
value of this herb is due to the properties of the anthraquinones,
which have a laxative and purgative effect. In large doses, the
rhizome is strongly laxative, helping to cleanse the digestive tract
and eliminate toxic wastes. This herb is different from domestic
rhubarb, which is the variety used to make rhubarb pies.

- Ela