Essiac tea was introduced during the 1920s, and since then has been quite popular for treating cancer, and a host of other illnesses and diseases. Initially the promotion of essiac tea was done by Rene Caisse, a nurse in Canada, who claimed the formula was given to her by one of her patients. The recipe was supposed to have originated from a medicine man of the Ojibwa tribe. This herbal formulation is now sold commercially, but is not without side effects, even though it contains only natural ingredients. Here are essiac tea side effects that are possible.


People, who take essiac tea along with their food, complain of indigestion. The solution would be to take the tea when the stomach is empty, and not during or immediately after a meal. Indigestion is also noticed in individuals, who already have a waste build-up inside their body. As the tea is known to eliminate toxins, it can cause discomfort in the digestive tract or stomach, while it is acting.

To remedy this side effect, stop taking the herbal tea for a couple of days, or wait until the condition starts improving. Treatment can be resumed with a smaller dosage, and then increasing it gradually to the normal amount. For instance, when an ounce of tea results in indigestion, decrease it to half in the beginning, and then increase it later.

Urinating Often

The tea mainly helps in detoxification, and hence prompts the system to eliminate the toxins, by passing more urine. Most users have experienced this, and is considered quite a common side effect. Even though this is a positive effect, it can cause dehydration, and therefore it is important to drink more water for replenishing lost fluids.

Pimple Formation

Certain people start to get pimples, because of the tea’s detoxification process. This condition does not last long, and will stop once the system is cleaned up, and will ultimately result in a better skin tone and complexion.

Kidney Problems

Sheep sorrel and rhubarb, the two ingredients of essiac tea, has oxalic acid, which is a compound, and is quite harmless in small doses. However, for people already having kidney problems, this compound could combine with calcium, and cause kidney stones. Drinking the tea in excess can also cause poisoning.

Upset Stomach and Diarrhea

People who take drink essiac tea in excess without proper water intake can suffer from stomach upsets. The detoxification that happens due to the tea will increase the digestive process for eliminating bodily wastes. Adequate amount of water is required to help in this process, as toxins are diluted by the water, and the excretion goes about smoothly. Less water will cause an upset stomach and discomfort.

This side effect can be eliminated or minimized by taking water daily, a minimum of six glasses, especially during the intake of essiac tea.

Fortunately, the body gets acclimatized to the tea, and system of digestion will soon recover to its former state.


In certain individuals, essiac tea’s herbs cause moderate to mild allergic reactions, which includes, rashes, runny nose and eyes, and itching. These are quite similar to hay fever symptoms, and hence determination of an allergy becomes quite easy.

Such a side effect can be managed by lessening the dose for some time. This is mainly to get the body accustomed to the tea. Later increase the dosage gradually, until there are no more symptoms. For some people, the intake of this tea will have to stop for some time, and then restarted in small doses.

Symptoms of Flu

The tea’s detoxification process can cause cold and cough in some people, which is similar to symptoms of other methods of detoxification. People who can tolerate such symptoms should continue with the dosage and they will disappear in time.


Diabetics who are dependent on insulin should exercise caution in the dosage of their essiac tea, and monitor their levels of blood sugar regularly. Certain ingredients are known to react with bodily processes that produce glucose and insulin.

Are Essiac Tea Side Effects Dangerous?

Most Essiac tea side effects are mild, but be cautious during the treatment period. Also note, effects can vary between individuals. The tea is also not advisable for women who are pregnant or nursing, as it can cause contractions in the uterus.

Source by J L Mason