Essiac Tea During Treatment

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Q: Is it okay to drink one cup of the herbal tea called Essiac during radiation and chemotherapy?

A: Essiac tea is also known as Vitaltea® and Flor-Essence®. It is made of burdock root, sheep sorrel root, slippery elm bark and rhubarb root.

Essiac tea is not recommended during treatment. It can interfere with how the liver processes drugs, including chemotherapy. In fact, the ingredients in the tea can cause drugs to be at higher levels in your system because the liver isn’t able to break the drugs down.

Instead of Essiac tea, try herbal tea. It is packed with antioxidants, which have cancer-fighting properties. For more information on supplements and alternative teas check out Memorial Sloan Kettering’s About Herbs, Botanicals and Other Products.

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