Why Essiac Herbals is as effective as brewed Essiac tea.
Much of the research that has been done on the viability of the Essiac formula has been done using the brewed Essiac tea. Nurse Rene Caisse, who popularized Essiac, worked for most of her life to convince the medical establishment that this simple herbal decoction (brewed tea) was a viable cure for cancer. She refined her secret formula as her research and observation grew through her lifetime. Therefore, the presentation of a brewed form of Essiac tea is what is most recognizable to those who have learned of this formula.
Many herbalists would agree that making a decoction (brewed tea) of the Essiac herbs is the most effective way of extracting the active compounds from the herbs, as most of these particular compounds are water soluble. Active compounds that are found in herbs are extracted by different methods, according to the herb and the compound. Herbal constituents can be water, oil, or alcohol soluble and knowledge of the chemical components of herbs directs us to the most effective way to maximize the potency of the herb in any formula that one wishes to create. Most of the compounds that combine to make Essiac effective as an herbal remedy are water soluble, making the decoction method preferred for these herbs.
Please note that decoction implies boiling for an extended period, and this is different from making an infusion, which is done by adding herbs to water that has been boiled, and then letting the herbs steep. Infusions are appropriate for certain herbs, because certain compounds can be destroyed and rendered ineffective by prolonged exposure to heat. Most recipes available for brewing Essiac tea require a lengthy preparation time due to this extended boiling and steeping process.
Essiac Herbals is prepared by first making a decoction of the herbs. This decoction is especially potent because the amount of dried herbs used is nearly double the amount that one would use in making a batch of Essiac tea. Doubling the amount of herbs allows for a very concentrated formula. After the decoction process, alcohol is added to the herbs and water combination. There are essential oils in the Essiac herbs that are only alcohol soluble, and the addition of alcohol extraction to the already decocted formula brings more of these effective compounds into the product. The herbs are allowed to extract in the alcohol for a period of time, after which the tincture is strained and bottled.
The combination of decoction and tincturing gives the best of both worlds: the water soluble compounds are garnered as well as the essential oils, which are usually lost when only decoction is used. The tincturing process preserves the product as well because of the alcohol. This gives us an extremely concentrated and convenient product that requires no refrigeration, has an indefinite shelf life, requires no lengthy preparation, and comes in a rather small bottle that can be easily transported. For individuals who would rather not ingest any alcohol, it is suggested to add the Essiac Herbals to recently boiled water; let sit for a few minutes, and the heat of the water will evaporate the alcohol.
Many people who are fighting degenerative diseases and conditions do not have the time, energy, or desire to make the commitment to adopting an Essiac program that involves preparing the brewed tea, an involved and lengthy process. The facility of dropping the concentrated extract into some water or directly under the tongue is an excellent reason to suggest Essiac Herbals to anyone who wishes to receive the benefits of the Essiac formula.