Does Essiac Tea Have Side Effects?

Are there side effects when taking Essiac Tea?
Hey, we get it. It's a question worth asking, and it's one we want to make sure you're aware of. Some people complain of side effects in the first few days of starting essiac. In the past it’s been speculated whether it’s people’s living standards today compared with 100 years ago, or if it’s just more environmental toxins that cause more people to experience more severe detox issues these days compared to when Rene Cassie was first using the tea. Whatever the reason, one thing for sure is that it’s happening more often we want to make you aware if this is your first time taking the tea.
Some people actually WANT to have a healing crisis as they begin a detox so they know essiac is working. A “healing crisis” actually has more to do with your detox organs not working optimally more than anything else. Native Americans generally call this a “healing crisis” and it is seen as a good thing medicinally. It’s part of the ceremony involved in a sweat lodge. To detox out the bad through sweat. 

What is a herx reaction?
This article does a great job explaining what exactly a herx reaction is as well as some common signs:
Simply put a healing crisis occurs when the body tries to eliminate toxins at a faster rate than they can be properly disposed of. The more toxic one's bodily systems are, the more severe the detoxification, or healing crisis. It is characterized by a temporary increase in symptoms during the cleansing or detox process which may be mild or severe. You may feel worse and therefore conclude that the treatment is not working. But these reactions are instead signs that the treatment is working and that your body is going through the process of cleaning itself of impurities, toxins and imbalances. Such reactions are temporary and can occur immediately -- or within several days, or even several weeks, of a detox. Symptoms usually pass within 1-3 days, but on rare occasions can last several weeks.
If you are suffering from a major illness, the symptoms you experience during the healing crisis may be identical to the disease itself. Sometimes discomfort during the healing crisis is of greater intensity than when you were developing the chronic disease. This may explain why there may be a brief flare-up in one's condition. Often the crisis will come after you feel your very best. Most people feel somewhat ill during the first few days of a cleanse because it is at that point that your body dumps toxins into the blood stream for elimination. With a more serious condition there may be many small crises to go through before the final one is possible. In any case, a cleansing & purifying process is underway, and stored wastes are in a free-flowing state.
The healing crisis is the result of every body-system, in concert, working to eliminate waste products through all elimination channels and set the stage for regeneration. The end result: old tissues are replaced with new. When any treatment or cleansing program causes a large scale die-off of bacteria, a significant amount of endotoxins (toxins within the bacteria itself) are released into the body. The more bacteria present, and the stronger their endotoxins, the stronger the cleansing reaction. When any treatment or detox causes the organs of the body (particularly the liver, which is a storehouse of drug and poison residues) to release their stored poisons and toxins, a cleansing reaction may occur. Any program, such as fasting, which causes a rapid breakdown of fat cells (which are a storehouse for toxins), can cause a healing crisis as toxins previously lodged in the fat cells are released into the blood stream.
The healing crisis will usually bring about past conditions in whatever order the body is capable of handling at that time. People often forget the diseases or injuries they have had in the past, but are usually reminded during the crisis.
What are the common symptoms of a herx reaction?
As we've mentioned before most individuals don't actually notice any negative side effects when they begin taking essiac tea. That being said, we'd like to make mention of a wide range of possibilities so you have all the information up front.
There are a wide variety of reactions that may manifest during a healing crisis, the most common are: Increased joint or muscle pain Diarrhea Extreme fatigue and/or its opposite, restlessness Cramps Headache (believed to be caused by buildup of toxins in the blood) Aches, Pains Arthritic flair up, insomnia, Nausea Sinus congestion Fever (usually low grade) and/or chills Frequent urination and/or urinary tract discharges Drop in blood pressure Skin eruptions, including: boils, hives, and rashes. Cold or flu-like symptoms Strong emotions: anger, despair, sadness, fear, etc. Suppressed memories arise, Anxiety, Mood swings or New phobias may develop.
How can I lessen possible side effects?
There are a few tips that can make a big difference in whether you have a bad herx reaction, a mild reaction, or no reaction at all. Every answer revolves around getting the detox pathways clear and operating at full capacity. That would be the liver, gall bladder, colon and kidneys.
1) When you start Essiac, use half the recommended dosage for the first 7-10 days. This really helps to minimize any detox symptoms.
2) Water. We recommend that you drink ALOT of extra water while using essaic. A good rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 of your weight in lbs. in ounces of water daily. For example, if you weigh 120lbs. try to drink 60oz of water daily.. I recommend starting to drink that extra water 1-2 days before starting essiac to get your body ready.


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