An in vivo analysis of the herbal compound Essiac.

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BACKGROUND: Essiac is a herbal compound that has been in common use with cancer patients in North America for over 80 years. Despite its relatively widespread use, there are no peer-reviewed published reports of in vivo studies regarding the use of this compound.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Essiac was administered orally to test animals prior to all experiments. Standard assays to test protection from ethanol-induced gastric ulceration and carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic injury were performed on Wistar rats. Assays of postglucose-load serum glucose and cellular and humoral immune modulation were conducted on ICR and BALB/C mice, respectively.RESULTS: Essiac demonstrated a modest gastric protective effect via reduction of ethanol-induced gastric ulceration. However, Essiac did not demonstrate significant hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic or immunomodulatory properties.CONCLUSION: Essiac, administered in established in vivo experimental models, did not significantly demonstrate its purported physiological modifying effects. PMID: 16886634
Title of abstract: 
An in vivo analysis of the herbal compound Essiac.
Leonard BJ, Kennedy DA, Cheng FC, Chang KK, Seely D, Mills E.
University of Toronto, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 19:00
Anticancer Research, 2006; 26(4B):3057-63.

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