One of the most common questions we get is on essiac pronunciation. People want to know how to say this funny looking word!
The fact is that there really IS no "correct" way to say essiac. Depending on which region of the country you are from, you may pronounce it differently.
The word "essiac" came to be because it is Rene Caisse's last name - spelled backwards. We she didn't realize how hard it would be to pronounce :) Rene Caisse is known for spreading the use of the tea throughout many people and also for working on improving the formula over the years via her research studies.
***We use the entire sheep sorrel plant, including the roots, in our formula!***
The most common essiac pronunciation is S-E-ack (The letter "S" like you would say in the alphabet, followed by the letter "E" like you would say in the alphabet, followed by "ack" - prounounced like "hack" but without the "h."
Or, put another way, ESS-E-ack.
Another common question we get is, "What IS essiac, exactly?"
Put simply, essiac is blend of eight herbs in particular ratios, all of which are known to have immune-boosting, gentle detox and health-promoting properties. When taken together (and brewed as a tea), essiac is believed to strengthen the immune system and purify the body of toxins. As a result, the body becomes more capable of fighting off illness and disease using its own resources - just as nature intended!
Essiac contains eight herbs: blessed thistle, burdock root, kelp, sheep sorrel (including the root), slippery elm bark, red clover, turkish rhubarb root, and watercress. The formula is a synergistic one, meaning that the combination of the herbs in specific ratios creates a result beyond what you'd get when you just take the herbs by themselves. The herbs work together in a way that increases the effects.
Essiac is called a tea because of the fact that it is brewed, but it isn't taken like regular tea. It is brewed in a large batch (most typically a gallon) and stored in the refrigerator. The recommended dose is most typically 3 oz. at a time, which is just under 1/2 cup of liquid measure. It's best not to re-heat the tea once it's made, as you will overprocess it. If you cannot drink it cold, you can leave it out for a hour or so to take it at room temperature.
In some health food stores, you will see essiac being sold under the brand name "Flor Essence." The same eight essiac herbs are found in that formula as you'll find in ours.
If you see a four herb essiac offered, please be aware that it's an outdated formula that was since improved upon by Rene Caisse. Rene Caisse found that the eight herb tea worked better and that was her final suggestion on what essiac formula was best to use.