What you NEED to know about isoflavones and estrogen.
It's important that you read this article about essiac and red clover before you make a decision on whether or not to try essiac tea.
Red clover is one of the herbs in essiac tea. It also just so happens to be a rich source of isoflavones. Why are isoflavones important?
According to Gregory Burke, MD, Isoflavones are compounds that mimic the beneficial effects of estrogen with less risks. This is because estrogen-replacement therapy raises the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, but isoflavones found in the diet such as those found in soy do not (Dr. Burke is the professor and director of public health sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina).
In addition, here is an article from the Mayo Clinic mentioning how isoflavones in food such as soy are not sufficient to cause breast cancer, and in fact a lifelong diet including such foods actually reduces breast cancer: Read the article from the Mayo Clinic (Red clover is an herb, which is considered a food).
What would happen if we took the Red Clover out of our essiac formula.
The first problem with taking red clover out is that herbs in essiac tea function in a synergistic manner. In other words, when the herbs in essiac are taken together in the specific ratio, they have a different effect in the body than they would have if they were taken one herb at a time.
Furthermore, the amount of red clover included in the formula is exceedingly small. Many practitioners spread myths about essiac tea that you're best off using a blend that has the red clover removed. However, most of these well-intentioned folks are either not trained in herbs or they are not aware of how tiny the amount of red clover is in this formula. Blanket statements that red clover should not be consumed are not fair when considering how small the portions are, and that the herb functions in this case as part a small part of a larger formula.
It's similar to saying that a heart patient should not eat celery because it contains sodium. One celery stalk has 30 mg of sodium, and most adults have a recommendation of 2000 mg of sodium per day. This doesn't mean you shouldn't ever eat celery as a heart patient! In fact, produce is one of the best things for health. You see, it's not just about what something has - it's how much it has of it, and the source of it (natural sodium present in vegetables is better for you than table salt, for example).
We hope this information helps! Our goal is to provide you with a safe, effective essiac tea blend that comes directly from Rene Caisse's recommendations. We have proof of that right here on our site.
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have!