Are you a tea drinker? Studies show that on any given day more than half the American population will enjoy a cup of tea. This does not even account for how popular tea is in other countries. The reason behind this is simple: Tea offers health benefits, it’s natural, comforting, and there are scores of flavor options and blends to suit just about anyone’s taste.
Recently more articles have come out regarding the benefits of tea for cancer patients. Thanks to the wealth of teas available, different teas can help relieve specific symptoms related to chemotherapy. Below we’ve compiled a list of teas recommended for cancer patients, cancer fighting teas, a look at Essiac Tea, and if tea can cause esophageal cancer.
Teas Recommended for Cancer Patients to Ease Chemo Side Effects
Green tea has been shown to help boost the immune system, keep you hydrated, and improve your energy levels. Green tea is also sometimes advertised as preventing cancer. While many studies have been completed on green tea’s ability to reduce the risk of cancer, the evidence is not yet considered strong enough to support this claim. Keep in mind green tea has naturally occurring caffeine and should be consumed in moderation.
Ginger Root Tea
One of the most known side effects of chemotherapy is nausea. Ginger chews and ginger ale are commonly recommended to help stave off nausea; Another fantastic anti-nausea remedy is brewing yourself a cup of ginger tea. Ginger tea can easily be made by simply pouring boiling water over slices of ginger roots and allowing it to steep. While you can purchase ginger tea at the store, be wary of which tea you choose; Many ginger teas are also brewed with black tea leaves which are not recommended for those undergoing certain chemotherapy treatments.
Peppermint tea is also a fantastic antidote for fending off nausea or relieving stomach discomfort in general. Another perk of peppermint tea is the boost it offers to your immune system. It’s also known to help patients coping with memory loss or having trouble focusing.
Valerian Root Tea
Another side effect of chemotherapy is insomnia. Valerian root tea is a known stress reliever and has been repeatedly recommended to those with an inability to sleep.
Cancer Fighting Teas
Due to the continued benefits discovered in tea, researchers have conducted several studies into the possibility that various kinds of tea may have anti-cancer properties. These inquiries have delved into teas that could prevent cancer as well as teas that may kill cancer cells. These are a few teas worth keeping tabs on for their potential cancer fighting properties.
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is a powdered green tea that claims to offer antioxidant properties and a detox agent. As previously mentioned, green tea is sometimes listed as an anti-cancer agent, although this claim has not yet been proven. However, drinking green tea or matcha green tea in moderation will still allow you to reap all the benefits.
Like green tea, dandelion root has plenty of antioxidants and has been a reported digestive aid. Lab testing has actually confirmed the effectiveness of dandelion tea’s ability to kill cancer cells in test tubes. Unfortunately, clinical trials in humans have yet to show any success. However, with such positive results so far, keeping an eye on ongoing testing is a must!
A recent study on oolong tea extract has shown positive results when applied to breast cancer cells. The effects of oolong tea extract showed noticeable damage on the breast cancer cells. This study, which was reported on in January of 2019, is fairly new and therefore another potentially effective tea against cancer to keep an eye on.
Is Essiac Tea a Legit Cancer Treatment Option?
Essiac tea, which some claim has the ability to cure cancer, has been around since the early 1900’s. Originating in Ontario, Canada, Essiac tea has been widely popularized as an alternative method to killing cancer cells. Around the mid-1970s, a Canadian nurse even claimed she noted an 80% survival rate among all cancer patients drinking Essiac tea. The tea itself is made from a mixture of burdock root, rhubarb root, sheep sorrel, and slippery elm bark.
While Essiac tea does look like a miracle cure at first glance, many doctors recommend doing more research or speaking with your medical team before attempting to drink Essiac tea. One reason behind this warning is a lack of evidence and failed scientific studies. For instance, the claim of an 80% survival rate has never been proven by any medical records. In fact, while some claim that Essiac tea can cure cancer, others claim it might cause cancer.
Several studies on Essiac Tea have been completed since the 1970s to determine the legitimacy behind these potential cancer-healing claims. As of now, the majority of tests have shown no notable effect on cancer cells. While a couple of studies have shown a potential slow-down in cancer cell growth, other studies have actually shown enhanced growth of cancer cells. This could be due in part to burdock and rhubarb roots containing carcinogenic compounds which can cause and promote cancer. Other concerns stem from a possible reaction when combining Essiac tea with certain medications. As previously stated, be sure to speak with your doctor prior to adding Essiac tea or other alternative medicines into your daily routine.
Hot Tea Linked Esophageal Cancer: Is it a Thing?
Although tea offers some fantastic health benefits, recent studies have come out indicating you may need to let your tea cool a bit before sipping. The study depicted a nearly 90% increased risk of esophageal cancer developing if you drink 24 ounces of tea a day at a temperature of about 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).
While the study focused mostly on tea drinkers, researchers have pointed out the tea itself is not the issue; Any hot beverage or food can cause a chronic thermal injury resulting in inflammation. The thermal injury could then result in carcinogens ingested through food/drink becoming easier to digest or the inflamed area itself could develop cancer over time.
Our best advice? Keep savoring your tea (or other hot beverages), just give it a little time to cool before enjoying.
There are tons of different teas out there, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. While certain teas like ginger and peppermint can help reduce nausea, other teas advertising anti-cancer properties may require more research to verify these claims. Also, always talk to your doctor before trying different teas as some may produce a reaction with your cancer treatments or medications. What teas have helped you the most? Tell us in the comments section below!