Essiac Gold - An All-Natural Approach to Powerful Immunity

By: Jordana Tobelem RD, LDN



Recently,  the herbal supplement, Essiac Gold with AHCC Immune support has been gaining increased popularity. This herbal blend of Essiac was developed by a nurse in the 1920’s who learned of the formula through a Canadian Ojibwa Healer. Today, there are many counterfeit products out there trying to mimic and knock off the original blend. Throughout this article, we will discuss what the original Essiac Gold product is, its effects and health benefits, and who would best benefit from this supplement.


What is Essiac?

Essiac is a blend of four botanicals that was discovered in the 1920s as an alternative, holistic cancer treatment. The four botanicals that makeup Essiac include rhubarb, burdock root, sheep sorrel, and slippery elm. This herbal blend was shown to improve immune support by diminishing free radicals, which are known to be cancer-causing molecules. Essiac has also been shown to aid the liver, lymph, and blood in detoxification. Essiac’s medicinal properties have been aiding individuals in their journey to improved immune support and increased well-being for over a century.


What is AHCC?

Now that you have learned a little more about what Essiac is, let’s dive into the discussion on AHCC and why this is included in the Essiac supplement. AHCC stands for “Active Hexose Correlated Compound.” Sounds fancy, right? Well, it is actually pretty simple. AHCC is an extract of various species of medicinal mushrooms that are supposed to act as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals and repair damaged cells throughout the body. AHCC has been used as a holistic, alternative medicine to help stimulate immune functioning and prevent cancer, infections, and even the common cold.

A powerful component of AHCC is its supposed ability to increase white blood cell production. White blood cells are part of the immune system and help the body to fight infections and other diseases. In healthy individuals, when they develop any sort of illness or infection, white blood cell count rises significantly in order to aid the body in fighting off the invaders. However, in immunocompromised individuals, such as in cancer patients,  white blood cells are typically low or diminished. This is when AHCC can come into play and help aid the body in the development of white blood cells. There were over 30 human clinical trials that confirmed these findings.


The Effects of Essiac and AHCC together

As mentioned above, both Essiac and AHCC are powerful immune-enhancing formulas. So, you could imagine that when both of these powerful substances are combined together, the effects are even greater.  Studies have found that when these two formulas are combined, the benefits on the immune system are stronger than when taken alone.


Benefits of Essiac + AHCC

Natural Killer Cells

Natural Killer Cells, often referred to as NK cells are a type of white blood cell that can help destroy tumor cells and cells infected with a virus or bacterium. NK cells are known to be the body’s first line of defense for immunity and are a part of our innate immune system. This means that they are genetically wired to “kill” any dangerous invaders as soon as they appear. When foreign invaders or microbial infections are present, the NK cells will assist in limiting the spread and destroying these pathogens.

It has been found that cancer patients have lower than normal NK cells. That comes to no surprise as NK cells are responsible for destroying cancerous mutations. Both Essiac and AHCC have been shown to help stimulate NK cells, which may help inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors or mutations. This is why Essiac has been recommended for those battling cancer since the origin of its creation.



Different from NK cells, T cells are the body’s acquired form of immunity. This means that each time our bodies are presented with a new pathogen, they stimulate a response to fight off these invaders. The T cells are able to store these past “encounters” in memory and thus develop immunity towards common pathogens or antigens in the future. The T cells are also the cells responsible for the effects of certain inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. It has been found that AHCC and Essiac may both aid in the balance of T cell activity.



Both AHCC and Essiac have been studied to aid the body in its detoxification of harmful carcinogens. In a study with AHCC, it was found that glutathione production was increased with supplementation of AHCC. Glutathione is a combination of amino acids that are extremely important for the body’s detoxification process. Glutathione binds to toxins such as heavy metals and excretes them from the body through the kidneys. As for Essiac, studies have shown that important detoxification enzymes, known as phase II enzymes, were increased as well.


Antioxidant Status

As discussed briefly earlier, Essiac and AHCC have both been shown to be powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that prevent or delay different types of cell damage. Cell damage occurs from something called oxidative stress, leading to free radicals. High levels of oxidative stress and free radicals are what lead to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and eye diseases. This is why antioxidants are so necessary for the diet. They work by neutralizing free radicals and minimizing the levels of oxidative stress in the body.

Foods that are high in antioxidants are mainly fruits and vegetables. Consuming an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet is crucial for immune health and the repair of damaged cells.

Essiac has been shown to be a potent source of antioxidants and provide an extra boost for those who may need additional immune support.


Main Takeaways

For those looking for an all-natural approach for additional immune support, Essiac Gold + AHCC is a powerful blend that has been used as a holistic treatment for over a century. There are numerous studies that have been done, both animal and human, that verify its findings and potential benefits. Always make sure to consult with your practitioner prior to starting any new supplements.





Essiac. “ESSIAC from Canada International™ Introduces ESSIAC Gold™ Featuring AHCC®.” Essiac from Canada International™ Introduces ESSIAC Gold™ Featuring AHCC®, 27 May 2021,
“ESSIAC Gold with AHCC 500MG 60 Capsules.” Better Health International,
Pham-Huy, Lien Ai et al. “Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health.” International journal of biomedical science : IJBS vol. 4,2 (2008): 89-96.
Shin, Min Sun et al. “The Effects of AHCC®, a Standardized Extract of Cultured Lentinura edodes Mycelia, on Natural Killer and T Cells in Health and Disease: Reviews on Human and Animal Studies.” Journal of immunology research vol. 2019 3758576. 20 Dec. 2019, doi:10.1155/2019/3758576

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