What is Sediment?
Essiac tea sediment is often confused for mold. Look at your container you will likely see a bit of cloudy, floating material. Many people confuse that for mold but most often it is sediment you see.
One of the 4 ingredients in essiac tea is slippery elm bark. When mixed with water it creates a gel-like substance called mucilage. This mucilage is especially evident when you strain your essiac herbs. When using our cheesecloth bags you will notice a lot of mucilage filtering through it. This mucilage is a significant part of essiac tea, and often times doesn't settle until it is in the fridge.
Here is what the sediment in essiac tea typically looks like:
During the steeping process the sediment will go to the bottom of your pot. That's why it's important to stir the tea before adding to your sterile jars. In this picture you can see where sediment is more visible on the left (from the bottom of the pot) than the right.
Mold? Oh No!
If you haven't made essiac tea yet, check out our post, Prevent Mold In Essiac Tea, for tips on proper sterilization during the tea making process.
For those of you who have already made or purchased essiac tea and want to see if mold is present, keep reading.
Checking For Mold:
 Growth of spoilage bacteria and yeast produces gas which pressurizes the food, swells lids, and breaks jar seals. As each stored jar is selected for use, examine its lid for tightness and vacuum. Lids with concave centers have good seals.
Next, while holding the jar upright at eye level, rotate the jar and examine its outside surface for streaks of dried tea originating at the top of the jar. Look at the contents for rising air bubbles and unnatural color.
While opening the jar, smell for unnatural odors and look for spurting liquid and cotton-like mold growth (white, blue, black, or green) on the top food surface and underside of lid. Because the tea already has a woodsy more natural taste, depending on the time of year the sheep sorrel is harvested it may be a bit more sour than other times you've taken it. Use your best judgment to determine whether your tea is no longer good.
Here are some examples of essiac tea with mold on it: