Prevent Mold in Essiac Tea

Tips for reducing your chances of mold

1. Add your tea to sterile containers.

There are two main ways to sterilize your jars and it’s completely up to you and your preferences.

Water Bath Sterilization Method

Oven Sterilization Method

2. Sterilize your utensils and your work surface.

It is just as important that you have sterilized utensils that are stainless steel (wood and teflon is NOT recommended) and that you sterilize each surface you intend the tea to be on. It sounds like a bit much but it greatly reduces the chances you will have cross contamination when transferring the tea to containers.

3. Make sure your tea is a safe temperature to add to sterile containers.

At the end of the 10-12 hour steeping time, strain the herbs from the tea, getting as much water out of the herbs as possible. There will be a gel-like sediment from the herbs, that’s a good thing so keep as much in the tea as possible. If you use the cheesecloth bag squeeze as much water and sediment as you possibly can back into the pot. Reheat the tea to 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit (79-82 degrees Celsius) and divide the tea into your sterile containers. Visit our Brewing Instructions for more information.

4. Check your container for a proper seal.

[1] These three options are for two-piece metal lid system with a flat lid and a ring band. If you use another type, follow the manufacturer’s directions for determining if jars are vacuum sealed. After cooling jars for 12 to 24 hours, remove the ring bands and test seals with one of the following options:

Option 1: Press the middle of the lid with a finger or thumb. If the lid springs up when you release your finger, the lid is unsealed.

Option 2: Tap the lid with the bottom of a teaspoon. If it makes a dull sound, the lid is not sealed. If tea is in contact with the underside of the lid, it will also cause a dull sound. If the jar is sealed correctly, it will make a ringing, high-pitched sound.

Option 3: Hold the jar at eye level and look across the lid. The lid should be concave (curved down slightly in the center). If center of the lid is either flat or bulging, it may not be sealed.

5. Store your tea properly.

We highly recommend using amber glass mason jars to filter sunlight. Using regular jars with a sock over it or placing it in a paper bag works as well.

[1] If lids are tightly vacuum sealed on cooled jars, remove ring bands, wash the lid and jar to remove residue without disturbing the sealed lid; then rinse and dry jars. There may be residues you might not notice with your eye. These residues can support the growth of molds (which are airborne) outside the jar during storage. Wash and dry ring bands to protect them from corrosion for future use; be sure to protect from moisture where they are kept. It is recommended that jars be stored without ring bands to keep them dry as well as to allow for easier detection of any broken vacuum seals. However, if you choose to re-apply the ring bands, make sure all surfaces are clean and thoroughly dry first.

If jars are stacked in storage, be careful not to disturb vacuum seals. It would be a good idea to not stack jars too high directly on top of each other; one manufacturer recommends no more than two layers high. It would be best to provide support between the layers as a preventive measure against disturbing the seals on the lower jars. Jars could be placed in boxes to be stacked, or use some type of a firm solid material across the jars as a supportive layer in between them.

Label and date the jars and store them in a clean, cool, dark, dry place. For best quality, store between 50 and 70 °F. Also for best quality, can no more food than you will use within 6 months, as that is our longest recommended period for safe keeping of the tea.

Do not store jars above 95° F or near hot pipes, a range, a furnace, in an uninsulated attic, or in direct sunlight. Under these conditions, food will lose quality in a few weeks or months and may spoil. Dampness may corrode metal lids, break seals, and allow recontamination and spoilage.


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