People sometimes don't like to consume the powdered herbs when they go to drink their essiac tea. Many people ask if they can strain the herbs out after the brewing process is complete.
The answer is, "No." Not if you want the maximum benefit from the essiac!
Drinking essiac tea with the herbs strained out is better than nothing. However, by throwing out the herbs, you are throwing out part of what helps you get well.
There are benefits in the entire leaf and root of the plant for the herbs in the essiac formula. Certain bioactive food substances (these vary from one herb to the next--and essiac has eight herbs) that are never or just partially released during a normal brewing process must be consumed for full benefit.
Even though the tea is brewed, there are components that are not extracted out into the water. These components are only liberated by the powerful digestive enzymes and acids in your stomach. Your digestive system will go to work on these particles, maximizing the benefit you will receive.
Think of it this way - are you better off making apple juice (and throwing out the peel) or eating the entire apple? Of course the entire apple is a better choice! The same holds true for essiac. The additional dietary fiber in the herb particles is also a welcomed bonus.
Rene Caisse herself settled on the use of powdered herbs as the best way to take essiac. These herbs are powdered to the extent that your body is able to digest them. Rene always recommended that folks consume the powdered herbs. There is no reason why ingesting these herbs isn't a great idea!
Some people find that the texture of the essiac makes it difficult to take. Most of the time, it is because the texture is thicker than expected and takes a little getting used to. It can help if you make sure you stir the pitcher with a large spoon each time you pour the doses. This will prevent you ever having a large clump of herbs that you have to drink. Shaking the pitcher won't work as well as stirring. Feel free to add lemon, fruit/vegetable juice or stevia to taste.