Alcohol Extracts vs CO2 Extracts
There are many differences between the extracts of carbon dioxide and alcohol involving polarity, bio-availability and ester formation. Carbon dioxide is a liquid gas and only extracts the non-polar chemicals of a plant. Alcohol is a solvent that is made due to plant fermentation and is a by product of plants themselves. It is a solvent made by the plants for the plants. Alcohol is also the only solvent that maintains the original chemical ratios contained in the plant. This is due to alcohol extracting both water soluble and oil soluble components.
The use of carbon dioxide results in a very limited extraction of the plant. Since the extracts of carbon dioxide are non-polar; carbon dioxide extracts are not water-soluble. This plays a vital role in bio-availability. Since our bodies are 70% water, oils must be digested by different acids and enzymes to become active. During this digestion process, the active ingredients of the oils are degraded.
Since alcohol is both non-polar and polar, it can dissolve a much wider range of molecules that includes almost all of the plants medicinal oils, polysaccharides, carboxylic acids and other beneficial chemicals. In other words, alcohol dissolves both water and oil soluble chemicals found in the plant while carbon dioxide can only dissolve the oil soluble chemicals. In terms of keeping the plant whole and together, alcohol is the only solvent for the job.
Something else that happens with alcohol extraction is ester formation. Esters are formed when an organic acid combines with alcohol. When a carboxylic acid is esterified it changes into a more water soluble, bio-available form.
Taking Alcohol Extracts to The Next Level
Spagyrics is a method of transforming a plant’s extracts using only the chemicals contained within the plant. It consists of recombining the oils and minerals of a plant in an alcohol solution. Alcohol is the only solvent that can dissolve both an oil and salt. The addition of purified mineral salts has a huge effect on the oils of the plant in alcohol. When an ester is formed it makes water. Water balances out the equation and a certain percentage of esters are formed and the rest of the acids/oils are left un-esterified. When the purified mineral salts of the plant are added back it catalyzes the reaction by pulling water out of solution. The result is that all the carboxylic acids of the plant are now esterified and neutralized. This turns all of the plants medicinal chemicals into a form that is more bio-available along with faster absorption times.. This form is best for effectively ingesting a plant’s natural chemicals and getting the most out of it.
Alcohol extracts are far superior to any other method of extraction. It extracts the most amount of the chemicals compared to any other solvent. To add, it also can esterify vitamins, oils and other medicinal chemicals making them more bioavailable and water soluble. Taking it a step further with the spagyric method, adding the purified minerals of the plant continues to make more esters and then neutralizes them. This method is far more advanced than any other patented method of extraction and purification and only involves using the plant’s naturally contained chemicals. These products can easily be organically sourced.
Originaly retrieved and copied, March 2017, on http://www.evolvedalchemy.com/co2-vs-alcohol-extractions/