View Full Version : an extraction method

solomon levi
01-06-2009, 04:19 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm).

Here's an extraction method I found interesting.
I don't know chemistry very well but it seems pretty good and that it may work on other plants.
This method was described for extracting harmel and harmalene from Peganum Harmala - syrian rue.
At the time of writing, Harmel and harmalene were not controlled substances in the U.S.
I'm not sure about now.

- Grind 100gms seeds (coffee grinder works well)
- soak for several days in 300ml 3% acetic acid (they made the effort to
dilute 5% so it may make a difference - dilute 180ml 5% with 120ml distilled water)
- squeeze out the seeds and extract the mass with another 100 ml 3% acetic.
- combine the two extracts and let sit one or two days
- decant off the clear as much as you can; it will help with filtering
- filter 2x, about 100ml at a time, changing filters when clogged
- heat filtered solution to near boiling and stir in 90 gms NaCl - non-iodized
- when dissolved, let cool slowly. Finish with 24 hours in the fridge.
- the harmine and harmalene will precipitate.
- filter precipitate and discard the filtrate
- re-dissolve the precepitate in 150 ml of hot water, to which
add another 25 gms NaCl. Stir to dissolve.
- let cool as before and filter out the crystals.
- repeat this once or twice more to get long, clean yellowish crystals.

Does anyone who knows chemistry see why this shouldn't work on other plants?
Yeah, this is an example of an extraction with a "fixed solvent" instead of an unfixed one like alcohol.

You're extracting Harmine and Harmaline with the acetic acid + water solution, and in the process they're being converted to harmine acetate and harmaline acetate. They are easily converted to their hydrochloride counterparts by the addition of sodium chloride.

It should work with others other alkaloid containing herbs also. I think?

Harmaline hydrochloride:
Yellow, mp 212 Ott 1993

Hydrochloride dihydrate:
Slender yellow needles.
Moderately soluble in water and alcohol.
Merck Index
Soluble in water
Ott 1993
Insoluble in cold Sodium chloride solutions. Produced from the acetate (in solution) by the addition of sodium chloride.
Hasenfratz 1927

IR of harmaline hydrochloride dihydrate: Shulgin & Shulgin 1997

Harmaline acetate:
Needles mp 204-205
Merck Index also Southon and Buckingham 1989
Water soluble. Readily converted to the hydrochloride by the action of sodium chloride.
Hasenfratz 1927

That seems very interesting to me.
I'm not sure why.
A bridge between the acetate and m-state paths?