Why water is overall best solvent? What does it extract?
|Article at a Glance
•Water is a universal, polar, and ideal solvent.
•Water is one of the only compounds that can penetrate plant cell membranes, which is perfect for extraction.
•Water is inert, non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-reactant to our skin.
•Botanical extracts contain highly sensitive and thermolabile (readily destroyed or deactivated by heat) bioactive substances which are preserved by extraction with water.
•Water extraction prevents the denaturation (killing) of natural active elements of plants.
•Solvents like alcohol destroy the usefulness of bioactive substances of botanical extracts through denaturation.
•We at Ant-Aging Extracts use water and glycerine as solvents for maintaining the potency, efficacy, and usefulness of bioactive material.
Water is also known as the Universal solvent because water has the capability to dissolve several chemical substances. It is one of the great properties of water that it retains the efficacy (success) and potency of bioactive natural constituents of an extract. Water is an ideal solvent, and it has all those qualities which a perfect solvent should have like water is inert, cost-effective and non-toxic, non-irritant and non-reactant to our skin as well as to chemical substances. Water is a polar solvent, because of the availability of positive charge (hydrogen) as well as negative charge (oxygen). And due to this polarity water dissolve more substances than any other solvent. Despite its name as a universal solvent, it is not possible that every single compound can be dissolved by water. There are some compounds like non-polar substances (hydrophobic or water-hating or lipophilic or lipid-loving) such as fats, oils, waxes, etc. are not going to be dissolved by water.
With particular reference to the botanical extracts, it is the beauty of water as a solvent that it extracts the active substances (or more appropriately bioactive substances) without denaturing them, unlike of other harmful solvents such as alcohol. Denaturation is the process in which proteins /enzymes /hormones /nucleic acid /vitamins etc. are destroyed by the application of external stress like strong acid or organic solvent like alcohol. Alcohol denatures botanical cells by bursting the cell.
We at Anti-Aging Extracts use water and glycerine as solvents for our botanical extracts to preserve the efficacy and usefulness of bioactive compounds. We use a multi-stage extraction process, a combination of maceration, digestion, mixing, pumping, optimum temperatures for the extraction with water. We take steps to protect the thermolabile bioactive substances like enzymes, proteins, vitamins, etc. Thermolabile substances are those which are heat sensitive or destroyed by excessive heat. Maceration is the extraction technique in which there is just the soaking or immersing of plant parts in a liquid (usually water) in an airtight container for a specified time at room temperature (without applying heat). Digestion uses gentle heat, well under 106° Fahrenheit. Thus, conclusively, we can say that water preserves the usefulness of value-added constituents of botanical extracts without denaturing them unlike organic solvents such as alcohol.