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Hot-Water Extraction VS. Lemon Juice pre-soak with Hot-Water.
Steeping herbs and plants in hot water is a common method used to extract alkaloids, flavonoids, and others desirable compounds. When the desire is to extract as much of the alkaloids as reasonably possible, some people recommend pre-soaking dried plant material in a weak acid such as lemon juice.
Does pre-soaking kratom powder in lemon juice allow hot-water to extract more alkaloids?
To answer this, we created an experiment to determine the total alkaloid content of kratom powder vs. hot-water extraction vs. lemon juice pre-soak with hot-water extraction.
Sample Preparation and test methodology
All samples were prepared using the same batch of dried kratom powder, Green Vein Sumatra. Liquid extracts were separated from the plant material using a centrifuge to minimize waste and maximize liquid extract recovery. All samples were sent to the same botanical testing lab, where High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was used to determine the presence and percentage of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
As expected, the test results showed a very low percentage of alkaloids in both water extracts. This is simply the result of diluting the alkaloids in a larger volume of water. The more important question becomes, for each sample in total, what is the total milligrams of alkaloids available?
Lemon Juice Works!
Adding lemon juice to the kratom powder did allow the water to extract more alkaloids. However, both extracts showed lower amounts of alkaloids compared to dried powder or tablets.
Stop Wasting Alkaloids with Tea and Water-Extractions!
Making a tea or water-extract of kratom will leave alkaloids in the plant material and beneficial alkaloids will be thrown away! The test results showed a reduction of mitragynine by 31% in hot water alone and a 16% reduction with added lemon juice. As for 7-hydroxymitragynine, it was no longer detectable with hot water and hot water with lemon juice extraction.
If you are going to make a kratom tea, please keep in mind that you will see a reduction in alkaloids compared to using straight kratom. If you want to avoid this loss of beneficial alkaloids, we recommend trying Etha kratom tablets. Etha tablets are 100% kratom made from whole-leaves and lab verified for purity and potency. If you are a fan of kratom tea, make sure the kratom powder you are using is 100% pure kratom like Etha kratom powders to maximize your alkaloid profile. Also consider adding more kratom into your water knowing you will see a reduction from 16-31% of alkaloids. Regardless if you're using kratom in tea or sticking with convenient tablets, live more fully!