Polarity Post, prequel to "Solubility; If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate"
Some different menstruum (solvents). Let's start with the most common (it's not what you think) it's water. Water??? Whaaaaa??? Yes, water is a solvent. Why is water a solvent? Because it is polar (I'm not letting all that chemistry go to waste...read on, it's going to be fun...I think) Ok what the hell is this polar business? Is it frozen? Let's discuss polarity and how it helps us to make a tincture, hopefully it will give us some ideas on how to proceed and think about what we are trying to accomplish and how to go about it. Ok? Still with me? Here we go.
Polarity is where there is a rogue electron or gang of electrons are looking to get neutral. This electron (-) is a junkie looking for a positive (+) fix. It is looking to become balanced. So in order to be balanced the electron needs to snatch a positive to balance out and be at peace. Water looks like this: see picture. The little hydrogens (H+) are latched onto the the big oxygen (O-) in an unequal power game. The oxygen is always looking to pick up more H dates and the H's just hang on for the ride. There is an unequal power share here. Can you see it? This inequality is called polarity. I daresay many solvents are polar...some are not polar...like oils...we will get to that later. (Have I fried your cookies yet?). So water is polar as we can see, and so is alcohol, but it is MORE polar...yes, you can have degrees of polarity.
So what do we make with herbs and water? That's right, teas. Hot teas (the heat speeds up the process) and cold infusions which take hours (I recommend overnight).
Water draws out some of the constituents of the plant due to its polarity and the polarity of the constituent. It's really just a positive/negative charge game. (electrons are negatively charged, they are looking for positive charges to be neutral and whole)
So to sum up for today (finally). Rogue electrons want the peace of neutrality, and will go on the prowl to grab those constituents from your herb. This is how the benefits of the herbs are attained.
I hope this is helpful. I know this is confusing if you didn't take chemistry. Please if you have a question just ask and I will attempt to not confuse you further. ~Mamma moon
Welcome to the Mamma Moon Blog.
We discuss Herbs, the Science of Herbs and Aromatherapy. I also draw a Card of the Day.
Grab a cup of tea or wine and enjoy. Feel free to participate. ~Mamma Moon