Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

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Theme VI: Extraction methods


To get the maceration process the plant material is placed in peaces or powder, depending on convenience, in a container full of menstruum and let stand for three or more days, shake frequently until complete extraction of plant material.

After this, the material is strained and the remaining solid is squeezed to remove all the remaining liquid. The obtained liquid is clarified by decantation or filtration.
The maceration is performed at room temperature and liquids that are most frequently used are water and alcohol, or both combination, although can also be used red or white wines.


The maceration in water should not be prolonged for too long as this can present fungal contamination, which does not occur in alcohol or hydroalcoholic solutions.

Total maceration time depends on the type of plant or the part thereof, or the active ingredient to extract.

The most commonly used ratio is 1:20 herb/ liquid.

Drug analysis methods

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