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Group no. 4
CHEM 003

“Extraction of the components of Sambong (Blumea



2-250 ml beaker
Soxhlet extractor
Stirring rod
2-250 ml Erlenmeyer flasks
Electric stove
Wire gauze
Rubber tube
Iron stand
Iron clamp
Iron ring
Florence flask
Mortar and pestle



Sambong (scientific name: Blumea balsamifera) is an amazing medicinal

plant. Coming from the family of Compositae, it goes by several names locally. It
is known in the Visayas as bukadkad and as subsob in Ilocos. The plant is a
strongly aromatic herb that grows tall and erect. Its height ranges from 1.5 to 3
meters, with stems that grow for up to 2.5 centimeters. It is an anti-urolithiasis and
work as a diuretic. It is used to aid the treatment of kidney disorders. The
Sambong leaves can also be used to treat colds and mild hypertension. Since it is a
diuretic, this herbal medicine helps dispose of excess water and sodium (salt) in
the body.

Sambong is one herbal medicine (of ten) approved by the Philippine

Department of Health (DOH) as an alternative medicine in treating particular
disorders. This plant possesses a multitude of properties that make it worthy of the
DOH approval. It functions as an astringent and as an expectorant, and has been
found to be anti-diarrhea and anti-spasm. As an astringent, preparations made of
sambong leaves may be used for wounds and cuts. It is also suggested to be
incorporated to post-partum baths, as well as considerable immersion of particular
body areas that are afflicted with pains caused by rheumatism. Its expectorant
properties make it as a popular recommendation to be taken in as tea to treat
Extraction Process : Soxhlet Extraction

A schematic representation of a Soxhlet extractor

1: Stirrer bar 2: Still pot (the still pot should not be overfilled and the volume of solvent
in the still pot should be 3 to 4 times the volume of the soxhlet chamber) 3: Distillation
path 4: Thimble 5: Solid 6: Siphon top 7: Siphon exit 8: Expansion adapter 9:
Condenser 10: Cooling water in 11: Cooling water out

The source material containing the compound to be extracted is placed inside the
1. The thimble is loaded into the main chamber of the Soxhlet extractor.
2. The extraction solvent to be used is placed in a distillation flask.
3. The flask is placed on the heating element.
4. The Soxhlet extractor is placed atop the flask.
5. A reflux condenser is placed atop the extractor.
A Soxhlet extractor works by boiling a solution that has a solute of limited solubility in
a percolator, then cooling and collecting the condensate in a reservoir from which the
concentrated solute can be extracted. A siphon connecting the percolator to the reservoir
flushes excess solvent back into the reservoir.


Performing the Soxhlet method of ethanol extraction

Allowing the students to carry out this section of the investigation provides an added
layer to what would be a standard microbiology assay. It takes the students from ‘start’
to ‘finish’ in terms of extracting and testing their own antimicrobial compounds.
Students should set up and perform the extraction to gain first-hand experience of
extraction methods.
Plant material can be fresh (for example, a plant leaf) or dried. It needs to be crushed,
using a pestle and mortar, to provide a greater surface area. The plant material should be
sufficient to fill the porous cellulose thimble (in our experiments we use an average of
14 g of thyme in a 25- x 80-mm thimble).
All equipment should be provided for students to assemble. Allowing students to build
the extraction apparatus may give them a greater appreciation for the process of
extraction, as opposed to testing an antimicrobial compound out of a purchased bottle.
The students should begin by building a rig using stands and clamps to support the
extraction apparatus. Following this, the solvent (250 ml of ethanol) is added to a round
bottom flask, which is attached to a Soxhlet extractor and condenser (Fig. 1) on an
isomantle. The crushed plant material is loaded into the thimble, which is placed inside
the Soxhlet extractor. The side arm is lagged with glass wool. The solvent is heated
using the isomantle and will begin to evaporate, moving through the apparatus to the
condenser. The condensate then drips into the reservoir containing the thimble. Once the
level of solvent reaches the siphon it pours back into the flask and the cycle begins
again. The process should run for a total of 16 hours. Once the student has set up the
extraction it can be left to run without direct supervision. It is not advised to leave the
equipment completely alone due to the mix of running water and an electrical appliance,
so a technician or other lab user should be made aware. The equipment can be turned on
and off when overnight running is not permitted, and the time split over a number of
days. For good practice, a control should be added. This could be plant material that has
no known antimicrobial effect (for example, a carrier oil such as sunflower oil) at the
testing stage.
Once the process has finished, the ethanol should be evaporated using a rotary
evaporator, leaving a small yield of extracted plant material (about 2 to 3 ml) in the glass
bottom flask.

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