Ammonium Carbonate

This post isn’t about herbalism, per se, but may be used as a tool for improving one’s chemistry skills, either through study or practice.

Ammonium Carbonate (AC)’s melting point is 53-58 C, but it boils decomposes into carbon dioxide and ammonia spontaneously. The rate of kinetics is likely known but not noted here.

Questions to ask are: Where does the extra carbon come from? Hydrogen? How are the electrons balanced? Can gases be charged? What do the products smell like? I believe carbon dioxide is odorless and ammonia smells like, well… farts.

Note that in SDS terminology, an exclamation mark indicates that the compound is an irritant. This includes most if not all tissues.

It is a white powder soluble in water but not ethyl alcohol (the common active compound in drinking alcohol).

Ammonium carbonate solution is basic, as are sodium bicarbonate–the carbonate ion balance dictates this, primarily.

In foods, it is used as a raising agent, meaning it creates bubbles in baked goods to make the product aerated or, in baked goods, doughey.

AC may have selective antifungal properties due to the ammonium ion which is formed in solution at sufficient concentrations, as discussed in DePasquale & Montville. PDF version of paper available below:

Ammonium carbonate may be classified as a common chemical, with prices around $100/kg. It may be purchased from common chemical vendors.

Havings said all this, it just isn’t that interesting! But hopefully this allowed you to learn a bit of chemistry in preparation for the herbal science soon to follow!

Rarefaction: Implications for Soil Conditions and thus Herbal Growth

The acoustics of soil: an understudied topic. How can people perceive conditions? Are they natural?

Two sources state in a bucket from underground that soil matters. Soil matters for plant growth.

Nutrients and rhizomes both exist in soil(s).

Lome, mead, sand, rock… the list continues.

If soil is compressed it is more difficult for roots to puncture it (?).

If soil is too loose oxygen bubbles form in between the grains and asphyxiate the roots (?).

Thus a happy medium (sound) would travel faster through the Earth into the roots when the density is rarefied.

Q.E.D.

Mitragynine (Notes)

  • Derivatives exist
  • Available as reference standard from Sigma-Aldrich (consider GMP production facilities)
  • Considered a Substance by the National Library of Medicine (or possibly just the chemical derivatives)
  • Active compound in kratom

Purported Uses:

  • Painkiller
  • Sleep aid
  • Euphoriant
  • Stimulant
  • Relaxant
  • Used in weaning off stronger opiates/opioids
  • Recreational drug use
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • MDD

Side Effects (may include):

  • Circadian rhythm imbalance
  • Sleepiness
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Addiction
  • Paranoia
  • Drug stigma
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Numbness
  • Decreased reaction time
  • Fatigue

Chamomile for the Gut: Paper review (and some Didacticism about Prescriptive vs Descriptive Communication)

As shown in Jabri et al., Matricaria recutita L. (German chamomile) has been shown to improve gut metabolism during aspirin-induced intestinal inflammation. The freed radical hypothesis of aging is implicitly noted in the paper. An HPLC-MS analytical chemistry method is taken to approach the subject of organic chemistry. Metabolites of German chamomile (post-extraction) are identified and some notable compounds include a caffeine derivative, alcohols of common compounds, and isomers of one another. Other analysis is provided in this journal of Royal Chemistry. One possible conclusions may be that chamomile stimulates gut bacteria with the appropriate metabolites to rarefy the exotic compounds found in common pain killers.

Some notes on didacticism:

  • researching the problem
  • researching the solution