Ultrasonic Extraction of Medicinal Herbs

  • Herbs, spices and other plant materials are rich in phytochemicals, which are valued components for medicinal and nutritional products.
  • Sonication breaks the cell structure and releases the bioactive compounds – resulting in higher yields and faster extraction rates.
  • As a non-thermal process, sonication is a mild extraction technique preventing the thermal degradation of the extract.

Ultrasonic Antioxidants Extraction

Antioxidants are radical-scavenging bioactive compounds, which are found in plants. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, thiols etc. are pharmacologically active substances which are used to improve health and to treat diseases.
Due to its high process efficiency, ultrasonic extraction allows to use a very broad range of raw materials to isolate antioxidants. Besides plants such as herbs, fruits and vegetables, high-quality antioxidants can be ultrasonically extracted from low-value or waste materials such as hulls, stems, seeds, rinds, kernels, roots, etc.

In this video, ultrasonic extraction from hops (humulus lupulus) is demonstrated. With the ultrasonicator UP200Ht caryophyllene and other compounds are extracted.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Hops with UP200Ht with S2614 probe

Ultrasonic Adaptogen Extraction

Adaptogens such as tannins, are polyphenolic, often astringent molecules, which are known for their capability to increase the stress tolerability of mammal cells. Those molecules are entrapped in the plant cell. In order to obtain highly bioavailable adaptogens, the molecules must be released from the plant material. Ultrasonic cell disruption opens the cells by breaking the cell walls and increasing the mass transfer between cell interior and surrounding solvent.

Hielscher Ultrasonics' SonoStation is an easy-to-use ultrasonic setup for production scale. (Click to enlarge!)

SonoStation – ultrasonic system with 2x 2kW ultrasonicators, stirred tank and pump

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  • High yield
  • High quality
  • Superior bioavailability
  • Mild process
  • Fast extraction
  • Safe process
  • Solvent-free or mild solvents
  • Easy operation


Ultrasonic Extraction Systems

Hielscher Ultrasonics has many years of experience of ultrasonic extraction processes from botanicals for the food, pharma and cosmetic industries. From compact ultrasonic disruptors for lab and small scale production up to full commercial ultrasonic systems for the production of large volumes, Hielscher‘s product range offers the suitable ultrasonicator for your application. All Hielscher ultrasonicators are very robust and built for 24/7 operation under full load. Hielscher Ultrasonics’ industrial ultrasonic processors can deliver very high amplitudes. Amplitudes of up to 200µm can be easily continuously run in 24/7 operation. For even higher amplitudes, customized ultrasonic sonotrodes are available.
Intelligent software such as digital control, automatic data protocolling, browser remote control and automatic frequency tuning ensure reliable sonication and continuous output. A broad range of accessories including sonotrodes (ultrasonic probes / horns / tips) of different sizes and shapes, flow cells in various sizes and geometries, boosters, and temperature as well as pressure sensors allow for an optimal sonication setup.
Please contact us now with you process requirements! Our team is glad to consult you and to recommend you the most efficient ultrasonic setup.

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Please use the form below, if you wish to request additional information about ultrasonic homogenization. We will be glad to offer you an ultrasonic system meeting your requirements.

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Ultrasonic extraction is used to isolate bioactive compounds such as antioxidants, adaptogens and anthocyanins from botanicals.

UIP1000hdT – 1kW ultrasonic extraction machine

Literature / References

Facts Worth Knowing


Henna powder from dried macerated henna leaves are the raw material for the ultrasonic extraction of lawson and other bioactive compounds.An antioxidant is defined as a molecule that inhibits the oxidation reaction preventing the degradating process of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may result in cell damage. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these oxidative chain reactions.
Antioxidants are widely used as preservatives in food products to act as phytochemical against its deterioration. For instance, antioxidants are added to food and oils rich in unsaturated fats, since unsaturated fatty acids are prone to oxidative degradation, which causes the oil to turn rancid.


Adaptogens or adaptogenic compounds are molecules promote homeostasis, which means they decrease cells‘ sensitivity to stress. Adaptogens are found in herbs and vegetables, e.g. ginseng, schisandra, cordyceps, ashwagandha, rhaponticum, jiaogulan, licorice, rhodiola, holy basil, astragalus, reishi, and maca.
Administered as pharmacologically active substance (as drug or supplement), adaptogens are known for their performance enhancing, anti-depressant, calming or wakening effects. The effect is related to the specific adaptogenic substance administered. For performance enhancement, plants such as ashwangadha, moringa, are successfully used, whilst cordyceps mushroom, jiaogulan and rhaponicum are known as anti-aging adaptogens. To reduce stress and anxiety, adaptogens from ginseng, holy basil, reishi, or schisandra are used.
Adaptogens for supplementation and medical use are mostly prepared as tonics or capsules.