What is Supercritical Neem Extract?
We call the supercritical neem extract “super-neem” because it’s so concentrated.
And while it sounds super-futuristic, it’s actually a pretty simple process that has been around for decades. If you’ve ever had decaffeinated coffee — or taken those little white caffeine pills while studying for an exam — you’ve seen the results of the supercritical process.
Basically supercritical extraction uses carbon dioxide (CO2) at high pressure (over 1083 psi) and temperatures above 88 degrees. Those are the so-called “critical” factors, and the extraction process is “super” because it meets or exceeds those circumstances.
At that point, the CO2 becomes a combination of gas and liquid. It can move through an herb like a gas, reaching deep into the raw material to access the active compounds. Its liquid properties allow it to function as a solvent extracting those compounds and turning them into an extract.
With relatively low temperatures — compared to traditional infusions that are require boiling water or the steam distillation which results in an essential oil — the supercritical process is much less likely to destroy delicate compounds as well.
And unlike tinctures made with alcohol, the supercritical extract doesn’t cause side effects like dry mouth, stomach irritation or liver damage.
It takes 50 pounds of neem leaf or bark to make one pound of supercritical neem extract. It’s a sticky, tarry substance that’s difficult to handle, so we dilute it with eight parts of sesame seed oil so it’s easier to measure a dosage.
Working backward in milligrams – so it’s easier to compare with capsules or dried neem leaf or bark:
- 2.25 kilograms of neem makes 450,000 mg of supercritical neem extract
- 450,000 mg of neem extract is diluted with eight parts of sesame seed oil to result in 3,600,000 mg of supercritical neem
- One drop contains about 25 mg of supercritical neem extract. Divided by eight, it equals about 150 milligrams of neem.
- Most adults take about 500 mg neem capsules so three drops replaces each capsule.
Of course, an apple-to-apple comparison isn’t really fair. Any raw material must be “extracted” in your stomach; the supercritical neem extract is far more bioavailable than a standard capsule.
And for people who are reading this and concerned about creating additional CO2 that is driving climate change, it’s all okay! CO2 is captured from normal processes. It also can be used multiple times because it reverts to its natural gas state when pressure is removed.
We carry three “flavors” of supercritical neem extract: