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3.12.1 Pollen extract

To avoid the granular structure of pollen or avoid some of the allergenic effects, pollen extracts can be prepared. The most common solvents for extraction are various types of alcohols. The higher the alcohol concentration, the more complete is the extraction of oils, fats, colours, resins and fat soluble vitamins from pollen. Solvents with lower concentration of alcohol mainly dissolve tannins, acids and carbohydrates.

Therefore, with a variation of the alcohol concentration different types of extracts can be prepared. A propylene glycol extract contains most water soluble material, leaving behind the proteins, thus eliminating most if not all allergenic material. Such an extract is well suited for external applications such as in cosmetics. Oil extractions have been reported as inefficient. Treatment with diethylene glycol monomethyl ether discolours pollen and its extracts (D’Albert, 1956) where coloration may not be desired (cosmetics).

The following extract is prepared with a very high percent alcohol (95 % or more) to get most of the substances out of the pollen. The alcohol has to be food grade (fit for human consumption). Distilled beverages usually contain 40-60% alcohol or less, and so only produce less complete extracts.

A glass bottle or glazed clay pot is filled with 4 parts of 95% alcohol and 1 part of beebread (Dany, 1988). Bee-collected pollen can be used as well, but beebread has different (higher) nutritional values (see 3.12.2). Agitate the mixture at least once a day and leave it for 8 days. More frequent agitation improves extraction. The mixture is filtered through afine cotton cloth and stored in a dark glass bottle. It can be stored for a long time. The filtrate can again be washed in water and this weaker extract may be used immediately.

For further potentiation, 50 g of broken propolis can be added for extraction at the start. For medicinal purposes other herbal extracts can be added as well as mead, royal jelly etc.
A revitalizing concentrate, a teaspoon taken three times a day, is described (in parts by weight). Different proportions and additional ingredients are possible.

4 Honey 4 Honey
1 Wheat germ (or wheat extract) 0.5 Pollen (or extract)
1 Pollen extract 0.5 Yeast (or stimulating plant extarct)
1 Dry yeast (brewers or bakers yeast) 0.05-0.5 Royal jelly
0.1-0.4 Royal jelly