Mmmm, Phytochemical Metabolites...
This is from "Dom's About Kefir", quite the er... interesting fellow. To no discredit of his personal experience, nonetheless:
I discovered if an amount of either dry Korean Ginseng [Panax quinquefolius], or dry Chinese Angelica root or Dong Quai [Angelica siennas] is added to strained water kefir [SKG have been removed] and brewed for 48 hours in a secondary fermentation, the beverage incurs noticeable psychoactive activity. The altered state of mind occurs very shortly after drinking an amount of the brew, and it lasts for only a short time [short half life]. Other varieties of herbs possibly due to pharmacological activity when brewed in a water kefir preparation, may also produce a similar effect. This could be due to the production of certain compounds, or, it an indication of pharmacological activity increase of specific compounds, or better bio-availability of those compounds due to fermentation.
Where acetyl groups are bound to certain other organic molecules through fermentation, they impart an increased ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which could be the case here. I doubt very much that this is simply due to an increase in alcohol content through the added sugars of such herbs, for the feeling of euphoria is quite unique to that of an alcohol-induced euphoria. However, certain photo-compounds may be responsible for the production of interesting molecules through fermentation. This certainly makes an interesting area for further research. If an interested scientist reading this does research this area, could you please be so kind to forward your findings on to me? I am always willing to supply the culture in return for a paper on such a study, as I have done in the past.
Thoughts? I think this is pretty awesome. Obviously, the potential for other phytochemicals are huge. My first thought beyond the acetyl group thing was the solubility of certain compounds in alcohol. The fact that he emphasized secondary fermentation makes me wonder if the yeasts/acetobacteria are primarily responsible.
What do you guys know about phytochemical metabolites? I feel like it's under-studied, but I might as well probe you guys for information. Being allergic to chemistry, the site of dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid scares me :shock: