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Humic substances are organic compounds that are important components of humus the major organic fraction of soil peat and coal and also a constituent of many upland streams dystrophic lakes and ocean waterfor a long era in the 19th and 20th centuries humic substances were often viewed through a lens of acidbase theory that described humic acids as organic acids and their properties of humic substances humic acids the fraction of humic substances that is not soluble in water under acidic conditions ph 2 but is soluble at higher ph valuesthey can be extracted from soil by various reagents and which is insoluble in dilute acid humic acids are the major extractable component of soil humic substanceshumic substances humic substances are the components of humus and as such are high molecular weight compounds that together form the brown to black hydrophilic molecularly flexible polyelectrolytes called humus many of the components of humus are heterogenous relatively large stable organic complexeshumic substances in the past called gelbstoff or yellow compounds are the end points of marine freshwater and soil organic degradation as polymer compounds they are highly varying combinations of organic molecules carbohydrates amino acids and fatty acids and are also highly resistant to further microbial degradationa 1982 study found that injections with humic substances were highly effective as high as 90 at stopping the growth of thyroid tumors 7 better sleep the majority of patients who used humic and fulvic acids for other purposes reported better sleep as well 8 humic acid protects cells defense mechanisms against viruses

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