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Brief about Saponin


Saponins are a class of chemical compounds (amphipathic glycosides) which Saponinsare found in various plants. It derives its name from the soapwort plant (genus Saponaria, family Caryophyllaceae). They form soap like foaming when shaken with water. Although mainly plant derived but also found in marine organisms like sea cucumber. Other plant sources include family Sapindaceae genus Sapindus (soapnut or soapberry), Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Gynostemma, Cucurbitaceae), family Aceraceae (maples), Hippocastanaceae (horse chestnuts), ginseng (Araliaceae, Panax)  

Ethnobotany- easily dissolves in water and is poisonous to fish. Hence known in history for their use by indigenous people for poison fishing. Still used by tribes in Guyana, Gond tribes in India and Native American tribes.


  • Vaccine adjuvant- Quil A component QS-21, obtained from the bark of Quillaja saponaria Molina, used for production of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes against exogenous antigens and stimulation of Th1 immune response. It is used in subunit vaccines,  vaccines against intracellular pathogens , cancer vaccines
  • Nutritional uses- they are used as commercially as food ingredients and dietary supplements. Saponins are naturally present in licorice
  • Use in animal feeding- used in for animal feeding for their effects on ammonia emissions. They act by inhibition of the urease enzyme which breaks up excreted urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide. Less levels of ammonia in farms causes less damages to the respiratory tract of animals as a result of which they are more immune to diseases.
  • In plants, saponins act as anti-feedants and protects against microbes and fungi.

 Bioactivity alert - it can lead to hemolysis on intravenous injection

List of saponins

  • Glycyrrhizin- triterpenoid saponin found in liquorice (root extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Fenugreek Seeds
  • Soyasapogenol A-  triterpenoid saponin found in soybean
  • Soyasapogenol B - triterpenoid saponin found in soybean
  • Steroidal Dioscin -  triterpene saponin found in wild yams
  • Solanine- triterpenoid saponin found in nightshade family

Sourse @ http://www.globalinforeports.com/report/global-saponin-market-by-manufacturers-countries-type-and-application-forecast-to-2022