Saponins are a type of complex glycosides. They are found in plants, essential oils, fats, alkaloids and resin.
The name comes from the Latin „sapo“ – soap and their aqueous solutions, when shaken, a foam is created, which disappears after some time. It dissolves well in water. Under the action of diluted acid, it decomposes into the sugar part and sapogenin. Saponins are poisonous to animals that do not have a stable blood temperature, fish, snakes.
Saponins are divided into:
*steroid saponins chemical structure is similar to that of sex hormones, sterols, cardiac glycosides. They are found in plants from the legume and potato family.
*triterpene saponins – the sapogens of these glycosides are triterpenes. They are found in ginseng, bitter gourd, ivy, and horse chestnut. These saponins are used for the production of expectorants.
Saponins contain various pharmacological and medical uses. They are used to treat expectoration, anti-inflammatory and anti-fatigue. They have antifungal and antibacterial effects. They protect plants from natural pathogens. They also have immunomodulatory and anti-cancer effects.


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