Saponin Glycosides

Group of organic compounds that form persistent froth when shaken with water.
Saponins cause haemolysis of red blood cells. The word Soap means Soap like.

Properties:
       

Soluble in water, alcohol and mixture of them. Form persistent froth with water. Used as detergent and emulsifying agents. Aglycones are called Sapogenin. Cause haemolysis of RBC’s if reach the blood. Form complex with cholesterol. Only small part absorbed when taken orally. Enhace the absorption of other drugs.

Classification:

According to the nature of the aglycone saponins are classified into Steroidal and Triterpenoidal saponins.

Sug-O

Sug-O

Steroidal Saponins

Triterpenoidal Saponins

Steroidal Saponins
They are C-27 with 5 methyl groups.  Less distributed in nature comparing to Triterpenoidal saponins.  Used mainly as precursors for the partial synthesis of sex hormones and corticosteroids.  Drugs containing Steroidal saponins such as:

 

Discoria species Sarsaparilla Roots

Diosgenin Sarsapogenin

Ginseng Saponins
(Ginsenosides)

Source: Roots of Panax ginseng

Nature: They are C-30 compounds but they have typical Steroidal skeleton.  Classification: a- Protopanaxdiols b- Protopanaxtriols

Protopanaxdiols
OH
Sug-O

Protopanaxatrion
OH
Sug-O

Sug-O

Sug-O O-Sug

Uses:
It has an adaptogenic (antistress, anti-fatigue) effect.  It improves both physical and mental performance including learning, memory and physical capabilities.  It improves the immune function and metabolism.  Improve liver functions.
 

Stabilize blood glucose and blood pressure.

(Pentacyclic triterpenoid saponins)

Triterpenoidal Saponins

They are C-30 compounds.  Much more distributed in nature.  Have pentacyclic skeleton with 8 methyl groups.

1- Horse Chestnut
Contain mixture of triterpenoidal saponins called “Aescin”  It is used as:

 Anti-inflammatory.  Peripheral

vascular disorders such as Varicose veins and Hemorrhoids.

Source: Glycyrrhiza glabra.  Constituents: Sweet triterpenoidal saponins

2- Liquorice

“Glycyrrhizin”.

COO

-

O

Glc

Glc

O

Glycyrrhetic acid Glycyrrhizinic acid Glycyrrhizin

Uses:
    

Flavoring agent in Pharmaceutical preparation. Demulcent and expectorant. Treatment of peptic ulcer. Treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis and Inflammatory conditions as it has cortisone like action. Sweetener Treatment of liver diseases and liver protection

3- Senega
Source: Senega roots.  Constituents: Triterpenoidal saponins “Senegin II”.

COOH HO CH2OH RO COOH

Uses:

Stimulant expectorant in chronic bronchitis.

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