chapter  7
Pages 22

The saponin group of glycosides contain triterpenoid and spirosteroid as their aglycones. It can be further divided into triterpenoid saponin and steroidal saponin. A saponin may contain one, two, or three saccharide chains, and also possibly an acyl group attached to the saccharide moiety. Saponins are mainly distributed in terrestrial higher plants. For example, steroidal saponins are found primarily in the Dioscoreaceae, Liliaceae, and Scrophulariaceae families and triterpenoid saponins in Araliaceae, Leguminosae, Polygalaceae, and Cucurbitaceae plants. In addition, several marine organisms, like starfish and sea cucumbers, were also found to contain saponins.