Triterpenoid Saponins From Plants Show Potential As Chemopreventive Agents

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Triterpenoid saponins are triterpenes which belong to a class of chemical compounds known as saponins.

Triterpenoid saponins are abundant in nature and found in a variety of foods, herbs and spices.  An example of some of these food, herbs and spices include:

  • ashwagandha
  • azuma ichirinsou
  • bearberry
  • brahmi
  • Chinese bellflower
  • ginseng
  • gotu kola
  • lei gong teng
  • licorice
  • mango
  • olive
  • onion
  • rosemary
  • salai guggal
  • shallaki
  • sickle-leaf
  • thyme
  • tulsi

Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that triterpenoids have great potential as anticancer agents and the ability to limit the development and severity of certain cancers.  1   Triterpenoids also shown great promise as an anti-inflammatory agent. 

The Table below lists the triterpenoids that have been studied for their potential as chemopreventive agents as well as in their ability to treat cancer.  2 There are other triterpenoids not listed that have been studied, yet this list contains those plants or supplements that are commercially available:

Triterpenoid's From Plants As Molecular Targets For Cancer Prevention

TriterpenoidBotanical NameCommon NameReference(s)
Asiatic acidCentella asiaticaIndian pennywort (Gotu Kola)1 2 3 4 5
Betulinic acidZiziphus mauritiana; Prunella vulgarisIndian jujube; selfheal6
Boswellic acidBoswellia serrataBoswellia7 8 9 10 11
DiosgeninTrigonella foenum graecumFenugreek12 13 14
Escin (Aescin)Aesculus hippocastanumHorse chestnut15 16
Ganoderic acidGanoderma lucidumReishi17 18 19 20
GinsenosidePanax ginsengGinseng21 22 23
GlycyrrhizinGlycyrrhiza glabraLicorice root24 25 26 
GypenosideGynostemma pentaphyllumJiaogulan27 28 29
LupeolMangifera indicaMango; dandelion coffee30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 
Madecassic acidCentella asiaticaIndian pennywort, gotu kola38
Oleanolic acidArctostaphyllos uva-ursi; Ganoderma lucidumBearberry; Reishi39 40 41 42
SaikosaponinsBupleurum falcatum L.Hare's ear root, sickle-leaf43 44 45 
Ursolic acidOcimum sanctum L.; Thymus vulgaris L.; Rosmarinus officinalis Holy basil, tulsi; Thyme; Rosemary46 47 48 49 50 51 52
WithanolideWithania somniferaIndian ginseng, ashwagandha53 54 55 56 57 58


Resources:

The Table below list the commercially available products that contain the specific triterpenoid:

Commercially Available Products That Contain Listed Triterpenoids

TriterpenoidBotanical NameCommon NameResources
Asiatic acidCentella asiaticaIndian pennywort (Gotu Kola)1
Betulinic acidZiziphus mauritiana; Prunella vulgarisIndian jujube; selfheal2 3
Boswellic acidBoswellia serrataBoswellia4
DiosgeninTrigonella foenum graecumFenugreek5
Escin (Aescin)Aesculus hippocastanumHorse chestnut6
Ganoderic acidGanoderma lucidumReishi7
GinsenosidePanax ginsengGinseng8
GlycyrrhizinGlycyrrhiza glabraLicorice root9 10
GypenosideGynostemma pentaphyllumJiaogulan11
LupeolMangifera indicaMango; dandelion coffee12 13 14
Madecassic acidCentella asiaticaIndian pennywort, gotu kola15
Oleanolic acidArctostaphyllos uva-ursi; Ganoderma lucidumBearberry; Reishi16
SaikosaponinsBupleurum falcatum L.Hare's ear root, sickle-leaf17 18 19
Ursolic acidOcimum sanctum L.; Thymus vulgaris L.; Rosmarinus officinalis Holy basil, tulsi; Thyme; Rosemary20 21 22
WithanolideWithania somniferaIndian ginseng, ashwagandha23


Statements regarding the above referenced products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referred to in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor. BioFoundations does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.