Antiviral and Antibacterial Properties of Sasanqua Saponin

Close up of camellia seed

What is Sasanqua Saponin?

Sasanqua saponin is a glycoside compound extracted from camellia seeds. The Camellia plant yields different types of tea based on the oxidation process (Black or Green). The saponin is extracted from using water extraction techniques. The common technique is the Vanillin - sulphuric acid method, “The colorimetric assay used for saponin quantification in plant extracts is subject to interference by common solvents used to extract the saponins from plant materials. Therefore, the degree of interference of ten common solvents was investigated. It was found that the presence of acetone, methanol and n-butanol in the reaction solution caused an intense darkening of the reaction solution in the absence of saponins, which likely could lead to erroneous saponin content values. Using aescin to construct standard curves with different solvents—such as water”.

What can Saponin do?

Saponins occur naturally as plants glycoside that have many useful pharmacological properties and is proven to be anti-tumorigenic, antiviral, antidiabetic, antiobesity, and gastroprotective. There have been studies to determine the usefulness of saponins against some of the viruses. “When ingested by humans, saponins also seem to help our immune system and to protect against viruses and bacteria. Studies with ovariectomized-induced rats have shown that some saponins, such as the steroidal saponins from Anemarrhena asphodeloides, a Chinese herb, have a protective role on bone loss.”

Hepatitis C Virus 

The importance of saponins became clear in the study to determine if saponins have any properties as an anti-hepatitis C activity. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause for chronic liver disease leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The study shows that “HCV replication was efficiently inhibited at a concentration of 10 mg/ ml of saponin in cell culture grown HCV (HCVcc)-infected cells. Inhibitory effect of saponin on HCV replication was verified by quantitative real-time PCR, reporter assay, and immunoblot analysis. In addition, saponin potentiated IFN-a-induced antiHCV activity. Moreover, saponin exerted antiviral activity even in IFN-a resistant mutant HCVcc-infected cell”. The study’s evidence suggests that Saponin may have the potential as a therapeutic agent for HCV patients.


1. Anh V. Le 1,2,* , Sophie E. Parks 1,3, Minh H. Nguyen 1,4 and Paul D. Roach 1, “Improving the Vanillin-Sulphuric Acid Method for Quantifying Total Saponins 


3. Saito I, Miyamura T, Ohbayashi A, Harada H, Katayama T, et al. (1990) Hepatitis C virus infection is associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 87: 6547–6549.

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