What is Sasanqua Saponin?
Sasanqua Saponin is a glycoside compound extracted from camellia seeds. It consists of an aglycone unit linked to one or more carbohydrate chains. The aglycone or sapogenin unit consists of either a sterol or the more common triterpene unit. In both the steroid and triterpenoid saponin, the carbohydrate side-chain is usually attached to the 3 carbon of the sapogenin. Sasanqua Saponin is an excellent natural non-ionic active surfactant, with a pH value of 5.0 to 6.5. Saponin can create the emulsion form between the liquid and oils found in organic soaps.
Where can Saponin be found?
Saponins can be found in most Legumes (various beans and peas), Quinoa, Roots of certain trees, and in Camellia seeds.These each have a different amount of saponin. Camellia seeds contains about 15% to 20% saponin
Image: Chemical composition of Sasanqua Saponin
Is Sasanqua Saponin harmful?
It's non-toxic and self-degradable, making them safe for the environment as well as for humans and non-hemolytic animals.
A Natural Cleaning Agent
Sasanqua saponin serves as a wonderful surfactant, making it a cleaning agent useful from homes to industrial settings. The antibacterial properties of saponin help reduce organic pollutants by microorganisms and the emulsifying properties assist in loosening and removing dirt, oil, and grime when used as a detergent. The residue of the saponin is completely biodegradable.
Pest Control & Plant Growth
Sasanqua saponin is an effective method of eliminating hemolytic pests. This includes earthworms, snails, nematodes, unwanted fish, and harmful insects. It can also be used as a fungicide to get rid of diseases and viruses, and can be used to prevent pests and diseases for reoccurring. It’s been proven to reduce earthworm casting by over 95% on turf without hurting beneficial wildlife, and is an effective, organic fertilizer that promotes the growth of plant roots.
Left: Tea Seed Meal in Pellets || Right: Earthworms expelled from turf
Tea seed meal is made directly from camellia seeds, and contains a large amount of sasanqua saponin. This is why it has been used in rice fields to kill snails--namely the Golden Apple Snail. It’s also used, as mentioned earlier, in golf courses to kill earthworms and nematodes without hurting helpful insects that help decompose grass clippings. Saponin is also used often in aquaculture to exterminate unwanted fish and harmful insects in ponds. It detoxifies quickly in water and poses no harm to animals and people. It prevents black-gill shrimp diseases and has the ability to control parasites.
Sasanqua Saponin poses many health benefits as well. It has the ability to reduce cholesterol levels and stimulate the immune system for both animals and people. The antibacterial properties of the tea seed meal is a safe additive for animals and prevents livestock from getting sick.
- Figure Structure of a typical saponin (from soya beans). Reproduced from Saponins, Encyclopaedia of Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition, Macrae R, Robinson RK and Sadler MJ (eds), 1993, Academic Press.
- Potter, D.A., Redmond, C.T., and Williams, D.W. 2011. The worm turns: Earthworm cast reduction on golf courses. Golf Course Management. Sept. pp. 86-96.
Jiang, Xiaogang, et al. “What Is the Aquatic Toxicity of Saponin-Rich Plant Extracts Used as Biopesticides?” Environmental Pollution, vol. 236, 2018, pp. 416–424., doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2018.01.058.