This is the first comprehensive monograph to look in depth at saponins. Saponins are glycosides of triterpenes, steroids or steroid alkaloids which have a very wide distribution in plants and some marine organisms. Their biological activity includes haemolysis and fish poisoning, and the steroid saponins are essential for the manufacture of oral contraceptives and sex hormones. Saponins have also been exploited commercially as soap substitutes and in several other industrial applications. This book gives detailed information on the occurrence and distribution of saponins, their structural types, isolation, analysis and structure determination. Biological and pharmacological activities are discussed, as are aspects of commercial and industrial use. The volume provides a valuable source of data for the different classes of compound and includes and extensive list of references.
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