Gypsum love, Levantine soap root (biochemistry)

Name: Gypsum love, Levantine soap root (biochemistry)

Gypsophila , Levantine soap root – Gypsophila paniculata L. 


Area – Central and South-Eastern Europe, the USSR (European part, Western Siberia, Central Asia), Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Western China.

Perennial herbaceous plant with a powerful taproot (Radix Saponariae albae) containing up to 20% saponins – gypsosides, the genin of which is gypsogenin; sakhaoa – in 2 branched chains:

The application is the same as soapwood. Purified saponin is also used as a biological standard.

The plant contains triterpene saponins



Aglycones (sapogenins) in this group of saponins are triterpenes – pentacyclic (mostly) terpenoids with the total formula C 30 H 48 .

There are three main types of triterpene sapogenins: B-amirin, a-amirin, and lupeol.


A large number of sapogenins are derivatives of oleanolic acid. With functional groups, in addition to hydroxyl at C 3 and carboxyl at C 28 , there can also be hydroxyl, aldehyde, carbonyl, ether and lactone groups.

In the carbohydrate chain, there can be from 1 to 10 various monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, xylose, glucuronic and galacturonic acids, arabinoea, etc.). The saponins of some plants of the Araliaceae family may have two independent carbohydrate chains at C 3 and C 28 .


Saponins are natural substances that are glycosides, in which steroids or triterpenes can be aglycones (sapogenins). They are united by similar physical and chemical properties, among which the most characteristic is the ability of their aqueous solutions, when shaken, to foam strongly like soap, forming a stable, long-lasting foam.

In addition to surface activity, most saponins combine hemolytic activity and toxicity to cold-blooded animals.

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