Application of an in vitro methodology for detecting active saponins in plant extracts. Technical note

Rafael Rodríguez, S. Gómez, F. Fondevila

Abstract


In order to evaluate the saponins presence in plant extracts in methanol (50%), obtained from the tropical shrub legumes Enterolobium cyclocarpum (enterolobium), Acacia cornigera (acacia), Albizia lebbekoides (Albizia) and Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena), a methodology based on two in vitro assays was applied: foam test and blood agar test. In both a completely
randomized experimental design was applied, with five extracts per treatment (legume) and three repetitions per extract. The average value of the three repetitions per extract of each legume was considered the experimental unit. The enterolobium extracts were positive to both tests, while the other three legumes were negative (P < 0.0001). With the use of this methodology, based on the combination of these two tests, the presence of active saponins in E. cyclocarpum extracts was confirmed. Moreover, it could state that in the extracts of acacia, albizia and leucaena there were not presence of these compounds or tannins able to hydrolyzing the membrane of red blood cells.

Key words: saponins, foam test, blood agar test, tropical legumes

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