Triterpenoid Saponins from Washnut (Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.)-A Source of Natural Surfactants and Other Active Components

Plants (Basel). 2022 Sep 9;11(18):2355. doi: 10.3390/plants11182355.


Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn., also called the washnut, is a tropical tree of the Sapindaceae family. The plant owes its name to its cleaning and washing properties used by the local population as a natural detergent. The most important ingredients of the plant are triterpenoid saponins contained in many parts of the plant, inducing fruits, galls, or roots. The tree also contains other valuable, biologically active compounds that are obtained by extraction methods. Raw or purified extract and isolated saponins are valuable plant products that can be used in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and chemical industries. This review includes the most important biological and surfactant properties of extracts and isolated saponins obtained from various parts of the plant.

Keywords: Sapindus mukorossi; bioactive compounds; natural surfactants; triterpenoid saponins; washnut.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.