Foods containing saponins have very astringent properties, often with a bitter, pronounced taste. That is why people have refined these plants in the past, so that these saponins were no longer present in the plant and the taste became more accessible.
Take, for example, jiaogulan or Gynostemma pentaphyllum.
This plant is a herbaceous climbing plant of the family Cucurbitaceae or cucumber.
A very bitter astringent plant.
The cucumber we know today does not have these astringent or bitter taste characteristics.
In any case, we would consume much less cucumber if this plant still contained as much saponins as before. People have selected plants with these bitter properties and have removed most of the saponins, making these plants more accessible for consumption. But the important secondary metabolites with medicinal properties have therefore been filtered out, making our diet poorer.
Many vegetables contain small amounts of saponins. They are part of our diet. However, saponin concentrations have almost disappeared over the years. Plants that originally contain a lot of saponins are e.g. beans, peanuts, soy, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and quinoa.
Saponins have played a role in our diet, but our gut is no longer used to them. It gets irritated by these active substances. That is why Fermedics applies a fermentation process to the jiaogulan so that the smaller saponins are better absorbed & much more powerful. As a result, the intestinal mucosal cells are not irritated. In this way we can also apply a much lower daily dose.
Degraded saponins have a broad positive influence on body cells. They are tonic for our cells since they guide many intracellular processes in the right direction, such as a stimulation of the enzymes AMPK and Nrf2.
Therefore, these smaller polyphenols or saponins have a very beneficial effect on healthy aging!
A lot of research has been done into the effect of different saponins. Ginseng is the plant for which most studies have been carried out.
Jiaogulan has a wider variety of saponins than ginseng and contains gypenosides completely like certain ginsenosides. You could therefore call jiaogulan the most powerful type of ginseng.
The impact on the body is such that people who drink tea from the jiaogulan call it the ‘immortality plant’.