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There are soy saponins, beat saponins, and spinach saponins etc… The plants containing saponins were often used as fork medicines for coughs or detergent using its anti-fungal ability. One of the oldest Japanese books, Kojiki and Manyousyu tells that people had used sakaichi as a detergent. Large amount of saponins is contained in the tea seeds (more than 10 %). After the primary study of saponins in 1901 by Well, many scientists started to study more about saponins. Tea saponins is used as surface-active agent in photographic industry. Saponins has density control effect on vermin and evation effect on Fujitsubo, the ocean creature. The saponins contained in the tea leaves are very small. In 1938, crystals of saponins were reported by Machida. In 1971 Hashizume had proved the difference between tea saponins and tea seeds saponins. In 1995, new shape of saponins on the leaves and its anti-inflammatory effect were found and announced by Kitagawa.

(Muneyuki Nakagawa)