Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MECHANISM OF ACTION

Saponins are present in the plant world and most plants contain them in the form of triterpene and steroid glycosides. The term “saponin” comes from a Celtic word. It means soap and it is found in all the European languages. Saponins have some of the characteristic properties of soap, particularly detergent and surfactant properties, the ability to reduce surface tension and create a fairly stable film and, therefore, the property to form a foam. Due to these properties, the saponins adhere to surfaces, such as those of the mucous membranes.


The extract from the fresh tubers of Cyclamen europaeum in Nasodren® contains saponins. The main saponin component is cyclamin with a triterpenoid structure, which is accompanied by deglucocyclamine, hydrated cyclamine and other structurally related saponins.
However, this does not mean that the saponins themselves have an anti-inflammatory effect. There is no evidence in the scientific literature that proves any ability of the saponins to act directly on the inflammatory process, for example by inhibiting the formation of inflammation mediators, leukocyte migration, etc.
The aqueous extract obtained from the Cyclamen europaeum root-tuber is rich in saponins. These substances are known for their surfactant activity, which means they are adsorbed through the nasal mucosa without being absorbed into the bloodstream.
The surfactant action of the cyclamen saponins on the nasal mucosa reduces surface tension, facilitating humidification of the zone in addition to the secretion of mucin by goblet cells. This fluidifies the mucous accumulated in the nasal cavity, facilitating its elimination and thereby relieving congestion.
In addition, the saponins stimulate the sensitive receptors present in the nasal mucosa, inducing a nociceptive response transmitted by the trigeminal nerve. The nasal mucosa is entirely innervated by the trigeminal nerve, and therefore the cholinergic response generated in the nasal cavity is observed throughout the nasal mucosa, favouring opening of the ostium, increasing glandular secretions and increasing ciliar movement in the entire area. The accumulated secretions in the sinuses are consequently drained through the nose, providing rapid symptomatic relief of nasal congestion.

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