What makes cow cockle a potentially valuable medicinal plant?

It has three different classes of chemicals aside from the starches and proteins that the seed normally contains. One group is called saponins, compounds which in the past have been used as soaps. They are very foamy, and some have been shown to have a wide variety of potential health applications. Some have been shown to reduce cholesterol in diet, some have been shown to be anti-fungal, some stimulate the immune system, some are anti-microbial, though that's not a major application. Some very specific saponins have been shown to be antiviral, while some have shown cytotoxic, potential anti-cancer, properties.
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