Fabiana imbricata Ruiz et Pay. (Solanaceae), a review of an important Patagonian medicinal plant. Review
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Fabiana imbricata (Solanaceae) is a Patagonian medicinal plant with a long tradition of use. The aim of this review is to provide an integrative overview of the traditional uses, chemistry, bioactivity and chemical profiling of the crude drug. Materials and methods: The information was collected from scientific databases searching with the keywords Fabiana imbricata, Fabiana species, Fabiana (Solanaceae) and includes local literature and books. Results: The indications of use reported in literature show little variation from the data published as early as 1889. The chemical studies showed a rich diversity in metabolites including phenolics, coumarins, flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, terpenes, alkaloids and sugars. Bioactivity studies supported the traditional use as diuretic and also the potential of the crude drug as a gastroprotective agent. The plant can be used as a source of compounds with effect on gastric ulcers and shows enzyme inhibitory activity. While the germination rate of the plant is very low, protocols were developed for the rapid in vitro propagation of the species. The toxicity of the crude drug extracts was low and did not show clastogenic effect in human lymphocytes. Further research is needed to disclose the potential of the F. imbricata sesquiterpenes on other relevant biological targets.