Fabiana. Fabiana imbricata Ruiz and Pavon. Pichi. (Fam. Solanaceae.)—This is a small shrub growing in Bolivia, Peru, Chili and the Argentine Republic. The plant somewhat resembles a Juniper. The branches are brownish-gray and about 5 mm. in diameter; the wood is yellowish and tough; leaves scale-like, about 1 mm. in length, closely imbricated and bluish-green; the flowers are about 12 mm. in length and possess a white or purplish corolla; the fruit is a capsule containing a few sub-globular seeds. The odor of the drug is aromatic and the taste bitter and terebinthinate. For microscopic structure, see Ph. Ztschr. f. Russland, 1891, No. 44; Apoth. Zeit., 1892, p. 22.
A. B. Lyons obtained from it a fluorescent body resembling aesculin, a neutral crystalline principle, some volatile oil, resin, and apparently traces of an alkaloid. (A. J. P., 1886, 65.) Henry Trimble and J. M. Schroeter (A. J. P., 1889, 407) considered the crystalline principle to be a resin, and gave it the formula (C18H31O2)x. H. Kunz-Krause (A. J. P., 1900, p. 80) made a full study of pichi and found a tannin which he named fabiana-tannoid, a fluorescent substance proven to be chrysatropic acid (ß-methyl aesculetin), C9H5(CH3)O4, while no alkaloids are present, the sole basic principle being choline. The volatile oil he names fabianol and gives it the formula C54H90O2. The resin he calls fabiana-resin and gives to it the formula (C18H30O2)3. The resin appears in microscopical crystals, melting at 280° C. The tannin proved to be like caffetannic acid, which Kunz-Krause had previously shown to be glycosyl-dioxycinnamic acid. It contains volatile oil, a characteristic soft resin and tannin.
Pichi appears to be a terebinthinate diuretic, to which also are attributed tonic and cholagogue properties. It has been used to a considerable extent in the treatment of acute and chronic vesical catarrh, giving especially favorable results in cases in which the urinary irritation is kept up by gravel. It is said even to calm the irritability and aid in the expulsion of renal, urethral, or cystic calculi. It has been further recommended in the treatment of jaundice and dyspepsia, with lack of biliary secretion. It is somewhat irritating, and is usually said to be contra-indicated by the existence of .organic disease of the kidneys; but cases have been reported in which renal hemorrhage connected with Bright's disease has been greatly benefited by the remedy. It has also been employed in gonorrhea and in gonorrheal prostatitis. The solid extract may be used in the dose of from two to ten grains (0.13-0.65 Gm.); the fluidextract, in the dose of from ten to forty minims (0.6-2.5 mils). It is probable that the resinoid precipitate, made from a strong tincture by means of water, would be the best preparation of the drug. The fluidextract does not mix with water unless the solution be made alkaline. It may be administered in capsules.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.