Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 180–188 | Cite as

Nutraceutical Properties of Herbal Infusions from Six Native Plants of Argentine Patagonia

  • Bruno GastaldiEmail author
  • G. Marino
  • Y. Assef
  • F. M. Silva Sofrás
  • C. A. N. Catalán
  • S. B. González
Original Paper


Six native plants of South America traditionally consumed in the Patagonian region (southern Argentina and Chile), namely: Adesmia boronioides Hook. f., Apium australe Thouars, Buddleja globosa Hope, Drimys andina (Reiche) R. Rodr. & Quezada, Dysphania multifida L. and Solidago chilensis Meyen were investigated to determine the nutraceutical properties of infusions of their aerial parts. The infusions were characterized in terms of their antioxidant activity, phenolic and flavonoid content, profile of phenolic compounds, general toxicity and cytotoxicity on two different human cell lines: T84 (derived from colon cancer) and HTR8/SVneo (not derived from cancer). Twenty-nine compounds, mainly phenolic acids and flavonoids, were identified. This is the first analysis of phenolic compounds in infusions from native plants of Patagonia. D. andina, B. globosa and S. chilensis showed high levels of antioxidants, even higher than those of Green Tea. The content of phenolic compounds correlated significantly with the antioxidant activity of the samples analyzed. The toxicity test indicated that the use of A. australe, B. globosa and D. multifida seems safe, but a moderate consumption is suggested for A. boronioides, D. andina and S. chilensis until more exhaustive and long-term results are available. Moreover, A. boronioides and S. chilensis showed anticancer potential due to their antiproliferative activity on human cancer cell lines.


Antioxidant activity Antiproliferative activity Infusions Native plants Argentine Patagonia Phenolic compounds 



American Type Culture Collection


β-carotene-linoleic acid method




Efficient concentration 50


Gallic acid equivalent


Cancer cell line from placental tissue


Lethal concentration 50


Liquid chromatography with diode array detection with tandem mass spectrometry


Methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide


Quercetin equivalent


Cancer cell line from colon


Total phenolic compound content


Total flavonoid content


Vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity



We would like to thank Direction of Flora and Fauna Silvestre, Chubut, Argentina, for allowing the sustainable collection of plant material in wild populations. We thank Dr. Nora B. Muruaga and staff of Miguel Lillo Institute for the identification of the botanical material and its deposit in the herbarium. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions, which have greatly improved the manuscript. This work has been supported in part by CONICET, Argentina.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Not applicable.

Human or Animal Studies

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Supplementary material

11130_2018_680_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (80 kb)
Online Resource 1 Map showing the Río Negro and Chubut provinces in Argentine Patagonia. The numbers indicate wild populations of A. boronioides (1), A. australe (2), B. globosa (3), D. andina (4), D. multifida (5) and S. chilensis (6). (JPG 79 kb)
11130_2018_680_MOESM2_ESM.doc (66 kb)
Online Resource 2 (DOC 66 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Ciencias de SaludUniversidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco (UNPSJB)EsquelArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas Alfredo LanariBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónica (CIEMEP)EsquelArgentina
  5. 5.Instituto de Química del Noroeste Argentino (INQUINOA-CONICET), Instituto de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Bioquímica, Química y FarmaciaUniversidad Nacional de TucumánTucumánArgentina

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