Since ancient times, rhatany extract has been used in Peru to clean teeth and gums. The ladies of Lima, Peru’s capital city, used it in the 19th century to whiten their teeth for festivals and celebrations.
Rhatany Extract Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Krameria triandra Ruiz-Pav.
- Other Names: Peruvian rhatany.
- French: Ratanhia du Pérou.
- Spanish: Ratania, krameria.
- Environment: Dry soils of the Andean mountains of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.
- Description: Shrub of the Leguminosae family, growing up to 50 cm high, whose young branches are covered with a layer of fine hair. It has red flowers and a windy ochre or reddish root of one to three cm in diameter.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The root, especially its bark.
The root contains catechic tannins, phlobaphene, krameric acid (an alkaloid), starch, mucilage, sugars, gum, and wax. Its most crucial active ingredient is tannin, which is not bitter like the oak tree. Its solid astringent and anti-inflammatory action makes this plant recommended for gastroenteritis and colitis, even in children.
Used externally, it renders good results in the following conditions:
- Oral pharyngeal afflictions. Stomatitis (mouth inflammation), pyorrhea, gingivitis, sore throat, and pharyngitis applied in gargles and rinses.
- Hemorrhoids and anal fissures in sitz baths.
- Leukorrhea (vaginal flow) and vaginitis in vaginal irrigations.
- Chilblains, in compresses soaked in a bark decoction.
How to use Rhatany
- Root powder: A heaped spoonful three times a day.
- Decoction of 20 grams of bark per liter of water. Drink three cups daily.
- Rhatany extract: Take from 10 to 20 drops three times a day.
- Decoction with 30 to 40 grams of bark per liter of water. This decoction is used for gargles, sitz baths, vaginal irrigations, and compresses.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 196. Print. [rhatany extract]