Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Ratanhia peruviana

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Krameria triandra


Etymology – The Peruvian name comes from the Quecha word for “the plant that creeps on the floor”, but some consider it to be a corruption of the Spanish, ratear, to creep.


Traditional name

Common name. Mapato.
Rhatany Root. Pumacuchu (Wichman Natural Relationships)
Raiz para los dientes    

Other names: Ratanhia peruviana. Krameria triandra.
Names in other languages: Norwegian – Ratanjerod
German – Echte Ratanhia, Ratanhiawurzel
Common name. Mapato.
Rhatany Root. Pumacuchu (Wichman Natural Relationships)
Raiz para los dientes 

Used parts

The root of several species of Krameria, especially Krameria triandra.

(a) Mother Tincture Q Drug strength 1/10

Ratanhia in coarse powder 100 g

Purified Water 400ml

Strong Alcohol 637 ml

To make one thousand millilitres of the Mother Tincture .

(b) potencies; 2x to contain one part Mother Tincture, four parts Purified Water and five part Strong Alcohol, 3x and higher with Dispensing Alcohol. (Pharmacopea)


Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Polygalales; Krameriaceae (Wichman Natural Relationships)


Original proving

History and authority: Proved and introduced 1831 by Hartlaub and Trinks, R.AML. III, 53: Allen: Encyclop Mat. Med., Vol. VII, 290; Hering: Guiding Symptoms, Vol. IX, 24.

Description of the substance

Botanical description.

A low shrub, 60 to 80 cm high, with spreading branches, greyish - brown bark and long horizontal, cylindrical or somewhat tapering branched root, not more than 1 cm in thickness. Leaves few, simple, entire, alternate, sessile, round or obovate bearing silver - grey hairs. Flowers scarlet or red, large, solitary, on axillary peduncles. Calyx four, cruciform, scarlet - red. Corolla four and red. Stamens 4, monoadelphous; ovary unilocular. Fruit indehiscent, 1 to 2 seeded.

Macroscopical: Roots, of variable length, not more than 1 cm in thickness, cylindrical or some. What tapering, flexuous or wavy, externally dusky red to moderate brown, with smooth or slightly longitudinally wrinkled and devoid of transverse fissures. Odourless, taste bitter, astringent and sweet. Bark, fracture slightly fibrous, woody, tough and splintery; internally pinkish - brown, less than 1/3 the radius of the root. Wood, light orange to light yellowish - orange.

Microscopical: Root with phellem phellogen and phelloderm, the phelloderm containing numerous lignified sub - rectangular sclereids. Cortex, large, parenchymatous containing tannin. Endodermis, 1 - layered with crushed cells; Pericycle with numerous lignified subrectangular sclereids; phloem, stratified by the alternating bands of phloem fibres and sieve - tissue. Stele with 4 - to 5 - arched primary xylem, surrounded by a secondary xylem with numerousxylem rays and a few annual rings; tracheae, both large and small,. larger ones 40 - 220u in diameter, isolated or in groups of 2 or 3, smaller ones 20 - 40 u in diameter, in groups, of 2 - 6 with bordered pits; xylem fibres being embedded in a starch - bearing parenchyma which is mainly cellulosic but lignified near the tracheae. Parenchyma adjacent to the fibres, composed of longitudinal rows of small cells, each containing a prism crystal of calcium oxalate, 10 to 20 u diameter. Middle lamella of figres of both the xylem and phloem are lignified. Xylem rays, 1 to 6 striate, 3 to 7 cells wide, containing resincus contents. (Pharmacopea)

The root, as found in commerce, consists of long, cylindrical pieces, varying in thickness from 1/4 to 1/2 inch or more (long Rhatany), or a short, thick portion, knotted, and as large as a man's fist (short, or stumpy Rhatany). The difference is caused by the diggers, the former being removed by them with care, and the latter torn up with force. The bark of the root is thin, readily separable, rough and scaly; of a dark, reddish-brown colour outside, and bright brownish-red within. It breaks with a somewhat fibrous fracture, is tough and difficult to powder, and has a strong, purely astringent taste, tingeing the saliva red when chewed. The central woody portion is very hard and almost tasteless. Neither bark nor wood has any marked odour. As the virtues of Rhatany reside in the bark, the smaller pieces are preferable.

A strong tincture of these roots in brandy is used in Portugal to impart roughness to port wines.

The genus Krameria was named after Kramer, a Hungarian physician and botanist. The name Rhatany is said to describe the creeping character of the plant, in the language used by the Peruvian Indians, while its Spanish name is derived from its dental properties.

The dried roots of two species besides the Peruvian are official: Krameria IxenÈ, or Savanilla Rhatany, and Krameria Argentea, known in commerce as Para or Brazilian Rhatany.

Krameria was dropped from the United States Pharmacopceia but retained in the British Pharmacopceia and National Formulary. (


A low shrub with large red flowers, growing on dry, sandy places on mountain-slopes, 3,000 to 8,000 feet above sea-level in several provinces of Peru, especially near the city of Huanuco. (