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In a search of indigent Peruvian mythology, there was no reference to the plant having any ritual use.
The plant was introduced to European herbal medicine in 1796 by Don Hipolito Ruiz Lopez, who presented it to the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine in a classic text on the medicinal plants of Peru, “ Disertaciones sobre la Raiz de la Ratanhia de la Calagualay de la china y acerca de la Yerba llamada Canachalagua”.
It was very popular during the Victorian era as a dentifrice ingredient, with a detailed recipe for its use by young Victorian ladies of “Quality” in Baroness Staffe’s “ The Lady’s dressing Room”, 1893.
The plant is now considered to be a plant at risk.