Introduction of Rhatany:Krameria root,Peruvian rhatany or Red Rhatany.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Rhatany, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Krameria triandra Ruiz., ②.Krameria argentea Mart., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Rhatany, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhatany(Krameria root).

 English Name: Rhatany.
 Latin Name: Krameria triandra Ruiz&Pav.Also referred to as Krameria argentea Mart.
 Common Names: Krameria root, Peruvian rhatany, Rhatany root, Mapato, Red Rhatany, Rhatania.
 Property and flavor: the bark and root has no marked odor, the bark has a strong astringent taste, the wood is almost tasteless.

 Brief introduction: Rhatany is the root of Krameria triandra, an undershrub native to the Andean region of South America that bears large red flowers, and the related species Krameria ayentea. The root is dried for medicinal use.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Rhatany as the dried root of the species (1).Krameria triandra Ruiz., or (2).Krameria argentea Mart. They are plant species of the Krameria genus, the Krameriaceae family. The dried root is used medicinally. These two commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Krameria triandra Ruiz.

 Botanical description: Krameria triandra Ruiz is an evergreen subshrub of the Krameria genus in the Krameriaceae family, the plant grows up to 30~90 cm high, the root is up to 50 cm long, and is covered in a brown-red, smooth and dark scaly bark. The bark of the root is thin, readily separable, rough and scaly, the bark is dark reddish-brown color outside, and bright brownish-red within. Its young branches are deep green, silky to bristly haired, the older branches are black and often gnarled, turning woody and knotty. The leaves are entire-edged, ovate or oblong-ovate, silver-gray pubescent, yellowish-white, downy, pointed, 6~15 mm in length, and 2~6 mm in width.

 The flowers are spare terminal racemes, 7~12 mm long, grow from the leaf axils, have four petals that are red on the inside, and have grey hairs on the outside. The calyx is a petaloid. The sepals are splayed, lanceolate, dark red, and silky-haired on the outside. The petals are irregular, with 2 wedge-shaped glands, 3~5 mm wide, crimson, and spatulate. The flower has 3 stamens. The ovary is ovate, covered in bristly hairs with a thick glabrous style. The flowers do not produce nectar to attract insects. The fruit is solitary, angular and bristled. It is ovate and has numerous red-black bristly thorns.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in rocky and dry areas over mountain slopes, inter-Andean valleys, and coastal hills. Rhatany is mostly found in Peru, but there are a few areas in countries bordering Peru and in the central Andes where it is also found.

(2).Krameria argentea Mart.

 Botanical description: Krameria argentea Mart. ex Spreng. is an evergreen subshrub of the Krameria genus in the Krameriaceae family, the plant grows up to 20~60 cm high, the plant branched primarily at the base and distally along the stems, the stems are dull green, densely tomentose or sericeous to glabrous, striate when dry. Leaves are simple, ovate, 31~35 mm long, 10~13 mm wide, the petiole is 4~7 mm long, narrowly cuneate at the base of the blades, entire-edged, densely golden lanose to sparsely strigose throughout with three veins conspicuous beneath.

 Flowers grow in variously branches, distally congested, terminal inflorescences, flowering stalks are tomentose, 2~5 mm long, separated into peduncle and pedicel by a pair of linear to lanceolate, mucronate bractlets are 4~5 mm long and 1 mm wide at about the midpoint, peduncle and bractlets are persistent if a flower aborts, buds are symmetrically ovate in outline; sepals four, strongly connivent, ovate, entire, often scarious marginally, tomentose in the central portion of the dorsal faces, deep red to crimson; lateral sepals slightly narrower than the lowermost sepals; glandular petals are cuneate, 4 mm long, 2.5~3.0 mm wide, deep rose-red to purple, covered on the dorsal faces with long, parallel, vertically-oriented blisters; stamens four, ovary is ovoid, echinate, orange, yellow, green or white, red style.

 Fruits are globose, 4~6 mm in diameter, individual spines are deep orange-brown, 1.0~2.3 mm long. Its flowering and fruiting period is from January to March and May, July to November.

 Ecological environment: Krameria argentea Mart is native to the Brazilian planalto in the Distrito Federal and the states Goiás and far western Bahia, in cerrado vegetation on red lateritic soils at elevations from 900 to 1,500 meters.

 Characters of herbs: Rhatany root is the dried root of Krameria triandra Ruiz et Pavon as well as its preparations collected in the wild, washed, and air-dried in the shade. The roots are prepared into cylindrical pieces of different lengths and thicknesses for sale.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.a source of tannins and astringent; ②.antimicrobial properties; ③.reduce inflammation, etc.

 Rhatany root contains tannins of 10% or more than 20%, tannins are astringent substances that tighten tissue and inhibit blood and other fluid secretion.

 Rhatany root has antimicrobial properties, studies identified it attributed to tannins (procyanidins) and benzofuran compounds of the ratanhiaphernol type, explaining its traditional use for hemorrhoids and bleeding wounds.

 Rhatany root tannins reduce inflammation in the intestines, explaining its traditional use for controlling diarrhea.

 Medicinal efficacy: The Rhatany root is traditionally used in South America for its astringent properties, its various preparations are used for inflamed or bleeding gums, oral inflammations such as canker sores, gingivitis, sore throat, tongue fissures, internally diarrhea and dysentery, other gastrointestinal tract problems.

 In Europe, the herb rhatany root is approved for inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, in folk medicine, it is used internally as an antidiarrheal herb for enteritis, inflammation of the female genital region, and urinary tract. Externally, it is used to strengthen gums and clean teeth.

 Administration of Rhatany (Krameria root): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhatany (Krameria root)
Herbal classic books: Dosage: A decoction is prepared from 1 teaspoon of chopped root per glass of water, the decoction is taken two or three times a day. 1 to 2 teaspoons of tincture is added to a glass of water. The root extract is taken in doses of 0.3 to 1 gram. Tea is freshly prepared as a rinse or gargle 2 to 3 times a day. Rhatany should be protected from light for storage.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The FDA approves rhatany as a food ingredient in the form of a flavoring, it is on the list of items "Generally Recognized As Safe"(GRAS), evidence indicates that topical formulations pose no risk of harm, but the topical forms of the herb have an allergic reaction in the mucous membranes, such as swelling in the mouth, or skin irritation in sensitive individuals. The herb may cause allergic reactions in the lining of the mouth and throat, its side effects are digestive complaints, Tannin-rich herbs should be avoided for long-term use, as its health hazards are poorly understood, such as stomach irritation and cancer. The herb should be avoided during pregnancy.

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