Shrub up to 50 cm high, of the Legume family, whose young branches are covered with soft hair.

Its flowers are red, and its root, tortuous and 1 to 3 cm in diameter, is brown or reddish in color.
Parts used: the root, ratania root, shrub especially its bark. typical of the Andean areas of the South American continent

Hispanic synonymy:

krameria, ratania of Peru; Cat .: ratània; Gal .: ratañia; Fr .: ratanhia du Pérou; Ing .: rhatany.


Dry and uncovered lands of the Andean mountains of Peru, Bolivia and Chile

The ratania root has been used in Peru since time immemorial, for cleaning teeth and gums. The ladies of Lima, its capital, used it in the 19th century to whiten their teeth for parties and celebrations.


The root contains cathekic tannins, flobafen, krameric acid (an alkaloid), starch, mucilage, sugars, gum, and wax. Its most important active principle is tannins, which have the particularity of not bitter, as occurs for example with oak. Its strong astringent and anti-inflammatory action makes it highly recommended in case of gastroenteritis and colitis, even in children.

Externally, it works well in the following cases:

• oropharyngeal conditions:

Stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth), pyorrhea and gingivitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, applied in gargles and rinses.

• Hemorrhoids and anal fissure

. In a sitz bath.

• Leukorrhea (vaginal discharge) and vaginitis

. In vaginal irrigations.

• Sabañones

. In compresses soaked in a decoction of bark.

Preparación y empleo


Root powder: one teaspoon of coffee beans 3 times a day. O Decoction of 20 g of bark per liter of water. 3 cups are ingested daily.

Fluid extract: 10 to 20 drops are administered 3 times a day.


Decoction with 30-40 g of bark per liter of water, with which gargles, sitz baths, vaginal irrigations and compresses are made.
Excerpted: Encyclopedia of Medicinal plants by Dr Pamplona Roger.