The root of Krameria triandra, Ruiz et Pavon, and of Krameria Ixina, Linné (Nat. Ord. Krameriaceae). Small suffruticose plants of South America and the West Indies. Dose, 10 to 30 grains.
Common Names: Rhatany, Ratanhia.
Principal Constituent.—Ratanhia-tannic acid (krameria-tannic acid), an amorphous red powder present to the extent of 8 to 18 per cent.
Preparations.—1. Specific Medicine Krameria. Dose, 10 to 60 drops.
2. Extractum Krameriae, Extract of Krameria (Extract of Rhatany). Dose, 10 to 20 grains.
Action and Therapy.—External. Astringent and hemostatic. A splendid agent alone or with myrrh, for spongy and bleeding gums and to preserve the teeth. In ointment it is a good application for bleeding piles, and in ulcer of the rectum and fissure of the anus.
Internal. Tannin-bearing drugs often act better as astringents than tannin itself. Rhatany is one of these agents. It is powerfully astringent and somewhat tonic. Immoderate doses may induce constipation with slight dyspeptic symptoms. Internally it has been used in passive hemorrhage, mucous and serous diarrheas, incontinence of urine, leucorrhea, prostatorrhea and colliquative sweating. It has been advised in the diarrhea of opium habitues and in dyspepsia and gastric catarrh with full, relaxed skin.