The shrub Krameria triandra is native to the bare and sandy slopes of the Bolivian and Peruvian Cordilleras, growing at from 3,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level. It is often found in great abundance, standing in solid beds scarcely a foot high, and peculiarly attractive by reason of its silver-gray foliage and starlike flowers. The root of commerce comes from the north and east of Lima, and the northern part of Peru. The Spanish botanist Hipolito Ruiz (562, 563), in 1784, observed the native women of Huanuco and Lima using this drug as a tooth preservative and an astringent. On his return to Europe, in 1796, he introduced the root into Spain, and from that country it gradually spread throughout Europe. The first that reached England, however, was as part of the cargo of a Spanish prize, a part of which came into the hands of Dr. Reece (540), who recommended it to the profession, 1806, in his Medicinal and Chirurgical Review, London. There are other species and kinds of rhatany, one being investigated by the writer of this article some years ago, as found in Florida, the qualities of which could scarcely be distinguished from those of the astringent South American drug. This drug was also noticed by Dr. E. M. Hall, of Chicago, a well-known Homoeopathic author. Seemingly the species of rhatany are all of similar nature and are dependent upon a kindly, astringent, red tannate.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.