Rhatany or ratany is the common name for any of about 17 species in genus Krameria, the sole genus in the plant family Krameriaceae. Rhatany is also the name given to krameria root, a botanical remedy consisting of the dried root of three species of Krameria, para rhatany (Krameria lappacea or Krameria argentea) and Peruvian rhatany (Krameria triandra).

The biological action of rhatany is caused by the astringent rhataniatannic acid, which is similar to tannic acid. Infusions have been used as a gargle, a lozenge, especially when mixed with cocaine, as a local hemostatic and remedy for diarrhea.

Krameria are found across the Americas, with most native to the tropical regions. They are perennial shrubs which act as root parasites on other plants. The flowers have glands called elaiophores which produce a lipid which is collected by bees of the genus Centris as they pollinate the flowers.

Genus Krameria includes:

External links


  • Simpson, B. B. (1982). Krameria (Krameriaceae) flowers: Orientation and elaiophore morphology. Taxon 31:3 517-528

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