Krameriae Radix. Br.
Krameria Root [Rhatany Root]
"Krameria Root is the dried root of Krameria triandra, Ruiz and Pav. (Peruvian Rhatany), and also of another species of Krameria, probably Krameria argentea, Mart. (Para Rhatany)." Br. "The dried root of Krameria triandra Ruiz et Pavon, known in commerce as Peruvian Rhatany, or of Krameria Ixina Linné, known in commerce as Savanilla Rhatany, or Krameria argentea Martius, known in commerce as Para or Brazilian Rhatany (Fam. Leguminosae), without the presence of more than 5 per cent. of stems or other foreign matter." N. F.
Krameria, N. F.; Rhatany Radix Ratanhae; Ratanhia, Fr. Cod.; Radix Ratanhiae. P. G.; Ratanhiawurzel, G; Ratania, It.; Ratania (Raiz de), Sp.
The genus Krameria was named in honor of J. G. H. Kramer, a physician and botanist of Temesvar, Hungary.
Krameria was dropped from the U. S. P. IX but retained in the British Pharm., 1914, and in the N. F.
Krameria triandra is a shrub, having a long, much-branched, spreading root, of a blackish-red color; with a round, procumbent, very dark colored stem, divided into numerous branches of which the younger are leafy and thickly covered with soft hairs, giving them a white, silky appearance. The leaves are few, sessile, oblong-ovate, pointed, entire, presenting on both surfaces the same silky whiteness of the young branches. The flowers are lake-colored, and stand singly on short peduncles at the axils of the upper leaves. The stamens are three. The nectary is of four leaflets, the two upper spatulate, the lower roundish and shorter. The fruit is globular, of the size of a pea, surrounded by stiff reddish-brown prickles, and having one or two seeds. It is a native of the Peruvian Andes, growing in dry argillaceous and sandy places. It flowers at all seasons, but is at the height of its bloom in October and November. The root is dug up after the rains, and, according to Tschudi, it is especially obtained in the southern provinces of Peru. Closely allied to it is K. Ixina L., which yields Savanilla Rhatany. It is, however, distinguished by having four stamens, and occurs in Guiana and Northern Brazil. The name rhatany is said to express in the tongue of the Peruvian Indians the creeping character of the plant yielding the root.
Para or Brazilian Rhatany was described by Berg in 1865, and is believed to be the root of the K. Argentea. It closely resembles the Savanilla variety. Two forms of rhatany which Cotton has described as Black and Brown Antilles rhatany because produced in these islands have been pronounced by Fluckiger (P. J., July, 1870, p. 84) to be identical with the Para Rhatany. According to the studies of Dunwoody (A. J. P., 1890) this rhatany contains the same active principles as the root of K. Triandra, but in slightly less quantity.
The British Pharmacopoeia recognizes two varieties of rhatany, which are described as follows: "Peruvian Rhatany is nearly cylindrical, slightly flexuous, reddish-brown; length variable; thickness not exceeding fifteen millimetres. Cork scaly; fracture splintery; wood yellow. In transverse section, bark bright reddish-brown and occupying about one-third of the radius of the section. Para Rhatany is cylindrical, nearly straight, dark purplish-brown or almost black, and marked with deep transverse cracks. Fracture short; wood pale reddish-brown. In transverse section, bark dark reddish-brown and occupying about one-half of the radius of the section. Both varieties inodorous; taste of the bark astringent, of the wood scarcely perceptible. Ash not more than 4 per cent." Br.
The N. F. description is as follows:
"Peruvian Rhatany.—It consists of a knotty, several to many-headed crown with numerous branching roots, the latter rarely attaining a length of 50 cm. and usually less than 1 cm. in thickness, cylindrical, somewhat tapering, and flexuous or wavy; externally light reddish-brown or brownish-red, more or less marked with dark scaly cork, especially in the upper portion, otherwise nearly smooth, somewhat longitudinally wrinkled and devoid of transverse fissures, fracture of bark slightly fibrous, of wood tough and splintery, the pinkish-brown bark less than one-third of the radius, the wood yellowish or pinkish-white and finely radiate. Inodorous, wood nearly tasteless, bark astringent.
"Savanilla Rhatany and Para Rhatany.—Roots usually separate, less flexuous and tapering than those of Peruvian Rhatany, and usually not exceeding 12 mm. in thickness; externally purplish-brown or chocolate-brown and marked with numerous transverse fissures; fracture less tough than that of Peruvian Rhatany; internally the bark and wood darker, the bark about two-fifths or more of the radius and more astringent than that of Peruvian Rhatany. Inodorous, wood nearly tasteless, bark astringent. Powdered Krameria is reddish-brown; starch grains simple or two- to four-compound, the individual grains spherical, ellipsoidal, or plano-convex, and sometimes with a central, radial or star-like cleft, from 0.003 to 0.035 mm. in diameter; bast fibers more or less wavy in outline with very much attenuated ends and with non-lignified walls; trachea with simple or bordered pores associated with numerous wood fibers which are narrow-spindle shaped and with thick, porous, slightly lignified walls; numerous cellular fragments with yellowish or reddish-brown walls; calcium oxalate in monoclinic prisms, from 0.01 to 0.1 mm. in length, few or frequently absent. Macerate 2 Gm. of powdered Krameria with 10 mils of alcohol, with occasional stirring for one hour, and filter. The deep reddish colored filtrate obtained yields a dark brownish-red precipitate and a deep orange-red filtrate upon the addition of an excess of alcoholic lead acetate T.S.; this latter filtrate yields no precipitate upon the further addition of a drop or two of alcoholic lead acetate T.S., and yields an olive-brown solution having a purplish fluorescence upon the addition of a drop or two of ferric chloride T.S. Krameria yields not less than 9 per cent. of aqueous extractive and not more than 5 per cent. of ash." N. F.
A rhatany appeared not long since in the London market from Guayaquil. It is described as a large woody root from 1 to 5 cm. in diameter. The bark is of a reddish-brown color with blackish streaks, is thin in comparison to the pith, is of a fibrous texture, and is somewhat striated on the surface and dotted over with small warts. It has a very astringent taste, but no marked odor. E. M. Holmes thinks that it is not the product of the genus Krameria. According to the analysis of Passmore, Guayaquil rhatany contains a larger quantity of tannin than the Peruvian drug, but less than the Para or the Savanilla rhatany. (P. J., 1903, lxxvi, 878.) A spurious rhatany of unknown botanical origin has appeared in the English market coming from Peru. The root is tapering and varies from two to three and a half inches in length, and a quarter to five-eighths of an inch in diameter. The bark is reddish-brown, rough, scaly and longitudinally grooved. The root has a short fracture and a meditullium of about 24 wedge shaped bundles, is odorless and of an astringent taste. For detailed macro- and microscopical descriptions, see P. H. Marsden, P. 3., 1901, 618.
According to an analysis made in the University of Wisconsin, the Krameria lanceolata Torrey, of North America, yields 34.5 per cent. of extract and 17 per cent. of tannin, and is therefore richer than the official drug. When treated with iron it strikes a deep-purple color, and is thus easily distinguished from Para rhatany, which gives a dirty brown color, and from Savanilla rhatany, which gives a violet color.
As the astringency is much stronger in the cortical than in the ligneous portions, the smallest pieces are preferable, as they contain the largest proportion of the bark. The powder is of a reddish-brown color. The starch grains occur single or two- to four-compound, the individual grains being spherical, ellipsoidal, or plano-convex, and sometimes with a central, radial, or star-like cleft, from 0.003 to 0.035 mm. in diameter. The bast fibers are more or less wavy in outline with very much attenuated ends and with non-lignified walls. The tracheae possess simple or bordered pores associated with numerous wood fibers which are narrow-spindle shaped and with thick, porous, slightly lignified walls. There are also numerous cellular fragments with yellowish or reddish-brown walls. Calcium oxalate may occur in monoclinic prisms, from 0.01 to 0.1 mm. in length. Macerate 2 Gm. of powdered Krameria with 10 mils of alcohol, with occasional stirring for one hour, and filter. The deep reddish colored filtrate obtained yields a dark brownish-red precipitate and a deep orange-red filtrate upon the addition of an excess of alcoholic lead acetate T.S.; this latter filtrate yields no precipitate upon the further addition of a drop or two of alcoholic lead acetate T.S., and yields an olive-brown solution having a purplish fluorescence upon the addition of a drop or two of ferric chloride T.S. Krameria should yield not less than 9 per cent. of aqueous extract and not more than 5 per cent. of ash.
The virtues of the root are extracted by water and alcohol, to which it imparts a deep reddish-brown color. From the researches of Vogel, Gmelin, Peschier, and Trommsdorff, it appears to contain tannic acid, lignin, and minute quantities of gum, starch, saccharine matter, and an acid which Peschier considered as peculiar and named krameric acid. The tannic acid of rhatany (krameria-tannic or ratanhia-tannic acid) is separated by treating the ethereal extract of the bark with alcohol, and evaporating the alcoholic solution. It gives a dark-green precipitate with ferric chloride, a flesh-colored one with gelatin, and none with tartar emetic. (Gmelin.) The tannin of rhatany, in the presence of melted potassium hydroxide, is transformed into protocatechuic acid and phloroglucin, and with diluted acids gives glucose and a peculiar red coloring principle called ratanhia red, C26H22O11. (J. P. C., Jan., 1868, p. 73.) The proportion of red astringent matter obtained by Vogel was 40 per cent. The mineral acids and most of the metallic salts throw down precipitates with the infusion, decoction, and tincture of rhatany, and are incompatible in prescription.
In examining a specimen of extract of rhatany from America, Wittstein discovered an alkaloid, which he thought to be identical with tyrosine. A somewhat different result was obtained by Ruge, who, after an examination, showed that the new alkaloid is not identical with tyrosine, for it has the formula C10H12NO3, while that of tyrosine is C9H11NO3, but is rather homologous with it. Like tyrosine, it is an amido-acid, and forms salts equally with mineral acids and with strong bases. It was called ratanhine by Ruge. Goldschmidt has since shown (D. C., 1914, 17) that the formula of rhatanin is C40H43NO3, and that it is a homologue of tyrosine. It is identical with angelin, geoffrayin, and andirin, which have been described in various plants. He obtained it in crystalline needles, melting at 280° C. (536° F.). (See A. J. P., 1875, p. 266.)
Cold water extracts all the astringency of rhatany, forming a clear deep-red infusion, which upon careful evaporation yields an almost perfectly soluble extract. The root yields its virtues also to boiling water by maceration, but the resulting infusion becomes turbid upon cooling, in consequence of the deposition of apotheme taken up by the water when heated. By boiling with water a still larger proportion of the apotheme is dissolved, and a insider-able quantity of the pure tannin becomes insoluble in cold water, and medicinally inert, either by combining with the starch which is also dissolved, or by conversion into apotheme through the agency of the atmosphere. The decoction is, therefore, an ineligible preparation, and the extract resulting from its evaporation, though greater in weight than that from the cold infusion, contains much less soluble and active matter. Alcohol dissolves a larger proportion of the root than water, but this is owing to the solution of apotheme, and the alcoholic extract contains little if any more of the astringent principle than that prepared by cold water, while it is encumbered with much inert matter. (See Extractum Krameriae.)
A very delicate test for the presence of rhatany is given by Gucksmann (Ph. Post, 1912, 65), who states that if an extract containing it be diluted with water until almost colorless, the addition of 0.5 Gm. of sodium bicarbonate to 10 mils of the liquid will produce a rose red color.
Uses.—Rhatany is an active astringent, and may be advantageously given in chronic diarrhea. It has long been used in Peru as a remedy in bowel complaints, as a corroborant in cases of enfeebled stomach, and as a local application to spongy gums. Ruiz, one of the authors of the Peruvian Flora, first made it known in Europe. In the form of infusion, tincture, or extract, rhatany has been used locally in fissure of the anus, prolapsus ani, and leucorrhea.
Dose, of the powder, twenty to thirty grains (1.3-2.0 Gm.).
Off. Prep.—Extractum Krameriae, Br., N. F.; Infusum Krameriae, Br.; Pulvis Catechu Compositus, Br.; Tinctura Krameriae, Br., N. F.; Trochiscus Krameriae (from Extract), Br.; Trochiscus Krameriae et Cocainae (from Extract), Br.; Fluidextractum Krameriae, N. F.; Fluidglyceratum Krameriae, N. F.; Pulvis Gambir Compositus, N. F.; Syrupus Krameriae, N. F.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.