The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Rattany

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RATTANY, or RHATANY, a coarse plant of the genus Krameria and order Polygalæ, native to the Andean table-lands in Peru and Bolivia. The roots have medicinal value as an astringent, when finely powdered they furnish a frequent constituent of tooth-powders, and they also serve, especially in Portugal, to color wines ruby-red. This property is due to the presence of ratanhia tannic-acid. The root-bark also contains an almost insoluble free red substance called ratanhia-red.