One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The root of the plant rhatany, Krameria triandra, from which a medicinal extract is prepared (more fully "ratanhia root").
Early 19th century. From Spanish ratania, ratanhia, etc. from Quechua rataña creeping plant. Compare French ratanhia, Portuguese ratanha, ratânhia, ratânia, scientific Latin rhatania, all ultimately from Spanish.
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