Botanical Name: Abrus precatorius

Family: Papilionaceae , Fabaceae






Size and weight of this seeds used for compare weight. seed and roots of white variety usually uses. Abrus = delicate leaves, precatorius = of prayers = seeds of this plant are used for making rosaries


Names in different Indian languages



Indian Wild Liquorice, Jequirity, Crab’s Eye,  Precatory Bean.










Kuntumani, kunri




Ghunghchi, Ghamchi


Chirmiti, Ratti






Gunjaa, Gunjaka, Chirihintikaa, Raktikaa, Chirmiti, Kakanti, Kabjaka, Tiktikaa, Kaakananti, Kaakchinchi , Choodamani Raktaphalika, Kakanantika, Kakachinchi, Krushnaraktika


Classification according to Charaka, Susrutha & Vagbhata












Varieties & adulterants - (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants) 


 Senna– Used as Adulterant



A creeper with many branches.

Leaves resemble tamarind leaves, pinnate,  having 20-40 leaflets, leaflets oblong

flowers are pink, bluish and appear in cluster.

Fruit: pod, Legumes are 1.5 - 3.5 cm, long containing red, white and black coloured dseeds.

Red coloured or white coloured seeds have black spot on their tips.

Root and leaves are sweet. It is  3 varieties - white , red and black (roots and leaves of all these 3 varieties are used in medicines).

A small woody twiner with a long, woody, tortuous branched root reaching inch or more in diameter. Stems slender, cylindrical, branched, with a smooth or wrinkled, brown bark. Leaves alternate, shortly stalked, spreading, 2—6 inches long, abruptly pinnate, stipules small, subulate; leaflets on very short pilose petioles, opposite, in about 8—15 closely placed pairs, inch long, oblong, very blunt at both ends, but often apiculate at the truncate apex, entire, thin, smooth on both sides, articulated and readily falling, with two minute stipell at the base of each pair. Flowers small, shortly stalked, in small clusters arranged on large tuberosities along the outer side of a stiff curved rachis, and forming a secund racemose inflorescence terminating a thick, horizontal branch which is naked above, but usually with several closely placed leaves near the base. Calyx small, cup-shaped, truncate at the mouth, with 5 very shallow teeth, membranous, finely pilose. Corolla papilionaceous, rose- coloured, standard ovate, erect, with a short broad claw, wings narrow, falcate-oblong, keel-petals united except the claws, longer than the wings. Stamens 9, the filaments united into a split sheath, the free portions with 5 longer ones alternating with 4

shorter, anthers uniform. Ovary shortly stalked, very small, downy; style curved glabrous, stigma capitate. Pod about I inch long, broadly oblong, shortly beaked, somewhat compressed, 2-valved, with imperfect septa between the seeds. Seeds 4—6, globular-ovoid, about inch long, testa hard, bright and shining, brilliant scarlet, with a black patch at one end round the hilum, cotyledons plane-convex, no endosperm.



Distribution & Habitat

Throughout India


Chemical constituents:

 abrin, a toxalbumin,indole derivatives, anthocyanins, sterols, terpenes,

The roots contain precol, abrol, glycyrrhizin and alkaloids—abrasine and precasine. The roots also contain triterpenoids—abruslactone A, methyl abrusgenate and abrusgenic acid.



Seed - Guna : laghu, ruksha, tikshna;

Rasa: tikta,  kashaya;

Vipaka: katu:

Virya:  ushna     

Root: madhur and snigdha.

Karma – vatha pitha hara


Internal uses:


Digestive system:

Purgative, gastric irritant , emetic

Renal System:




 Dosha: Kaphavata (seed). tridoshasamak (leaves and roots).

Dhatu: Muscles (hoarseness of voice - milk boiled with the leaves); shukra (milk boiled with the leaves - aphrodisiac).

Mala: Mutra (dysuria - milk boiled with leaves), keshya - enhances hair growth.



Uterine stimulant, abortifacient, toxic, skin disease, alopecia, leucoderma, asthma, stomatitis

Seeds—teratogenic. A paste of seeds is applied on vitiligo patches.

Part used:

  Seed, root powder



Seed powder. 1 to 2 ratti: root powder - 0.5 to 1 gm

Important Yogas  or  Formations:

Swetha gunjadi gulika



Therapeutic Uses:

Seeds ground in a paste are applied over skin disorders, dermatoses. chronic ulcers and alopecia. Paste of the leaves is applied over inflammations and wounds. Oil boiled with the leaves is used for massage in vata disorders. Nasya of powdered seeds is given in headache. Milk boiled with the leaves is given in hoarseness of voice, impotency, dysuria and general debility. Powdered seeds in excess dose causes toxic symptoms like cardiac arrest etc. Seeds are purified by boiling them in kanji or cows milk for three hours




Descriptions on Ayurveda books /Nighandu














Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

medicinal plants