- Botanical: Abrus precatorius
- Family: Leguminosae
- Hits: 652
Known asCrab's Eye, Rosary Pea, Precatory Pea, John Crow Bead, Indian licorice, Akar Saga, Gidee Gidee, Jumbie Bead, Paternostererbse, Paternosterbohne, Krabbenaugenwein
Parts Usedroots, seed
Medicinalabdominal pain, bronchitis, bronchitis, coughs, hair loss, indigestion
Respiratory Systemasthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cough, difficulty breathing
Stomach & Intestinalabdominal pain, digestion, gastrointestinal
Skin & Hairhair loss
Propertiesaphrodisiac, digestive, expectorant
The root of an Indian leguminous plant, Abrus precatorius (Linn.), under the native names of Gunga or Goonteh, has been used as a demulcent. It contains Glycyrrhizin, and has been termed Indian Liquorice and used as a substitute for true Liquorice. Acrid resins, however, render the root irritant and poisonous.
The seeds of Abrus precatorius are much valued in native jewelry for their bright coloration. Most beans are black and red, suggesting a ladybug, though other colors are available. Jewelry-making with jequirity seeds is dangerous, and there have been cases of death by a finger-prick while boring the seeds for beadwork.
In Trinidad in the West Indies the brightly coloured seeds are strung into bracelets and worn around the wrist or ankle to ward off jumbies or evil spirits and "mal-yeux" - the evil eye. The Tamils use Abrus seeds of different colors. The red variety with black eye is the most common, but there are black, white and green varieties as well.
abrine (N-methyl- L-tryptophan), glycyrrhizin and a lipolytic enzyme.