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Jequirity

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  • Botanical: Abrus precatorius
  • Family: Leguminosae
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Jequirity

Botanical

Abrus precatorius

Family

Leguminosae

Known as

Crab's Eye, Rosary Pea, Precatory Pea, John Crow Bead, Indian licorice, Akar Saga, Gidee Gidee, Jumbie Bead, Paternostererbse, Paternosterbohne, Krabbenaugenwein

Parts Used

roots, seed

Medicinal

abdominal pain, bronchitis, bronchitis, coughs, hair loss, indigestion

Respiratory System

asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cough, difficulty breathing

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, digestion, gastrointestinal

Skin & Hair

hair loss

Properties

aphrodisiac, digestive, expectorant

Description

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.

Traditional Use

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.

Constituents

abrine (N-methyl- L-tryptophan), glycyrrhizin and a lipolytic enzyme.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.