Abrus Precatorius – Common and Botanical Names
The botanical name of the herb is Abrus precatorius and belongs to the family Fabaceae. The Tamil name is Gundumani or Kudri Mani. Common names of the herbs include guruvinda ginjalu, Indian Licorice, Gunja, Jequirity, Crab’s Eye, Akar Saga, Giddee Giddee, ‘John Crow’ Bead, Ratti, Jumbie Bead, Rosary Pea, Precatory bean, etc.
About Abrus precatorius / Kudri Mani
The seeds, roots and leaves of the plants have great medicinal uses and are widely used. The herb is found widely throughout India and Indonesia. They are also found in South America and West Indies.
In China, the seeds of Abrus precatorius have long been a symbol of love and hence its name “xiang si dou” “mutual love bean”.
The plants are found growing along the seashores and along fences. The seeds which are pea shaped looking beads are found inside pods. The plants produce star-shaped flowers which are very attractive.
Primary Medicinal Uses
Skin related problems
Abrus precatorius is very effective in treating leucoderma. It you are infected with acne sores or boils, the leaves of the herb serve as a great medicine. It also helps getting you rid of itching and other skin related problems.
Scratches from pet animals
If you are hurt by pet animals leading to scratches or wounds, apply a paste of the herb over the affected area.
Prepare a paste of the roots and apply it over the abdomen. The herb cures the wounds rapidly.
The oil extracted from the leaves of Gundumani has great medicinal properties in stimulating the growth of hairs.
Take the seeds of the plant. Dry them and powder them. Take the powder once for 2 days. Worms get killed.
Powder the roots of the herb and mix it with butter. Consume it three times a day. Cough gets cured. A tea is made from the leaves of the plant and consumed which is a good medicine for curing cold, cough and fever.
The seeds of the herbs are used to extract oil which is used as an aphrodisiac.
Jewelers Weighing Unit
The seeds of the plants have a unique property of having remarkably uniform weight of 1/10th of a gram. It has been used by Jewelers as a traditional weighing unit
The seeds or beads are black or white in colour looking like lady bug. They are very commonly used as beads in ornaments.
The seeds have been used as beads and in manufacture of percussion instruments.
Evil Spirits – Go away
In few countries like West Indies, the coloured seeds are worn around the wrist as bracelets / ornaments to get rid of evil spirits.
- Pregnant women should not consume the herb, since it causes miscarriage.
- Unmarried women should not consume the seeds of the herb since it has the potential to prevent conception.
- The seeds have poisonous contents called as Abrin. Hence they should not be consumed directly. The toxins are removed by boiling the seeds in milk and then drying them.
- Unlike other herbs, the seeds should not be consumed directly. They should be processed to remove the toxins before consuming.
- This should is not advisable to be grown in home gardens.