Abrus Precatorius, Gunja, Ratti, Rosary Pea & Jequirity

0

Botanically, Abrus Precatorius is called Gunja and Ratti in Hindi and Rosary Pea and Jequirity in English. Therapeutically, Abrus Precatorius (Gunja/Rosary Pea) is used to treat certain skin diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and respiratory diseases. In ancient India, Ratti seeds were used for standard measurement unit for weighing gold, silver and other precious gems and goods. The weight of one Ratti is equal to 121.25 mg or 0.12125 gram.

Ancient Indian Measurement

One Ratti means one seed of Abrus Precatorius.

Indian UnitsModern Units
1 Ratti0.91 Carat or 121.25 mg or 0.12125 gram
1 Masha = 8 Ratti970 mg
1 Tank = 4 Masha3.88 grams
1 Tola = 12 Masha11.67 grams

Nowadays, one Ratti is considered equal to 125 mg.

Botanical Description

Scientific NameABRUS PRECATORIUS
Botanical SynonymsABRUS ABRUS, GLYCINE ABRUS
Plant FamilyFABACEAE
Hindi NameRATTI, GUNJA
Sanskrit NameGUNJA
English NameROSARY PEA, JEQUERITY, PRECATORY BEAN
Other NamesCRAB’S EYE, POIS ROUGE, TENTO MUIDO

Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)

KingdomPLANTAE
Sub-KingdomVIRIDIPLANTAE
Infra KingdomSTREPTOPHYTA  (land plants)
Super DivisionEMBRYOPHYTA
DivisionTRACHEOPHYTA (TRACHEOPHYTES or Vascular Plants)
Sub DivisionSPERMATOPHYTINA (SPERMATOPHYTES or Seed Plants)
ClassMAGNOLIOPSIDA
Super OrderROSANAE
OrderFABALES
FamilyFABACEAE  (LEGUMES OR PEAS)
GenusABRUS
SpeciesABRUS PRECATORIUS

Medicinal Parts

  • Seeds (also known as Gunja, Rosary Peas and jequirity seeds)
  • Roots
  • Leaves

Medicinal Properties

Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) has following healing properties.

Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) Seeds

  • Anodyne
  • Antimicrobial
  • Diuretic
  • Expectorant
  • Vermifuge
  • Sedative
  • Purgative
  • Emetic
  • Aphrodisiac (Purified and processed seeds only)
  • Hair growth stimulator (Oil prepared using sesame oil and Gunja seeds)
  • Abortifacient

Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) Leaves & Roots

  • Anti-catarrhal
  • Antipyretic and Febrifuge
  • Expectorant

Therapeutic Indications

Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) is helpful in following health conditions.

Brain & Nerves

  • Hemiplegia
  • Paralysis
  • Sciatica

Lungs & Airways

  • Hoarseness and Laryngitis
  • Cough

Muscle, Bones & Joints

  • Muscle spasm
  • Low backache
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout

Skin & Hairs

Gunja seeds are processed in sesame oil and this processed sesame oil is used in following diseases as topical application.

  • Hair fall
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Paralytic disorders (for massage of affected parts)

Kidney & Urinary Bladder

  • Dysuria (Painful or difficult urination)

Benefits & Medicinal Uses

Paralytic disorders (Hemiplegia, Paralysis, Sciatica)

Gunja Oil prepared using sesame oil and Gunja seed powder is used for therapeutic massage in paralytic disorders. It improves the sensitivity and movability of affected organs.

Hoarseness and Laryngitis

Tablets are prepared with Gunja leaves powder, cubeb and sugar. These tablets are advised to chew in case of hoarseness and laryngitis.

Skin Diseases & hair fall

Gunja oil is applied on affected parts of the skin with eczema and psoriasis. It is also applied on the scalp to reduce hair fall.

Dosage

The dosage of Gunja (Abrus precatorius) varies according to medicinal parts.

Medicinal PartsTherapeutic Dosage
Seeds (Ratti)25 to 125 mg
Leaves powder500 mg to 2 grams
Root powder500 mg to 2 grams

The maximum dosage of Gunja seeds should not exceed from 250 mg per day. Gunja leaves and root powder dosage should not exceed from 4 grams per day.

How to calculate the adequate dosage

You should calculate the dosage of Abrus precatorius according to body weight as follows.

Plant PartsChildrenAdults
Seeds Powder0.5 to 1 mg/Kg body weight1 to 2 mg/Kg body weight
Leaves Powder2.5 to 5 mg/Kg body weight5 to 10 mg/Kg body weight
Roots Powder2.5 to 5 mg/Kg body weight5 to 10 mg/Kg body weight

Note: Please note we do not recommend Abrus precatorius to children. It may have poisonous effects. However, you can decide the dosage according to body weight if its requirement is necessary and you have not any other alternative.

In case, patient has history of gastritis, any sign of excess heat in the body or PITTA disorders, sunstroke, burning sensation in feet, heartburn etc., then the dosage of Abrus precatorius should be further reduced by 1/4 part of above recommended dosage if its use becomes compulsory and no other alternative is available.

Caution & Side Effects

Unwise and unsupervised use of Gunja (Abrus precatorius) is UNSAFE. However, roots and leaves contain a little amount of poisonous substance, but they can still cause poisoning. Its seeds contain poisonous enzyme in excess amount, which can cause severe side effects, when it is used without consulting a doctor. The following side effects can occur.

  • Vertigo (severe reeling sensation)
  • Restlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary retention

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

The use of any part of Gunja (Abrus precatorius) in pregnancy and breastfeeding is UNSAFE. Therefore, you should never take any remedy that contains Gunja seeds, leaves or roots during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In pregnancy, Gunja can cause miscarriage and increase the chances of bleeding. In breastfeeding, it can result in low breast milk supply and may secrete into the milk, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting in breastfeeding babies.

Contraindications

You should not take any medicine containing Gunja before and after surgery. It may cause bleeding and affect clotting time. Other diseases in which it should not be used are as follows.

  • Gastritis
  • Ulcer
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Mouth ulcer
  • Vertigo

Drug Interactions

Gunja (Abrus precatorius) can interact with various medicines including antiplatelets, antihypertensive drugs and antidiabetic medicines, so you should consult ayurvedic physician before using any part of Gunja plant with these medications.

You might also like

Ask a Question

Your email address will not be published.