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 Units||Modern Units|
|1 Ratti||0.91 Carat or 121.25 mg or 0.12125 gram|
|1 Masha = 8 Ratti||970 mg|
|1 Tank = 4 Masha||3.88 grams|
|1 Tola = 12 Masha||11.67 grams|
Nowadays, one Ratti is considered equal to 125 mg.
|Scientific Name||ABRUS PRECATORIUS|
|Botanical Synonyms||ABRUS ABRUS, GLYCINE ABRUS|
|Hindi Name||RATTI, GUNJA|
|English Name||ROSARY PEA, JEQUERITY, PRECATORY BEAN|
|Other Names||CRAB’S EYE, POIS ROUGE, TENTO MUIDO|
Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)
|Infra Kingdom||STREPTOPHYTA (land plants)|
|Division||TRACHEOPHYTA (TRACHEOPHYTES or Vascular Plants)|
|Sub Division||SPERMATOPHYTINA (SPERMATOPHYTES or Seed Plants)|
|Family||FABACEAE (LEGUMES OR PEAS)|
- Seeds (also known as Gunja, Rosary Peas and jequirity seeds)
Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) has following healing properties.
Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) Seeds
- Aphrodisiac (Purified and processed seeds only)
- Hair growth stimulator (Oil prepared using sesame oil and Gunja seeds)
Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) Leaves & Roots
- Antipyretic and Febrifuge
Abrus Precatorius (Gunja) is helpful in following health conditions.
Brain & Nerves
Lungs & Airways
- Hoarseness and Laryngitis
Muscle, Bones & Joints
- Muscle spasm
- Low backache
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Skin & Hairs
Gunja seeds are processed in sesame oil and this processed sesame oil is used in following diseases as topical application.
- Hair fall
- 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.
The dosage of Gunja (Abrus precatorius) varies according to medicinal parts.
|Medicinal Parts||Therapeutic Dosage|
|Seeds (Ratti)||25 to 125 mg|
|Leaves powder||500 mg to 2 grams|
|Root powder||500 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.
|Seeds Powder||0.5 to 1 mg/Kg body weight||1 to 2 mg/Kg body weight|
|Leaves Powder||2.5 to 5 mg/Kg body weight||5 to 10 mg/Kg body weight|
|Roots Powder||2.5 to 5 mg/Kg body weight||5 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)
- 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.
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.
- Ulcerative colitis
- Mouth ulcer
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.