Abrus precatorius L.

Nota de alcance (en)

Stem: Bark decoction for stomachache, thrush, colds, coughs, sore throat and asthma; emollient; extract for cancer treatment.

Stem and Leaf: In French Guiana, the stems and leaves are mixed with the leaves, stems and roots of Zea mays for a tisane used to remedy mild inflammations of the urinary tract, diarrhoea, aphthae and hoarseness.

Leaf: Boiled with leaves of Tamarindus indica, Annona muricata and Lantana camara in a syrup for chest colds.

Seed: Decoction for chronic ulcers and ophthalmia, specifically trachoma of the conjunctiva.

Plant toxicity

Chemical constituents: Seed poisonous, containing the toxic abrin and abric acid. Plant extracts have been used as an effective oral contraceptive


Traditional Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the leaves has been prescribed for
scurvy, cough, bronchitis, sprue and hepatitis and as a refrigerant.... more on the book

Toxicity: abortificient. Ingestion of Abrus seeds resulted in pulmonary oedema
and hypertension. Abrine can cause coma, confusion, convulsions,
dehydration, gastroenterosis and hypotension.

Phytoconstituents: Abrectorin, abricin, abridin... more on the book

Origin: Native to Pakistan, India, Ceylon and tropical Africa; and introduced
widely in the New and Old World.[

Leaf: Used to cure a sore throat. Leaf: Crushed together with mus­tard oil and used either by rubbing on, or tied around as a poultice, to cure swollen joints and stiff muscles. Crushed with oil and rubbed on to treat aches and pains. Juice from squeezing the leaves together with milk can treat excessive urination in diabetics.

Seed: Emetic and purgative. Seed: Made into a powder and inhaled to cure severe headaches. Making the seeds and root into a powder and taking the mixture with coconut water can treat hemorrhoids.

Root: Employed as an expectorant. After being crushed with water and steamed, the distillate is taken with sugar to treat hemorrhoids. Soaked in water over­night, filtered through a cloth, and the filtered liquid taken once in the morning and once in the evening to treat white vaginal discharge.

Whole plant: poisonous

Throughout the country, ascending to an altitude of about 1050m in the outer Himalayas.

Uterine stimulant, abortifacient, toxic. Seeds—teratogenic. A paste of seeds is applied on vitiligo patches.
abortifacient, toxic.



Folk medicinal uses

The root has long been used in India, Africa and the West Indies as a substitute for true liquorice. Seeds, leaves and roots contain a toxalbumin, abrin (ClzH140zNz) which is slowly absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract. It is most concentrated in the seeds, which are fometic. Purgative, anthelmintic and toxic. One to three grains of the powdered seeds boiled in milk are said to provide a tonic, though several writers report that one or two seeds are a fatal dose especially if chewed. The toxalbumin is said to be destroyed by cooking. The seeds, under the name of 'jequirity' have long been known for their effect in granular conjunctivitis. In Jamaica the plant is said to be used for constipation. The vegetative parts are beaten and boiled to make tea to which a little castor oil or grease is added. This is also thought to be a 'purge for the blood'. For colds the plant is said to be used alone or with rattle weed (? Crotalaria). Browne and other early writers speak of the use of the shoots to prepare a drink for fevers, coughs and colds. It is still used in this way in the Grenadines. In Africa the leaves and roots are used for coughs and colds; the leaves to make an infusion for colic; the powdered leaves with palm oil for convulsions in children; the powdered leaves alone for conjunctivitis and to make a paste for boils; tho seeds for ophthalmia, snakebite, ulcers and worms. Similar use is made of the plant in India and Ceylon.

Nota bibliográfica (en)

1) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017

2) A guide to medicinal plants / Hwee Ling, Koh; Tung Kian, Chua; Chay Hoon, Tan. Singapore:  World vScientific Public Co. Pte. Ltd., 2009. p 289 p.

3) DeFilipps, Robert A.; Krupnick, Gary A. / PhytoKeys, v. 102. - - p. 1 - 314,  2018.

4) Khare, C.P./ Indian Medicinal Plants. -- Nueva Dheli: Springer, 2007 . - p. 836.

5) Asprey, G.F; Phylis Thornton/ Medicinal plants of Jamaica. Parts I & II. – p. 21.

Abrus precatorius L.
Término aceptado: 16-Abr-2018