Abrus precatorius Linn.
Family: Papilionaceae
Arabic Name(s): Shisham, Batrah-Hindi
Urdu Name(s): Ratti, Ghongchi, Chanothi, Rattion, گھونگچی
English Name(s): Jequirity
Parts Used
Warm and dry in third order.
Functions and Properties (Pharmacological Actions)
The seeds are not used much internally due to their highly toxic affects. In external use the seeds possess resolvent, detergent, corrosive and desiccative actions. In embrocations sex stimulant. Internally in very small (recommended/ prescribed) doses as nervine, aphrodisiac and irritant- stimulant, purgative, emetic, abortive.
Specific Action
Externally resolvent, detersive, corrosive, desiccative. Internally stimulant.
Medicinal Uses
Seeds powdered and rubbed with Plumbago zeylanicaLinn. root and applied over the affected parts in leucoderma and psoriasis. With Chaulmoogra oil continuous daily application for about a month cures such diseases as well as leprosy. Seeds are made into paste in water and applied over contusions to reduce pain and swelling. Also applied on site of pain in sciatica, stiffness of shoulder-joints, paralysis and other nervous affections and inflammations, to resolve them and to reduce the pain. Seeds powdered and used as collyrium for treating pannus in cornea which is due to the irritation of the granulation in conjunctivitis and granular lids. But this application at first causes purulent ophthalmia and this inflammation ceases gradually treating the basic disorder. But the method is regarded as extremely dangerous and is not advised to be practiced at large. Being corrosive and desiccative applied to putrefied wounds, ulcers and haemorrhoids. Seeds powdered, boiled with milk have a powerful tonic and aphrodisiac action on nervous system. However not much use is made of this property and the seeds are included in embrocations and oily preparations for irritative stimulation of the relative organs.
Compound Preparations
Roghan ‘Ajeeb, Tila-i-Urusak (both white and red varieties seeds).
In external application in suitable base approximately 60-180 mg.
Fresh coriander, Alhagi maurorumMedic. (Turanjbin).
Psoralea corylifoliaLinn., as well as both varieties are tenedium for each other (red for white and vice versa).
There are three varieties according to the colour of seeds: red (which is mentioned here), white and black. Seeds powder used as collyrium causes purulent ophthalmia (in some specific eye disorders) therefore only administered by much-experienced Hakims with great care. Root has been referred to be used as a substitute for liquorice but this use does not seems justified because of toxic manifestation.