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Abrus Precatorius (Jequirity).

Our materia medica mentions its use in ophthamology and skin mainly in Epitelioma,Lupus,ulcers and Granular lids.

The symptoms from Poisoning by the seeds are as below

Abrin (and Ricin) cause toxicity by inhibition of protein synthesis.

May possibly cause severe allergic reactions.

Skin - Potential for allergic skin reaction; redness, blisters, pain.

Eyes - Tearing, swelling of the eyelids, pain, redness, corneal injury.

  • Cardiovascular (heart and blood circulation) shock from severe dehydration, life-threatening low blood pressure, fast heart rate (tachycardia) and irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
  • Central Nervous System (brain) - drowsiness, disorientation, hallucinations, seizures, coma.
  • Gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines) - burning pain in the mouth, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and swelling of the lining of the GI tract, liver cell damage and death.
  • Genitourinary (kidneys and urine) - blood in urine, low or no urinary output, kidney cell damage and death.
  • Musculoskeletal - muscle weakness, tremors, and muscle spasm (tetany)
  • Eyes - dilated pupils and bleeding in the back of the eye (retinal hemorrhage)
  • Skin - blue skin (cyanosis) and redness (flushing)

Severe vomiting and diarrhea may result in severe dehydration (hypovolaemic-shock) and multisystem organ failure: effects on GI tract, kidney, liver, and pancreas.

Unknown. However, based on its similarity to ricin, abrin may cause Allergic syndrome with congestion of nose and throat; itchy, watery eyes; hives; tightness of the chest; and in severe cases - wheezing.

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Comment by Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari on July 21, 2011 at 4:30am

Other Ethnobotanical uses of Abrus Precatorius are -

Decoction of roots and leaves is given for cough and cold. Roots are diuretic and emetic. Paste of seeds applied locally in sciatica, stiffness of shoulder joints and paralysis.

Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on July 19, 2011 at 6:00am
Thats a good observation indeed!
Comment by Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari on July 19, 2011 at 3:40am
The eye shaped appearence of the seed and it is more useful in Eye affections. Doctrine of Signature !.
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on July 16, 2011 at 6:24am
It gives me nostalgic memories about my childhood. We used to collect these beautiful seeds to play various games. Only during my Toxicology lecture in 2nd BHMS, I came to know that we were actually playing with a poison. But, the thick cuticle of the seed might have saved us from the toxic effects, because we used to swallow the seeds (accidentally) while playing!

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