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Abrus precatorius - Gunja

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Abrus precatorius W IMG 1578.jpg

Abrus precatorius is a severely invasive plant in warm temperate to tropical regions. The plant is best known for its seeds, which are used as beads and in percussion instruments, and which are toxic because of the presence of abrin.


Blisters in mouths, Mouth sores, Bleeding piles, Leucorrhoea, Mild diabetes, Cough, Physical weakness, Ulcer, Urinary trouble, Snakebite, Infection in intestine.

Parts Used

Seeds, Stem, Leaves, Roots.

Chemical Composition

Mature seeds contain alkali like abrine, precatorine, etc.[1]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Gulaganji
Hindi Gaungchi, Gunchi
Malayalam Kunni, Kunnikkuru
Tamil Gundumani, Kundumani
Telugu Gurivinda or Guriginja
Marathi NA
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Gunja
English Equirity


Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)


Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)


Ushna (Hot)


Katu (Pungent)


Kapha, Vata



Deciduous climber



Kind Shape Feature
Paripinnate Obovate Leaves are alternately arranged, leaflets 12-16 pairs, 0.8-2.5 x 0.4-1 cm, oblong to elliptic, base and apex obtuse



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Bisexual 2-4cm long Pink/white 9 Flowering July to March in short axillary racemes


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Oblong pod Thinly septate, pilose, wrinkled Seeds upto 5 Fruiting throughout the year

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used


Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Seeds, Cuttings

How to plant/cultivate

Seeds naturally have a low germination rate. The hard and impenetrable seed coat is one of the reasons.[4]

Commonly seen growing in areas

Tropical area, Subtropical area.

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