Abrus prayer (Abrus precatorius)

Prayer Abrus , it is also called “Dangerous Abrus”, because of the poisonous substances (abrin) contained in the seeds of this plant. Also called: Hekveriti, Prayer Beans, Indian Licorice, Crab Eyes


A tree-like liana from the legume family – Fabaceae (Leguminosae) with alternate paired pinnately compound leaves; leaflets elliptical or oblong. The flowers are small, moth-like, pale pink; the fruit is a flat open bean, wide, with 4-6 shiny cinnabar-red seeds with a black spot at the narrow end of the seed; seed length 5 mm, largest diameter 3-6 mm; taste and smell resemble soaked peas. Naturally grows in India, China (Yunnan), Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Himalayas at an altitude of up to 300 m above sea level, cultivated in the tropics.

Medicinal use:

Roots are used as raw materials. They contain up to 10% glycyrrhizic acid (see Licorice). They are used similarly to licorice roots not only in Eastern, but also in European medicine. The seeds contain a poisonous protein substance – abrin, alkaloids. Poisonous! In case of poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhages in the mucous membranes and retina of the eyes occur. Ingestion of the whole seeds is harmless. The seeds are used in India and Tibetan medicine as the basis for contraceptives and abortifacients. I also use them as jewelry due to their bright color. The plant is included in the range of homeopathic remedies.

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