Abrus precatorius

Abrus precatorius Abrus precatorius Abrus precatorius

Abrus precatorius, commonly known as jequirity bean or rosary pea, is a herbaceous flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae. It is a slender, perennial climber with long, pinnate-leafleted leaves that twines around trees, shrubs, and hedges.

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. Ingestion of a single seed, well chewed, can be fatal to both adults and children. The plant is native to Asia and Australia. It has a tendency to become weedy and invasive where it has been introduced.

Abrus precatorius is a severely invasive plant in warm temperate to tropical regions, so much so that it has become effectively pantropical in distribution. It had been widely introduced by humans, and the brightly coloured and hard-shelled seeds had been spread by birds.

Abrus precatorius, called "Olinda" has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The white variety is used to prepare oil that is claimed to be an aphrodisiac. A tea is made from the leaves and used for fevers, coughs and colds. Seeds are poisonous and therefore are only consumed after heat treatment. The old sinhaleese knew about the toxic effects in plants. This is done by boiling the seeds in milk and then drying them. Like with castor oil, the protein toxin is denatured when subjected to high temperatures rendering it innocuous.

The plant is also used in Ayurveda and is said to promote hair growth. It is sometimes used as an ingredient in hair products.

Abrus precatorius is part of the catalog of ayurvedic medicinal plants of Sri Lanka.

Abrus precatorius Abrus precatorius Abrus precatorius

【LK94006459: Abrus precatorius. Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】
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