State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPB) Kerala

Abrus precatorius L

  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Vernacular names: Kunnikuru, Kunni, കുന്നിക്കുരു, കുന്നി (Malayalam), Indian liquorice (English), Gunja (Sanskrit), Arak (Hindi), Kuntumani (Tamil)
  • Distribution: Pantropical
  • Description: Woody climbers. Leaves even-pinnate; leaflets 12-16 pairs, oblong to elliptic. Flowers pink, in axillary racemes. Pods oblong, slightly inflated; seeds many, sub globose, scarlet red with black eyes.
  • Habit: Climbers/Lianas
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, also in the plains
  • Flowering & Fruiting: October-May

  • Parts used: Leaves, root and seeds
  • Properties & Uses: Diuretic and aphrodisiac. The roots and leaves are used to treat cough and catarrhal affections. The extract of the root is taken internally to treat rheumatism. Decoction of the leaves are widely used to relieve cough, cold and colic. It also used for the treatment of hoarseness and mixed with oil is applied to relieve painful swellings.
  • Systems of Medicines: Ayurveda, Folk, Homeo,
  • Traditional Uses:The leaves are made in to paste and applied on affected area. Aqueous extract of root is taken internally to relieve stomach ache and paste applied to cure abdominal pain.
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