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Family Fabaceae
Saga
Abrus precatorius Linn.
PRAYER BEADS

Xiang xi dou

Scientific names  Common names 
Abrus abrus (L.)Wright Agaion (C. Bis.)
Abrus cyaneus R.Vig. Aguiañgiang (Bis.)
Abrus maculatus Noronha Aroiañgiang (Bis.)
Abrus minor Desv. Bañgati (Tag., Bik., Bis.)
Abrus pauciflorus Desv. Bugaiong (Ilk., Bon., Pang.)
Abrus precatorius Linn. Bugbugaiong (Ilk.)
Abrus squamulosus E.Mey. Gumaing (Bon.)
Abrus tunguensis Lima Gikos-gikos (Bis.)
Glycine abrus L. Kansasaga (Pamp., Tag., Bik.)
  Kaloo (Bis.)
  Kasasaga (Tag., Pamp.)
  Lamodiak (Bag.)
  Laga (C. Bis.)
  Lasa (Iv.)
  Mañggadolong (Bis.)
  Matang-pune (Bis.)
  Oiangia (Bis.)
  Saga (Tag.)
  Saga-saga (Tag.)
  Saganamin (Tag.)
  Bead vine (Engl.)
  Black-eyed susan (Engl.)
  Crab's-eye vine (Engl.)
  Coral-bead plant (Engl.)
  Indian liquorice (Engl.)
  Jequirity seeds (Engl.)
  Love bean (Engl.)
  Prayer beads (Engl.)
  Rosary bead (Engl.)
  Rosary pea (Engl.)
Saga is a shared common name of: (1) Nipa, saga (Sbl.), Nipa fruticans (2) Saga (Tag.), Arbus precatorius (3) Paipai-amo, saga (Ig.), Drynaria quercifolia (4) Saga hutan, saga (Malaya), Adenanthera pavonina.
Gikos-gikos is a local common names shared by (1) Rourea erecta and (2) Rourea volubilis, and (3) Saga, Arbus precatorius
Abrus precatorius L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: 'Ayn ed dik (Egypt), Batrah hindi, Qulqul, Shashm.
ASSAMESE: Liluwani, Raturmani.
BENGALI: Chun hali, Gunj (Goontch), Gunja, Gunjika, Gurgonje, Kunch, Kuncha.
BURMESE: Ywe gale, Ywe nge.
CHINESE: Xiang si zi, Xian xi teng, Ji mu zhu, Xiang xi dou.
CZECH: Sotorek obecný, Sotorek růžencový.
FRENCH: Abrus à prière, Arbre à chapelet, Cascavelle (Réunion), Graine diable (Réunion), Herbe de diable (Réunion), Liane à réglisse, Soldat (Réunion), Réglisse (Réunion), Réglisse marron, Pater noster (Réunion), Jéquirity, Grain d'église, Pois rouge.
GERMAN: Paternostererbse, Paternoster-Erbse, Paternosterkraut.
GUJARATI: Chanothi, Gunja, Ratti.
HINDI: Gunchi, Ratti.
ITALIAN: Falsa liquirizia, Regolizia d'America.
JAPANESE: Tou azuki.
KANNADA: Ganji, Gulganju, Gulugani, Gulugunji, Gungi, Madhuka.
KOREAN: Hong du.
MADURESE: Ga'saga'an lakek.
MALAY: Kenderi, Piling-piling, Pokok saga, Pokok tasbih, Saga, Saga telik (Indonesian), Taning bajang.
MALAYALAM: Kunni.
MARATHI: Chanoti, Gunja, Goonteh, Gunehi, Madhuyashti, Rati.
NEPALESE: Laalgedii, Ratigedii.
ORIYA: Gunja, Runji.
POLISH: Modligroszek pospolity.
PORTUGUESE: Jequirity, Jiquiriti (Brazil).
PUNJABI : Lagrigunchi, Ratak.
RUSSIAN: Abrus molitvennyj, Chétochnik.
SANSKRIT: Gunjaa, Madhuyashtika, Raktika, Rati.
SERBIAN: Jekviriti, Crveni grašak.
SUNDANESE : Saga areuy.
TAMIL : Gundumani, Kunyi, Kunyimni, Kundu manni, Kuntumani.
TELUGU: Gunja, Guriginja, Guruginia, Guruvenda, Raktika.
THAI: Cha em thet, Ma khaam tao, Ma khaek, Ma klam daeng, Ma klam khru, Ma klam taa nuu.
TURKISH : Amerika kaya sarmaşığı.
URDU: Khakshi, Qirat, Surkh.
VIETNAMESE : Cam thảo dây, Cườm thảo, Dây chi chi, Dây cườm cườm, Tương tư đằng.
OTHERS: Ganchi, Guncai, Gunch, Gunche, Kunch, Masha, Patahika.

Botany
Saga is a slender, twining, branched, annual vine that reaches a length of 9 meters or less. It is sparingly hairy or nearly smooth. Leaves are alternate, from 5 to 10 centimeters long and compounded into pinnate arrangement of about 20 to 40 leaflets to each leaf; each leaflet oblong, rather thin, from 1 to 3 centimeters long and with an abrupt terminal point. Inflorescence is an axillary raceme, shorter than the leaves with numerous crowded flowers. Flowers are pink to purple or salmon in color, attaining 1 centimeter in length. Calyx teeth short and standard petal ovate, the wings narrow, and the keel arched. Stamens are 9, the filaments of which united into a tube with a slit above. Ovary with many ovules with a short style. Fruits are pods, oblong and turgid, 2.5 to 5 centimeters long and about 1.5 centimeters wide. Seeds are 3 to 5 in a pod, round and shiny, half-red and half-black. Color of seeds is the the most recognizable characteristic of this species.

Distribution
- Common in thickets throughout the Philippines, at low and medium altitudes.
- Cultivation, propagated by seeds.

- Probably a native of tropical Asia.
- Found in South Africa, China, West Indies, Brazil, and India.

Constituents
- Study yielded Abrin A from the seeds, and similar to Abrin protein and abrin C, is toxic to cell-free protein synthesis.
- The toxic principle chemically and pharmacologically resembles ricin.
- Active principle is the toxalbumin, abrin. Abrin consists of two fractions, a globulin and an albumose, two proteids.
- An analysis of the seed isolated two products: one, nitrogen-containing, and the other, a glucoside - abrin and abralin.
- Seeds contain the principle compound abrine, together with abraline, abrasine, abricin, abrin, abrusgenic-acid, abrusgenic-acid-methyl-ester, abruslactone, abrussic-acid, anthocyanins, calcium, campesterol, choline, cycloartenol, delphinidin, gallic-acid, glycyrrhizin, hypaphorine, N, N-dimethyl-tryptophan, N,N-dimethyl- tryptophan-metho-cation-methyl-ester, p-coumaroylgalloyl glucodelphinidin, pectin, pentosans, phosphorus, delphinidin, gallic-acid, glycyrrhizin, hypaphorine, N,N-dimethyl-tryptophan, N,N-dimethyl-tryptophan-metho- cation-methyl-ester, p-coumaroylgalloyl-lucodelphinidin, pectin, pentosans, phosphorus, picatorine, polygalacturonic-acids, precasine, precatorine and protein trigonelline. (50)
- Root, known as Indian liquorice, is said to contain glycyrrhizin. It should not be used as a liquorice substitute, as it might contain toxic properties similar to the seed.
- Study of seed yielded, besides abrin, poisonous proteins, a fat-splitting enzyme, abrussic acid, hemmaglutinin, and a quantity of urease.
- Phytochemical screening yielded abrin, abrusoside E, abrusgenic acid, cycloartenol, gallic acid and glycyrrhizin.
- Phytochemical screening of crude extracts yielded tannins, triterpenes, glycosides, alkaloids, anthraquinones and carbohydrates.
- Studies on leaves have yielded various compounds, viz. abrine, trigonelline, abruslactone A, himiphloin, abrusosides (arbusosides A, B, C, and D), arabinose, galactose, xylose, choline hypaphorine, precatorine, glycyrrhizin, montanyl alcohol, inositol, D monomethyl ether, pinitol.
- Ethanolic extract of seeds showed alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, tannins, and saponins. Ethyl acetate extracts yielded steroids and terpenes. (see study below) (46)
- Phytochemical analysis of aqueous extract of leaves yielded alkaloids, flavonoids (flavones), tannins, coumarins, sterols, triterpenoids, saponins, and reducing compounds.
(see study below) (46)
- Studies on leaves have yielded abrine, trigonelline, abruslactone A, hemiphloin, abrusoside A, abrusoside B, abrusoside C, abrusoside D, arabinose, galactose, xylose, choline, hypaphorine, precatorine, glycyrrhizin, montanyl alcohol, inositol, D monomethyl ether, pinitol. (38)
- Phytochemical and proximate analysis of leaves (g/100 g dry basis) yielded: moisture 10.485 ± 0.049, protein 5.875 ± 0.08, fat 4.40 ± 0.14, soluble fiber 6 ± 0.09, insoluble fiber 2 ± 0.15, ash 8.968 ± 0.97, calcium 1029.5 ± 5, phosphorus 183.20 ± 10.31, iron 54.58 ± 0.58, polyphenols 1.06 0.06, flavonoids 1.325 ± 0.085, flavonoids 1.325 ± 0.085, glutathione 375 ± 176.77, a-tocopherol 36.6 ± 3.05, tannins 1160 ± 0.076, ß-carotene 1260 ± 0.05, alkaloids 1100 ± 0.03, total saponins 0.244 ± 0.01, steroidal saponins 0.186 ± 0.028, vitamin C (fresh basis) 0.443 ± 0.011. (see study below) (52)

Properties
- Roots are sweet-tasting, neutral in effect, and antipyretic.
- Seeds are exceedingly toxic (not to be taken internally).
- Insecticide, disinfectant and suppurative.
- Toxic actions of abrin are very similar to ricin. Although less toxic, it is more irritant to the conjunctiva than ricin.
- Considered anti-inflammatory, abortifacient, purgative, anodyne, aphrodisiac, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, sedative and vermifuge.

- Studies have reported neuroprotective, abortifacient, anticonvulsive, antiviral, antimalarial, antifertility, nephroprotective, antidiabetic properties.

Parts used
Roots and seeds.

Uses
Folkloric
· In the Philippines, decoction of the leaves and roots used for cough.
· Juice of leaves used for hoarseness. Mixed with bland oils, applied to painful swellings.
· Decoction of dried roots used for swelling pains in the throat. Zulus use a decoction for chest pains. Watery extract used for obstinate coughs.
· Seeds used as abortifacient.
· In Java, roots are considered demulcent and antidiarrhetic. Mixed with syrup, used for coughs in children.
· In Antilles, infusion of roots, leaves, stems and flowers used as pectoral.
· Leaves used for treatment of fever, asthma, and dental caries.
· For scabies and carbuncles, pulverized dried seeds are rubbed on afflicted area.
· The roots may be administered as a cooling tea.

· Roots used to treat jaundice and hemoglobinuric bile. Paste of roots use to treat abdominal pains and tumors; also used as abortifacient.
· Root is chewed as snakebite remedy.
· Decoction of dried roots used to treat hepatitis and bronchitis. Hot water extract of dried roots used as antimalarial and anticonvulsant.
· In India, traditional use for cancer, ulcers and fever.
Seeds have been reportedly used for murder. Seeds also used as aphrodisiac. Used as antifertility and ecbolic. In Uttar Pradesh, roots used as anthelmintic. Root powder mixed with lemon juice used to cure sunstroke. In Bihar, paste of plant roots used for epilepsy. In Madhya Pradesh, roots used as emetic in poisoning; powder applied to snake bites. In West Bengal, plant roots used for body pain. In Bihar, root powder used for constipation.
· Seeds used with extreme caution as application in fistulas to stimulate inflammatory reaction.
· In Africa, seeds are sometimes used for urinary problems and venereal diseases. Internally, seeds used to disturb uterine functions and prevent conception.
· Several Central African tribes use seed preparations for intestinal worms and as oral contraceptive.
· In East Africa, decoction of aerial parts taken orally for sexually transmitted diseases, stomach problems, and to prevent vomiting.
· In Ghana, leaves used for asthma.
· In the Himalayas, leaves reportedly used for diabetes, cough, fever and asthma.
· Powdered seeds taken as snuff in cases of violent headaches associated with colds.
· In Ayurveda, plant used to promote hair growth. Plant is an ingredient in some Indian hair products.   (50)
Others
· Handicraft / Seeds: Seeds are gathered and strung into various fancy articles. Used in the manufacture of rosaries, necklaces, decorating bags, and other ornaments.
· Rope: Yields bast fibers suitable for cordage.
· Poison: (1) In India, reported use for suicide and murder. (2) Powdered seeds made into pastelike mash for use with darts and arrows. Wounds made by poisoned arrows are usually fatal within 24 hours.

Toxicity !
• Seeds, roots, and leaves are all poisonous. Toxin is released when the hard outer cover of the seed is pierced, the toxin released then absorbed in the intestine. Toxin is released by chewing or drilling holes in the seeds for beadwork, ornaments or jewelry. (51)
• The plant is a common cause of accidental or intentional poisoning in the tropics. The estimated lethal dose for humans is 0.1-1.0 µg/kg. (
43)
* The seeds have yielded abrin A and C, both sharing the same toxic mechanisms.
• Abrin is an intensely poisonous albumin. An a dose of 1/1000 mgm to 1/2000 mg per kilogram body weight injected subcutaneously is considered poisonous.• Seeds are exceedingly toxic (not to be taken internally).
• Fatal poisoning has been reported in children chewing as little as half a seed.
• Intact seeds remain impervious to gastric fluid and pose less of a toxicologic potential. (51)
• The toxic principle chemically and pharmacologically resembles ricin.
• Toxicity case report after ingestion of 3-4 seeds of AP causing acute demyelinating encephalitis, coma and death. (See below)

• Onset of toxicity may occur in 1 to 3 days; symptoms may persist for longer than 10 days. (51)
Kansasaga beans are extremely toxic, containing various types of toxic albumins. Symptoms of poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, debility, stoppage of urine, hallucinations, etc. Observe extreme care in administering.
An infusion of bruised seeds, when applied to the conjunctiva, may cause fatal poisoning from abrin absorption through the conjunctiva. It is a power irritant which can cause ecchymoses and edema at the site of inoculation. In high concentrations, it will cause severe conjunctivitis, permanent corneal opacities, and even destruction of the eye.
Interestingly, it is reported that when injected into animals in infinitesimal doses, the animal rapidly acquires immunity to the poison.
• Necklaces made of pierced seeds can cause contact dermatitis. (51)

Clinical Profile of A. precatorius Poisoning: Study reports on the incidence and clinical presentation of A. poisoning of 30 patients presenting with an alleged history of consumption of seeds to the RMMCH Emergency Room in India. Male to female ratio was 1:4—females indulge in greater number in deliberate self-harm. Mild hypokalemia, attributed to excess fluid loss, was seen in 40% of patients. Major symptoms were vomiting (100%) and diarrhea (67%) which may be bloody. There may be severe dehydration, low blood pressure, hallucinations, seizures, and hematuria. Severe cases may be associated with liver, splenic and renal failure. 7% of patients of patients may die following ingestion of the seeds. (41)
Cerebral Venous Thrombosis Due to Abrin Toxicity: Study reports on a case of intentional A. precatorius poisoning in a young girl that caused cerebral venous thrombosis. While the mechanism for CVT is matter of speculation, the author suggests the possible cause of widespread vascular endothelial damage and a procoagulant state like dehydration. Treatment was supportive. Early first aid is gastric lavage and absorbents (activated charcoal). (43)
A Case of Hemorrhagic Gastroduodenitis: Study reports on a case of acute hemorrhagic gastro-duodenitis following ingestion of bright red and black beans later identified as A. precatorius. With vigilant monitoring, the patient survived without residual illness. (47)
• Abrin Toxicity: LD50 of abrin given intraperitoneally to mice is 0.04 mcg. 5 mg of the alkaloid is reported to toxic to humans. In goats, ground seeds at 1 to 2 g/kg/day can cause death in 2 to 5 days. (51)

Studies
Renal Protective:
Study of seed extract of AP on alcohol-induced renal damage in rats concludes that the seed extract is protective on the kidney against alcohol-induced parenchymal damage. (1)
Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic:
Study on the aqueous seed extract of AP showed strong hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects with a reduction of atherogenic risk predictor indices. The action of A precatorius was dose-dependent. (3)
Antifertility / Sperm antimotility :
(1) Extract study showed that AP possesses a reversible sperm antimotility activity. (2) Methanol extract study of A precatorius seeds showed inhibitory effect on the motility of washed human spermatozoa. The effect of motility was essentially reversible. (3) Study of aqueous seed extract in male albino mice showed a male reproduction system with a dose-dependent reduction in testicular sperm count and motility.
Antifertility / Ovulatory Blockage :
Study of methanolic extract of Arbus precatorius seeds showed highly significant alterations in the pattern of estrous cycle, a significantly prolong diestrous phase, a significant decrease in the proestrous phase and a total blockage of ovulation in one group. (7)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antipyretic:
Extract study showed potent anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic and antipyretic activities.
Toxicity:
A case report of acute demyelinating encephalitis and death after ingestion of peas of AP. A possible immunologic pathogenic mechanism is hypothesized.
Anthelmintic / Root: Anthelmintic study in Zimbabwe showed the extracts and root from Abrus precatorius to be effective against tapeworms. (6)
Antimicrobial: Extracts of A precatorius from leaves, stems and seed oil were tested against S aureus, S epidermis, E faecalis, Strep anginosus, B subtilis, Corynebacterium spp, E coli, K pneumonia, P mirabilis, P aeruginosa and C albicans. Results showed AP especially the seed oil has potent antimicrobial activity and substantiates the ethnobotanical use of AP for various bacteria-related diseases. Staph aureus was the most sensitive organism and the topical application of AP extracts in ointments may be recommended for treating superficial Staph aureus infections.
(8) Study evaluated in vitro antibacterial activities of various crude extracts of seeds against ten clinical isolates. A methanolic seed extract showed greater potency when compared to hexane and chloroform extracts. The ME extract showed maximum antibacterial activity against K. pneumonia, followed by Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mitis and Micrococcus luteus. (53)
Immunomodulatory / Seeds: Study showed Abrus agglutinin could be a potential immunomodulator both in native as well as in heat denatured form. (10) Study evaluated the immunomodulatory functions of aqueous extract of seeds. Results showed a dose related inhibitory effect on delayed type hypersensitivity. On hemagglutination titer (HT) test, the extract showed a suppressive effect at all doses. There was also a dose dependent increase in Phagocytic Index (PI). (44)
Abrin A: Study purified Abrin A from the seeds of A. precatorius. Biological properties were similar to Abrus protein, abrin C, i.e., toxic to cell-free protein synthesis and binds D-galactose. Results show abrin A is a mixture of isolectins; and both abrin A and C are closely related with the same mechanism of toxic action. (12)
Toxicity Study:Study of toxic effects of aqueous extract of A precatorius in white rats showed decreased in RBC, WBC, increased ALT and AST, testicular degeneration and sperm cell reduction. The results caution its use for medicinal purposes.(9)
Toxicity / Demyelinating Encephalitis: Study reports a case of acute demyelinating encephalitis in 30-year old female attributed to ingestion of 3 to 4 seeds of 'ratti.' The patient developed bloody diarrhea and deep coma, and died in three days due to progressive central nervous system depression. (5)
Hepatocelluar Carcinoma / Cytotoxic and Protective Effects: Study of the protective effects of an aqueous/ethanolic extract in NDEA-induced hepatocarginogenesis in rats showed strong cytotoxic effects on HepG2 cells with dose-dependent reduction in various hepatic markers. (14)
Bronchodilator: Study showed a methanolic extract of leaves of AP produced dose-dependent bronchodilator activity.
Renoprotective : Study strongly indicated that the aqueous extract of seeds has a protective effect on alcohol-induced renal injury, an effect related to the attenuation of alcohol-mediated lipid peroxidation of renal parenchymal cells.
Anti-Serotonergic : Study of an EA extract of AP leaves on frog fundus strip using sumatriptan as standard showed antiserotonergic activity with a graded dose response in contraction. (15)
Wound Healing / Antimicrobial: Study of crude seed and methanol extracts of white form of AP showed early wound healing activity in with and without infection. The wound healing was attributed to gums, mucilages, tannins or phenolic compounds in the seeds. (16)
Mast Stabilizing / Anti-Allergic / Anti-Asthmatic: The ethanol extract of AP significantly protected against egg albumin induced degranulation of mast cell and inhibited area of leakage of dye in passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. Results concluded AP possesses anti-asthmatic potential. (2
1)
Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Study evaluated various leaf extracts for antioxidant and antiproliferative properties. The extracts showed strong antiradical properties, Fe++ chelating ability, and good inhibitory ability for lipid peroxidation. Tested on four different human tumor cells lines (human colon adenocarcinoma, human retinoblastoma cancer cells, human hepatocellular carcinoma cells and leukemia cells) the extract showed capabilities of inhibiting survival of tested cancer cell lines. Results showed high antioxidant and antiproliferative activity with potential applications in the treatment of diseases caused by ROS. (19)
Anti-Oogenic / Fertility Regulator / Seed Extract: Study evaluated the seed extract for its effect of ova formation in Swiss albino mice. Results showed follicles in different stages of atresia and deviated oetrous cycle revealing a potential as antifertility agent and embodies Arbus to be a prolonged oral fertility regulator. (20)
Antidiabetic / Seeds: Study evaluated the antidiabetic effect of chloroform-methanol extract of A. precatorius seed in alloxan diabetic rabbits. Results showed antidiabetic properties similar to chlorpropamide, with similar percentage reduction in blood glucose level. (22)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanol extract of leaves for antioxidant activity by various assays. Leaves were found rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, ß-carotene, glutathione, α-tocopherol, and ascorbic acid. The ME showed varying degrees of antioxidant activity in a dose dependent manner in different in vitro models. (23)
Antifertility / Seeds / Effect on Hypothalamopituitary Gonadal Axis: Study evaluated a crude mixture of A. precatorius seeds for antifertility effect. Results showed an antifertility effect with a sharp decrease in serum levels of testosterone, a significant reduction of epididymal sperm count, and marked atrophy of the testes with disruptions of the seminiferous epithelium and atrophy of Leydig cells. (24)
Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated different concentrations of ethanolic extract of Abrus precatorius for wound healing activity in rats. Results showed remarkable antibacterial wound healing properties and shows promise for use in a herbal formulation for treatment of wounds, sores, and boils. (25)
Anticataractic / Antioxidant: Study evaluated in vitro anticataract and antioxidant activities of ethanolic seed extract of A. precatorius against calcium-induced cataractogenesis using goat lenses. Results showed the extract protected the lens against calcium-induced oxidative damage which might help in delaying the progression of the cataract. (26)
Antihistaminic Activity in Clonidine Induced Catalepsy: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of leaves for antihistaminic activity using clonidine induced catalepsy in mice. Clonidine induces catalepsy by releasing histamine from mast cells which is responsible for different asthmatic conditions. Results showed the extract of PA leaves and chlorpheniramine maleate inhibited clonidine induced catalepsy.   (27)
Effect on Androgenic Alopecia / Seeds: Study evaluated petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts of seeds for reversal of androgen (testosterone by I.M.) induced alopecia in male albino wistar rats. Rats treated with the extracts did not develop alopecia. Inhibition of 5α-reductase activity by extracts and finasteride suggest the reversal of androgen induced alopecia by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Study concludes the anti-androgenic alopecia activity was due to inhibition of 5α-reductase activity. (28)
Neuroprotective / Hypoxic Neurotoxicity: Study evaluated the neuroprotective effects of a petroleum ether extract of aerial parts in hypoxic neurotoxicity induced rats. The extract showed neuroprotedtive effects. It significantly promoted spatial behavior and restored the decreased levels of enzymes (glutamate, dopamine, and acetylcholinesterases) which were reduced by the hypoxia. (29)
Gastroprotective / Leaves: Study of ethanolic extract of leaves on ethanol-induced and aspirin+pylorus ligation-induced peptic ulcer in rats showed anti-ulcer activity attributed to its antioxidant, antisecretory, and cytoprotective mechanisms. (
30)
Abrine as Chemical Marker / Shodhana: Abrin is one of the most toxic compounds known to man, and collectively refers to five glycoproteins viz. abrus agglutinin and the toxic principles, abrins A-D, Seeds also contains the indole alkaloid, abrine. To be used in Ayurvedic formulations, seeds are treated by a process called "Shodhana", which denatures the toxin abrin. The presence of abrine in the seeds after "Sodhada" is used as a potential chemical marker in formulations or as indicator in cases of poisoning with AP  seeds.     (
31)
Hair Growth Promoter / Antifungal / Seed Oil: Study evaluated the hair growth promoting effect of A. precatorius seed oil and its effect on head fungal infection in female wistar albino rats. Results showed the seed oil to be a potent hair growth promoter comparable to minoxidil treated animals. It also showed antifungal effect comparable to Itraconazole. (
32)
Anti-Lice / Seed Oil: Study evaluated a petroleum ether fraction of AP seeds against head louse i.e. Pediculus humanus capitis. Results showed excellent anti-lice activity comparable with standard benzyl benzoate. (
33)
Antimalarial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antimalarial activity of aqueous extract of leaf in Swiss albino mice. Results showed potential antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium berghei comparable to halofantrine at dose level of 25 mg/kg. (
34)
Detoxification of Seeds: Death has been reported in children from ingestion of one or two seeds. The human fatal dose of abrin—the toxalbumin is 0.1 - 1.0 microgram/kg. Detoxification to remove toxicity of the seeds may be achieved by boiling the pounded seeds in kanji or cow's milk for 3 hours. Heat denatured abrin looses its haemagglutinating toxicity. Research has showed retention of immunomodulatory activity of heat-denatured or tryptic-digested abrin, while loosing toxicity. Correspondence also mentions an Ayurvedic antidote: juice of Amaranthus (Tandulja) and sugar. (
35)
Antifertility / Suppression of Spermatogenesis: Study evaluated ethanol seed extracts of Arbus precatorius seeds on male mice (Balb-C) fertility. Results suggest suppression of spermatogenesis with histomorphological evidence of decrease in epididymis tubule size and epithelial height, and reduction in sperm number in the tubular lumen. In higher doses, there was significant decrease in plasma testosterone. (
39)
Paradox of Human Equivalent Dose Formula / LD and Toxicity: Human Equivalent Dose (HED) which is equal to animal dose multiplied by animal km (metabolism constant) divided by human km was used to project LD50 of 15 monogastric animals. The LD50 of aqueous leaf extract of AP in mice was estimated between 2559.5 and 3123.3 mg/kbw. Therapeutic safe dose range for the animals was 1-12.5 mg/kbw for 7 days. At a dose ≤200 mg/kbw the leaf extract showed a hematinic effect. At higher dose ≥200 mg/kbw it showed hemolytic effect in rat. At dose of ≥25.0 mg/kg the extract might be organotoxic in hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, monkey, cat, dog, baboon, child and adult human if administered orally for a period of 7 days. (
40)
Contraceptive / Spermatogenesis Effect / Seed Oil: Study evaluated the contraceptive effect of seed oil in Wistar rats. Treatment showed a significant decrease in caudal sperm count and testosterone level. The antifertility effect was completely reversible on withdrawal of the drug. (
42)
Anthelmintic / Seeds: Study of ethanolic extract of red seeds showed anthelmintic activity against earth worms Pheretima posthuma. Albendazole was used as standard drug. (
45)
In Vitro Cytotoxicity / MCF-7 Cell Lines / Seeds: Study evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic effects of ethanolic and ethyl acetate extracts against MCF-7 cells lines. Tamoxifen was used as standard. Results showed that seeds of AP has cytotoxic properties and a potential source of antitumor agents. (see study above) (
46)
Anticancer / Murin Mastocytoma Cancer Cell Line / Leaves: Study evaluated the in vitro anticancer activity of aqueous extract of Abrus precatorius leaves against murin mastocytoma cancer cell line (P815). Results showed a dose dependent cytotoxic effect. (see constituents above) (48)
Effect of A. precatorius and Amaranthus spinosus Combination on Male Fertility: Study evaluated the effect of A. precatorius and A. spinosus as male contraceptives independently and in combination. Study suggests A. precatorius showed sperm toxic effects. A. spinosus prevents cell death, and could improve sperm performance, even at a low dose. While A. spinosus showed no negative effect on male rat fertility, it normalized the infertility due to A. precatorius and the alteration of biochemical parameters induced by AP treatment, indicating a role in minimizing toxicity. The apparent reinforcement of action may be a possible means of avoiding undesirable side effects of A. precatorius which induces males infertility. (49)
• Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the toxicity of aqueous extract of leaves in 20 male white rats over a period of 18 days at doses of 400, 800, and 1600 mg/kg of extracts. Results showed decrease levels of packed cell volume, Hb, RBC count, WBC count, together with increased levels of serum protein, ALT, AST, AP, and total bilirubin. Histologically, there was testicular degeneration as well as reduction in sperm cells with scattered Sertoli cells. Findings showed the aqueous extract of leaves was toxic and suggests caution in its use for medicinal purposes. (9)
• Potential Source of Antioxidants / Leaves: Study of leaves showed A. precatorius is a potential source of antioxidants with a potential for use in food and biological systems. A methanol extract exhibited varying degree of antioxidant activity in a dose dependent manner. The antioxidants can be used as food additives to delay oxidative deterioration of foods and as nutraceutical in food formulations against degenerative diseases. (see constituents above) (52)
• Antihyperglycemic / Insulin Secretagogue Activities / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of leaves for in vivo antihyperglycemic activity and in vitro insulinotropic effect in stretozotocin induced diabetic rats. The methanol extract exhibited antihyperglycemic activity which might involve an insulin secretagogue effect by pancreatic beta cells physiological pathways via K+-ATP channel dependent and independently, along with an effect on Ca2+ channels. (54)

Availability
Wild-crafted.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update January 2017


Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / SEEDS / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database /
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / File:Koeh-002.jpg / Sranz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen / 1897 / Public Domain / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Protective Effect of Abrus Precatorius Seed Extract following Alcohol Induced Renal Damage
European Journal of Scientific Research / ISSN 1450-216X Vol.25 No.3 (2009), pp.428-436
(2)
Potent antiplatelet, antiinflammatory and antiallergic isoflavanquinones from the roots of Abrus precatorius
Planta Med 1995;61 4: 307-312.
(3)
Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Aqueous Extracts of Abrus precatorius Linn Seeds in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Wistar Rats / H U Nwanjo / Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants, Volume 14, Issue 1 & 2 September 2008 , pages 68 - 76 / DOI: 10.1080/10496470802341250 /
(4)
Evaluation of red and white seed extracts of Abrus precatorius Linn. against freund’s complete adjuvant induced arthritis in rats / Research Paper . M. Sudaroli and T. K. Chatterjee / Division of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkatta 700 032, India.
(5)
Acute demyelinating encephalitis after jequirity pea ingestion (Abrus precatorius) / Sahni Vaibhav, Agarwal Satish, Singh Narinder, Sikdar Sunandan / Journal of toxicology / Clinical toxicology ISSN 0731-3810 / 2007, vol. 45, no1, pp. 77-79
(6)
Anthelmintic screening of Zimbabwean plants traditionally used against schistosomiasis
/ doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00377-9 / Journal of Ethnopharmacology . Vol 74, Issue 3, March 2001, Pages 257-264

(7)
Effects Of Methanolic Extract Of Abrus Precatorius Linn Seeds On Estrous Cycle, Ovulation And Body Weight Of Adult Cyclic / I E Okoko et al / Internet Journal of Endocrinology, 2008
(8)
The in-vitro antimicrobial activity of Abrus precatorius (L) fabaceae extract on some clinical pathogens / O Adelowotan et al / The Nigerian postgraduate medical journal (Niger Postgrad Med J) Vol. 15 Issue 1 Pg. 32-7 (Mar 2008)
(9)
Studies on the toxicity of an aqueous extract of the leaves of Abrus precatorius in rats / Adedapo A A et al / Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 2007 Mar;74(1):31-6. /
(10)
Immunomodulatory role of native and heat denatured agglutinin from Abrus precatorius / S Tripathi and Tapas Malti / The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology • Volume 37, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 451-462 / doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2004.07.01
(11)
Sperm antimotility properties of a seed extract of Abrus precatorius / Ratnasooriya W D et al / J-Ethnopharmacol. 1991 May-Jun; 33(1-2): 85-90 /

(12)
A characterization of abrin A from the seeds of the Abrus precatorius plant / Hermann MS, Behnke WD / Biochim Biophys Acta. 1981 Feb 27;667(2):397-410.
(13)
Antifertility potential of Abrus precatorius against male albino mice / R.A. Morey & A.J Khandagle / ISRJ, Vol - I , ISSUE - VI [ July 2011 ] : Zoology
(14)
Exploring the Protective Effects of Abrus precatorius in HepG2 and N-Nitrosodiethylamine-Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Swiss Albino Rats / Ramaswami Kartika, Chandana Venkateshwara Rao, Palpu Pushpangadan et al / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Reserch, Spring 2010: 6(2): 99-114
(15)
Evaluation of Antiserotonergic Activity of Ethyl Acetate Extract of Abrus precatorius Leaves / Amol B. Choudhari, Sayyed Nazim et al / Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol 4, No 3 (2011)
(16)
STUDIES ON WOUND HEALING ACTIVITY OF RED AND BLOCK COLOURED SEED, WHITE COLOURED SEED EXTRACTS OF ABRUS PRECATORIUS L. / Chinnappan Alagesaboopathi / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, Vol 2, No 1, Jan-Mar 2011
(17)
Abrus precatorius L. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
(18)
Sorting Arubs names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
(19)
Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of Abrus precatorius leaf extracts--an in vitro study. / Gul MZ, Ahmad F, Kondapi AK, Qureshi IA, Ghazi IA. / BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Mar 2;13:53. / doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-53.
(20)
Anti-Oogenic Evaluation of Seed Extract of abrus Precatorius L. in Swiss Albino Mice / Arora Asha / International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 2(6), 27-30, June (2013)
(21)
Mast cell stabilizing and antiallergic activity of Abrus precatorius in the management of asthma / DJ Taur*, RY Patil / doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60030-8 / 46 Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine (2011)46-49
(22)
Antidiabetic Effect of Chloroform-Methanol Extract of Abrus Precatorius Linn Seed in Alloxan Diabetic Rabbit / MONAGO, C C; ALUMANAH, E O / J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Mgt. 2005 Vol. 9 (1) 85 - 88
(23)
Abrus precatorius Leaves: Antioxidant Activity in Food and Biological Systems, pH, and Temperature Stability
/ Vanitha Reddy Palvai, Sowmya Mahalingu, and Asna Urooj / International Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume 2014 (2014) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/748549
(24)
INVESTIGATION INTO EFFECT OF CRUDE MIXTURE OF Abrus precatorius SEED ON HYPOTHALAMOPITUITARY GONADAL AXIS AND DEVELOPMENT OF ANTIFERTILITY IN MALE RATS /
S. TALUKDER, M. A. HOSSAIN, S. SARKER AND M. A. H. KHAN / Bangladesh J. Agril. Res. 36(1) : 103-109, March 2011
(25)
ANALYSIS OF PHYTOCHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS AND PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ABRUS PRECATORIUS L / ABHILASHA SHOURIE AND KUNTAL KALRA* / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, 2013 Jan; 4(1): (P) 91 - 101
(26)
Anticataractic and antioxidant activities of Abrus precatorius Linn. against calcium-induced cataractogenesis using goat lenses / Muthuswamy Umamaheswari*, Sundaram Dhinesh, Kuppusamy Asokkumar, Thirumalaiswamy Sivashanmugam, Varadharajan Subhadradevi, Jagannath Puliyath and Arumugam Madeswaran / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2012, 2 (2):378-384
(27)
Antihistaminic activity of Abrus precatorius using clonidine induced catalepsy in mice / Dnyaneshwar J. Taur, Ravindra Y. Patil / Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine
(28)
Effect of petroleum ether and ethanol fractions of seeds of Abrus precatorius on androgenic alopecia / Sukirti Upadhyay, *; Vinod K Dixit; Ashoke K Ghosh; Vijayender Singh / Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.22 no.2 Curitiba Mar./Apr. 2012 Epub Dec 05, 2011 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2011005000221
(29)
Neuroprotective effects of Abrus precatorius Linn. aerial extract on hypoxic neurotoxicity induced rats
/ Premanand R* and Ganesh T / International Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2010, Aug., Vol.1 (1)
(30)
GASTROPROTECTIVE EFFECT OF ABRUS PRECATORIUS ON ETHANOL-INDUCED AND ASPIRIN + PYLORUS LIGATION-INDUCED PEPTIC ULCER IN RATS / KANCHAN A. GUND*, SHGUFTAKAUSAR S. INAMDAR / Asian J Pharm Clin Res, Vol 7, Issue 1, 2014, 57-62
(31)
STUDY OF ABRINE AS A CHEMICAL MARKER FOR ABRUS PRECATORIUS PLANTS OF INDIAN ORIGIN USING LC MS/MS / Shruti Raju, Rashi Kochhar, Shailendra Rane, Deepti Bhandarkar, Ajit Datar*, Zhan Zhaoqi / International Journal of Chemistry, Vol 1, No 1, 2012.
(32)
Efficacy of Abrus precatorius (Gunja) seeds oil as a hair growth promoter [Keshya rasayan] in female wistar albino rats / Sukirti Upadhyay / AAM. 2013; 2(4): 156-159
(33)
Anti-lice activity of Abrus Precatorius LINN (FAM -Fabacae) seeds oil / Sukirti Upadhyay, A K Ghosh, Vijender Singh / Egyptian Dermatology Online Journal 7 (2): 4
(34)
In vIvo antiplasmodial activity by aqueous extract of Abrus precAtorIus in mice / Saganuwan Alhaji Saganuwan, Patrick Azubuike Onyeyili, Egoche George Ameh, Emmanuel Udok Etuk / Rev. Latinoamer. Quím. 39/1-2 (2011)
(35)
Abrus precatorius, Gaertin — An Ayurvedic Potent Phytomedicine
/ ADB V aidya*, AA Raut**, Rama A V aidya* / Correspondence / JAPI • VOL. 53 • AUGUST 2005
(36)
Effective detoxification of Abrus precatorius Linn. seeds by Shodhana / Kalyani H Barve, Neha Ojha / J-AI M- Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 2013, Vol 4, No 2, pp 82-85
(37)
Abrus precatorius L. / Synonyms / The Plant List
(38)
Ethno botanical and Phytophrmacological potential of Abrus precatorius L.: A review / Narendra Garaniya, Atul Bapodra / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, Volume 4, Supplement 1, May 2014, Pages S27–S34
(39)
Histomorphological study to evaluate anti-fertility effect of Abrus precatorius L. in adult male mice / Sarwat Jahan, Naima Saeed, Fasihunnisa Ijlal, Mir Ajab Khan, Mushtaq Ahmad, Muhammad Zafar* and Arshad Mehmood Abbasi / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 3(12), pp. 1021-1028, December, 2009
(40)
The Paradox of Human Equivalent Dose Formula: A Canonical Case Study of Abrus Precatorius Aqueous Leaf Extract in Monogastric Animals / Saganuwan Alhaji Saganuwan / Patrick Azubuike Onyeyili / Macedonian Veterinary Review. ISSN (Online) 1857-7415, November 2015 / DOI: 10.1515/macvetrev-2015-0061
(41)
A study on clinical profile of abrus precatorius poisoning in R.M.M.C.H / Dr. N.Karthikeyan, Dr. P.Swaminathan / Journal of Drug Discovery and Therapeutics, Vol 2, No 22, 2014.
(42)
Contraceptive Evaluations of Oil Extract of Seeds of Abrus Precatorius (L) in Male Albino Rats / Raghunath D.Pokharkar, Rajeshwari .K.Saraswat, Minal G. Kanawade / Pharmacologyonline 3: 905-914 (2009)
(43)
Cerebral Venous Thrombosis Due to Abrin Toxicity: A Case Report
/ KV RAjALAKSHMI*, G SHIIVKuMAR**, s KARTHIKEYAN, V PUNIThA, K SANGEETHA /
(44)
Immunomodulatory Activity of the Aqueous Extract of Seeds of Abrus precatorius Linn (Jequirity) in Mice / Anita Tilwari*, Narmada Prasad Shukla, Uma Devi Pathirissery / Iran.J.Immunol. VOL.8 NO.2 June 2011
(45)
Anthelmintic Activity Of Ethanolic Seed Extract Of Abrus Precatorius Linn / Rajani.A*, K. Hemamalini, S.K. Arifa Begum, KVLD. Spandana, Parvathalu, B. Gowtham / THE PHARMA INNOVATION, Vol. 1 No. 11, Jan 2013
(46)
In vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Abrus precatorius Seed Extracts Against MCF-7 Cell Lines / Pusapati Madan Ranjit*, V. Manasa, Y. A. Chowdary, k. Prabhu Das Kiran, K. Phani Kumar, P. Venkateswara Rao and Girijasankar Guntuku / American Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Therapeutics
(47)
Abrus precatorius Poisoning Leading to Hemorrhagic Gastroduodenitis: A Rare Experience / Khanra D , Talukdar A, Basu K , Mitra S / J Forensic Toxicol Pharmacol 3:1. (2014) / doi:10.4172/2325-9841.1000121
(48)
Phytochemical analysis and in vitro anticancer effect of aqueous extract of Abrus precatorius Linn / M. Lébri*, M. Tilaoui*, C. Bahi, H. Achibat, S. Akhramez, Y. B. N. Fofié, G. Gnahoué, S. M. Lagou, G. N. Zirihi, A. Coulibaly, A. Zyad, A. Hafid and M. Khouili / Der Pharma Chemica, 2015, 7(8):112-117
(49)
Effect of Abrus precatorius and Amaranthus spinosus combination treatment on fertility in male rats / Yaseen Gigani, Amit Vekaria, Syed Amir Ali / Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, 2012, Volume 3, Issue 3, Page 272-273
(50)
Phytochemical and pharmacological study on Abrus precatorius
/ Sunita Verma / Asian Journal of Plant Science and Research, 2016, 6(2):24-26
(51)
Precatory Bean: Toxicity / Drugs.com
(52)
Abrus precatorius Leaves: Antioxidant Activity in Food and Biological Systems, pH, and Temperature Stability / Vanitha Reddy Palvai, Sowmya Mahalingu, and Asna Urooj / International Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 2014 (2014) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/748549
(53)
ABRUS PRECATORIUS L. SEED EXTRACTS ANTIMICROBIAL PROPERTIES AGAINST CLINICALLY IMPORTANT BACTERIA / Varaprasad Bobbarala* and Varahalarao Vadlapudi / Int.J. PharmTech Res.2009,1(4)
(54)
Antihyperglycemic and insulin secretagogue activities of Abrus precatorius leaf extract
/ Balekari Umamahesh, Ciddi Veeresham / Pharmacognosy Research, 2016, Vol 8, Issue 4, pp 303-308.
(55)
Abrus precatorius /

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