Rosary Pea – Medicinal Benefits

Rosary pea or crab`s eye popularly known as Gunja in Hindi . It is a slender, climbing herb with peculiar bright red seeds. It can be found growing over shrubs , plant and hedges . It is the most toxic herbal plant because of presence of abrin toxin present in plant seeds .

Gunja occur in two forms normally , the one with the red seeds and the other one is white seed .

Purified Gunja preparations work well for treating painful arthritis and hair fall . It is also considered a potent aphrodiasiac.


ENGLISH NAMES :-Indian Licorice root , Crab`s Eye , John Crow Bead , Abrus seed

HINDI NAMES :- Gunchi , Gamanchi , Gunja , Rati

SANSKRIT NAMES :- Kakadantika , Rati , Sheetpaki , Kakashaveya , Shikhandika

TAMIL NAMES :- Gundumani

TELUGU NAMES :- Guruvinda ,Guruginia

MARATHI NAMES :- Gunj , Gunja

PERSIAN NAMES :-  Gunchi , Chashmi , Khurosa


RASA :- Tikta ( Bitter ) , Kashya ( Astrigent )

GUNA :- Ruksha (Dry ) , Laghu ( Light )

VIRYA :- Ushana ( Hot )

VIPAKA :- Katu ( Pungent )

EFFECT ON DOSHAS :- Balances Vatta and Kapha Doshas

PARTS TO BE USED :- Roots , leaf and Seeds


Botanical Name :- Abrus Precatorius

Kingdom :- Plantae

Division :- Magnoliophyta

Class :- Magniliopsida

Order :- Fabales

Family :- Fabaceae

Subfamily :- Faboideae

Tribe :- Abreae

Genus :- Abrus

Species :- A precatorius


1. Promote growth of hair :- The oil from the seed of herb is useful to promote the growth of human hair .

2. Treatment of Gonorrhea :- The rosary pea roots are used in treatment of Gonorrhea , Haemoglobinuric bile and Jaundice .

3. To Treat Fever ,Cough and Cold :- The leaves of Rosary Pea are used in making of tea which is helpful in treating cough , fever and colds .

4. This herb is also used as Laxative , Abortifacient , Aphrodisiac and Sedative

5. The seeds of this herb has antimicrobial , anodyne , diuretic , expectorant , hemostat , emetic , febrifuge , purgative and refrigerant property .

6. The seeds after being converted to vermifuge paste can be applied topically in case of sciatica , stiffness of shoulder joint and paralysis .

7. The white seeds of the herb are used in siddha medicine , to make oil that is regarded as an equivalent of the present day vigra .

8. In some traditional medicines , the herb is used to treat scratches , sores and wounds caused by dogs ,cats and mice .

9. The paste of its roots is often used in treatment of abdominal pain and tumors .

10. The juice derived from the paste of the leaves and seeds of rosary pea can be used to treat grey hair .


The seeds of Rosary pea are highly poisonous . In the powdered form they have been known to disturb the uterine function and also prevent conception in women .

1. If consumed raw the seeds can result in nausea , severe abdominal pain , vomiting and diarrhea , burning in throat . Later on ulcerative lesion of mouth and esophagus might result.

2. Eye damage conjunctivitis and even blindness might result from coming in contact with an infusion of the seed extracts .