Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius)

Abrus precatorius, sometimes referred to as Crab's eye, Rosary pea, or Gunja in Hindi, is a small, climbing herb with very vivid red seeds. Growing over hedges, trees, and shrubs is where you can find it. Because plant seeds contain toxins called abrin, this is one of the most dangerous herbal plants.

Normally, there are two forms of gunja: the form with red seeds and the form with white seeds.

Preparations made from pure Gunja are effective in treating excruciating arthritis and hair loss. It's also regarded as a strong aphrodisiac.

Common Synonyms

  • Sanskrit – Shikhandika, Sheetpaki, Kakadantika, Kakasahavaya, Rati
  • English – John Crow bead, Indian Licorice root, Crab's eye, Abrus seed
  • Hindi – Gamanchi,  Gunchi, Gunja, Rati
  • Telugu – Guruvinda, Guruginia
  • Tamil name – Gundumani
  • Marathi - Gunj, Gunja
  • Persian name – Chashmi, Khurosa, Gunchi 


It is found throughout the Indian subcontinent in tropical and subtropical regions. Gunja grows like a weed and can get highly invasive wherever it is planted.



Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Kashaya, Tikta 

Astringent, Bitter

Guna (Physical Property)

Ruksha, Laghu 

Dry, Light

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effect On Doshas

It balances Kapha and Vata doshas

Special Activity

Abrus precatorius is an extremely potent herb that can cause severe vomiting and purgation if taken in excess. It is important to use the right purifying techniques before utilizing it medicinally.

Common Properties of the Herb

  • Accessible in both red and white variants, Gunja has been researched extensively for years for its numerous therapeutic qualities that can support natural health care.
  • It is an effective natural aphrodisiac that helps with sexual issues by enhancing sexual arousal and boosting stamina. As a natural herbal remedy, gunja formulations can help people with low sperm counts or other issues connected to sperm production.
  • Gunja, which balances the vata and kapha energies, enhances taste and appetite while also aiding with digestive issues.
  • Gunja is a potent toxin by itself, however, it can be effectively utilized as an anti-toxin when used well-purified and in controlled dosages.
  • It also improves vision in a few ways.
  • Similar to how gunja improves the texture of the skin and hair, its application promotes better wound healing.
  • As a general body strengthener, gunja also contributes to increased immunity and physical strength.
  • Owing to its remarkable therapeutic qualities, gunja can treat everything from minor cold and cough symptoms to rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, worm infestations, asthma, excessive thirst, and poisoning.
  • In addition to the powdered seed, which has both internal and exterior uses, gunja root also works effectively to reduce pain.
  • In the Ayurvedic medical system, one gunja seed is equivalent to about 120 mg, and its size and weight are consistently employed as markers for weight assessment.


Children and women who are nursing or pregnant should not use gunja. Although consuming too much gunja can lead to poisoning, there isn't a special antidote needed for it. With the right hydration and mineral intake, it is easily managed.

Recent Research on this Herb

Extracts from the ethanolic seeds of the gunja plant can slow the progression of cataracts.


  • Root and Leaf Powder 1 -3 g,
  • Seed powder – 0.5 to 1.5 Gunja (unit of measurement) or 60 – 180 mg per day.

Part Used

  • Root
  • Leaf and Seeds

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