Vol. 5, Issue 6 (2020)
Exploring the therapeutic potential of Gunja (Abrus Precatorius Linn.): A classical semi-poisonous herbal drug
Author(s): Gunja K Dahikar, Bharat Rathi, Renu Rathi
Abstract: Introduction: The formulations described in Ayurveda compendia generally contain ingredients of herbal, herbo-mineral, metal or animal in origin. Abrus precatorious (Gunja) is a well-known herbal semi-poisonous plant anticipates contain various medicinal properties used in various formulations after proper purification process. These formulations are indicated for preservation of health and cure of variety of diseases conditions. Aim and Objective: Description of Abrus and its formulations can be traced in various Ayurveda texts including Nighantus. However, a single hand information regarding formulations of Gunja, is not available. Hence, attempt is made in the present paper to gather therapeutic, pharmacological and ehnomedicinal evidences of classical formulations of Abrus precatorius. Material & Method: In the present study, relevant references of various formulations containing Gunja were reviewed through eleven Ayurveda texts including Rasashastra & Bhaishajya Kalpana. Therapeutic efficacy of Gunja is discussed on the basis of available compiled data. Observation and Results: In present review, total 109 formulations were found in Ayurveda texts indicated in internal and external applications and used in various forms like Avaleha, Taila, Ghrita, Lepa, Vati etc. These various forms are used in treating skin diseases, alopecia, rheumatoid arthritis, hair problems etc. The maximum formulations (total 68) are described in the form of Lepa meant for external application. In ethnomedicine, it is a drug of choice in treatment of many diseases and proved remarkable pharmacological activities. Conclusion: Abrus precatorius have high therapeutic potential if used judiciously after due purification process. This study may help as guideline to researchers for planning their pharmaceutical, pre-clinical or clinical studies.