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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Abrus precatorius (Gunja or Chirmiti): Uses and Side Effects

Gunja or Ratti (Abrus precatorius): Health Benefits
Botanical Name - Abrus precatorius Linn.
English Names - Indian Wild Liquorice (not to be used as a substitute for liquorice), Jequirity, Crab’s Eye, Precatory Bean.
Ayurvedic Names - Gunjaa, Gunjaka, Chirihintikaa, Raktikaa, Chirmiti, Kakanti, Kabjaka, Tiktikaa, Kaakananti, Kaakchinchi.

Common Names - Ghunghchi, Ghamchi, Kunri, Chirmiti, Ratti.
Traditional Uses of Abrus precatorius (Gunja or Chirmiti):
In India, the extract of the root of the plant is used for application to relieve eye diseases. The plant is also used in Ayurveda and is said to promote hair growth. It is sometimes used as an ingredient in Indian hair products. Abrus laevigatus (Shveta Gunjaa) is preferred to use for the same medicinal purposes as Abrus precatorius.

In Africa, the root of Abrus Precatorious is used to relieve tapeworm infestation, bilharzias, asthma and gonorrhea.
In Brazil, the water extract of dried leaves of the plant is taken orally and also applied on cuts as well as swellings.
In Siddha medicine, the white variety is used to prepare oil that is claimed to be an aphrodisiac. A tea is made from the leaves and used for fevers, coughs and colds. Seeds are poisonous and therefore are used after mitigation.
Medicinal Properties of Gunja or Chirmiti (Abrus precatorius):
Uterine stimulant, abortifacient, toxic. Seeds—teratogenic. A paste of seeds is applied on vitiligo patches.

·                   Seeds contain abrin, a toxalbumin, indole derivatives, anthocyanins, sterols, terpenes. Abrin causes agglutination of erythrocytes, haemolysis and enlargement of lymph glands. A nontoxic dose of abrin, isolated from the seeds of red var., exhibited a noticeable increase in antibody-forming cells, bone marrow cellularity and alpha-esterase-positive bone marrow cells.
·                   Oral administration of agglutinins, isolated from the seeds, is useful in the treatment of hepatitis and AIDS.
·                   Theseed extract exhibited antischistosomal activity in male hamsters.
·                   The methanolic extract of seeds inhibited themotility of human spermatozoa.
·                   The roots contain precol, abrol, glycyrrhizin and alkaloids—abrasine and precasine. The roots also contain triterpenoids—abruslactone A, methyl abrusgenate and abrusgenic acid.
·                   Alkaloids/bases present in the roots are also present in leaves and stems.

The seed of Abrus Precatorius is known to be extremely poisonous when taken without proper prescription. Its high toxic levels can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, tachycardia, coma, cold sweats and nausea. Prolonged use of Abrus can lead to anemia and can increase the white blood cell count tremendously. It is therefore best taken under professional guidance and avoided by pregnant women and infants.

Lady Finger (Hibiscus esculentus) or Okra (Bhindi)



Abelmoschus esculentusv Or Hibiscus esculentus: All About Okra or Bhindi
English Names - Gumbo, Lady Finger, Okra.
Ayurvedic Names - Bhaandi, Bhindaka, Bhendaa.
Common Names – Baamiyaa, Vendai, Bhindi, Raamturai.

Health Benefits of Okra (Bhindi):
·       Immature pods (decoction) — emollient, demulcent and diuretic (in catarrhal affections, ardor urine, dysuria, dysentery).
·       Seeds—antispasmodic.
·       Fatty fraction of the fresh watery extract of the seeds causes destruction of cancerous cell growth in vitro. The pods are reported to exhibit antitumour activity. An ethanolic extract of pods was effective against Grampositive bacteria.

·       The ripe fruits contain quercetin, hyperin (hyperoside), hydrolysate of precipitated mucilage, proanthocyanidins, D-glucose, D-glucuronic and galacturonic acids.
·       Fresh flowers contain flavonol glycosides and anthocyanins.

·       Decoction of young okra fruit is used to treat inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the respiratory tract, accompanied by excessive secretions.
·       Okra juice is used to treat sore throat associated with coughing
·       Decoction of okra leaves, fruits and leaves are used to treat urinary problems, such as painful urination and other genitourinary problems including gonorrhea and syphilis.
·       Okra leaves and roots used as poultice for wounds
·       Okra juice used to treat diarrhea with fever and related abdominal pains
·       Okra juice used to treat skin itchiness and as skin moisturizer.
·       Okra leaves used for inflammation
·       Okra fruits are eaten to treat involuntary discharge of semen

·       Roasted okra seeds are used to promote sweating
·       Okra seeds are used to treat and prevent muscle spasms
·       Decoction of okra is used to treat fever, headache and arthritis.
·       Okra is rich in fiber that absorbs water and improves the bulk of stool. Very effective against diarrhea and constipation.
·       Okra’s mucilage binds with cholesterol and bile acids and expelled through stool from the body.
·       Okra helps in lowering the blood sugar level by blocking the absorption of sugar in the intestinal tract.
·       Okra’s mucilage acts as a lubricant and a laxative for the intestinal tract facilitating the easy passage of waste.
·       Okra is believed to smoothen the skin and prevent the eruption of pimples and acne.
Nutritional Profile of Okra (Abelmoschus Esculentusv)
Okra (raw)

Carbohydrate Factor: 3.57 Fat Factor: 8.37 Protein Factor: 2.44 Nitrogen to Protein Conversion Factor: 6.25


Refuse: 14% Refuse Description: Crown and tips

Nutrient (Proximates)
Unit
per 100 g

Water
g
89.58

Energy
kcal
33

Protein
g
1.93

Total lipid (fat)
g
0.19

Ash
g
0.86

Carbohydrate, by difference
g
7.45

Fiber, total dietary
g
3.2

Sugars, total
g
1.48

Sucrose
g
0.6

Glucose (dextrose)
g
0.32

Fructose
g
0.57

Lactose
g
0

Maltose
g
0

Galactose
g
0

Starch
g
0.34

Minerals

Calcium, Ca
mg
82

Iron, Fe
mg
0.62

Magnesium, Mg
mg
57

Phosphorus, P
mg
61

Potassium, K
mg
299

Sodium, Na
mg
7

Zinc, Zn
mg
0.58

Copper, Cu
mg
0.109

Manganese, Mn
mg
0.788

Selenium, Se
µg
0.7

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg
23

Thiamin
mg
0.2

Riboflavin
mg
0.06

Niacin
mg
1

Pantothenic acid
mg
0.245

Vitamin B-6
mg
0.215

Folate, total
µg
60

Folic acid
µg
0

Folate, food
µg
60

Folate, DFE
µg
60

Choline, total
mg
12.3

Vitamin B-12
µg
0

Vitamin B-12, added
µg
0

Vitamin A, RAE
µg
36

Retinol
µg
0

Carotene, beta
µg
416

Carotene, alpha
µg
27

Cryptoxanthin, beta
µg
0

Vitamin A, IU
IU
716

Lycopene
µg
0

Lutein + zeaxanthin
µg
280

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
mg
0.27

Vitamin E, added
mg
0

Tocopherol, beta
mg
0

Tocopherol, gamma
mg
0.16

Tocopherol, delta
mg
0

Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
µg
0

Vitamin D
IU
0

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
µg
31.3

Lipids

Fatty acids, total saturated
g
0.026

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated
g
0.017

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated
g
0.027

Fatty acids, total trans
g
0

Cholesterol
mg
0

Phytosterols
mg
24

Amino Acids

Tryptophan
g
0.017

Threonine
g
0.065

Isoleucine
g
0.069

Leucine
g
0.105

Lysine
g
0.081

Methionine
g
0.021

Cystine
g
0.019

Phenylalanine
g
0.065

Tyrosine
g
0.087

Valine
g
0.091

Arginine
g
0.084

Histidine
g
0.031

Alanine
g
0.073

Aspartic acid
g
0.145

Glutamic acid
g
0.271

Glycine
g
0.044

Proline
g
0.045

Serine
g
0.044

Alcohol, ethyl
g
0

Caffeine
mg
0

Theobromine
mg
0

Flavonoids

Flavonols



Isorhamnetin
mg
0

Kaempferol
mg
0

Quercetin
mg
21

Isoflavones



Daidzein
mg
0

Genistein
mg
0