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A Review on Therapeutic Utilities and Purificatory Procedure of Gunja (Abrus precatorius Linn.) as Described in Ayurveda

Rabinarayan Acharya, Sudipta Roy


Gunja (Abrus precatorius Linn.), belonging to the family Fabaceae, has been used by the Ayurvedic physicians, for management of different disease conditions. It comes under the upavisha (semi-poisonous) group in Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia. It is a slender, perennial climber with long, pinnate leaves that twines around trees, shrubs and hedges. In this review, an endeavour has been made to explore the therapeutic utilities of Gunja, its formulations and its different methods of shodhana (purificatory measures) by collecting the information from different samhitas (treatises), nighantus (lexicons) as well as samgraha granthas (compendia of Ayurveda) and other related texts. It is observed that the Gunja, after passing through various shodhana procedures, is used in 52 formulations, which are effective in more than 41 disease conditions such as kustha (skin disease), kandu (itching), kasa (cough), vrana (wound), indralupta (alopecia), etc., in various dosage forms like churna (powder), taila (oil), ghruta (ghee), dhuma varti (suppositories), lepa (paste), rasa, and vati (tablet).   



Gunja, Abrus precatorius Linn., Ayurveda, upavisha, shodhana

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