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Crab's Eye

Taken on 23 Feb, 2010

Abrus precatorius L.a.k.a Crab’s eye a.k.a Lucky Legume,  the raw seeds of which contain abrin, a ribosome inactivating protein that is one of the deadliest plant toxins known; despite their toxicity, the boiled seeds are ingested as a contraceptive and an aphrodisiac (as are the chewed roots). 
They are also made into a decoction for use as a diuretic, for sore throat, and for rheumatism; the powdered seeds are taken as a snuff for headache; a poultice of the leaves is said to remove freckles; a decoction of the leaves and roots is used for cough, colds, and colic.

At the Guruvayur temple large vessels are filled with the seeds for people to run their hands thru. They are supposed to bring luck.

© Nalini Hebbar/saycheese/2009-all rights reserved
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Tarun Mitra said...

nice capture and good information :)