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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Rosary Pea
(Abrus precatorius)
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!PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY! The seeds are attractive, being scarlet and black in color, but are highly toxic when cracked open. One seed is able to kill a man and seeds can cause birth deformities, sterility, and coma. Some countries have severe legal restrictions regarding this plant. These should not be grown as house plants where small children and pets are present.

This plant is best known as a tropical climbing ornamental since it contains deadly compounds which should not be used except by highly trained professionals.

Used by the Chinese as a medicinal.
In professional hands the seeds have been used to treat fever, malaria, headache, dropsy, and worms.
Also used externally to treat sciatica, skin disease, leprosy, nervous exhaustion and paralysis.
The leaves have been used for sore throats and dry coughs.
The roots have been used as a substitute for licorice due to the presence of glycyrrhizin; however, they also contain toxic compounds which makes their use unadvisable under any circumstances.

©2000 by Ernestina Parziale, CH