Abrus Precatorius (Ratti / Gunchi)

It is also known as jequirity, Indian liquorice, rosary bead, gunja or rati. It is a slender, twining, climbing plant, woody at base and is found all over India. Leaves are compound feather-like with ten to fifteen pairs of narrow leaflets, one to two and a half-cm long. Flowers are pea-like, one cm long, purple, pink, yellowish or whitish. Seed pot is two and a half to five-cm. long, borne in clusters, green when immature, becoming brown and dry, splitting open and remaining on vine with four to six seeds exposed. The seeds are egg shaped, bright scarlet colour with a large black spot at one end, 8mm long and 6 mm broad, and weigh 105 mg. on an average. Seeds may be white with a black spot, all black, yellow or blue. The seeds contain an active principle, abrin, a toxalbumin, which is similar to viperine snake venom` also present are abrine {N-methyl tryptophan}, an aminoacid, haemoglutinin in the cotyledons` a lipolytic enzyme, and abralin, a glucoside. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Seeds are tasteless and odowebsiteess.
Route :
Ingestion, injection
Fatal Dose :
90-120 mg (one to two seeds) by injection. Subcutaneously abrin is 100 times as toxic as by the oral route.
Fatal Period :
3-5 days.
Mechanism of action :
Abrin inhibits protein synthesis and causes cell death.
Clinical Picture :
Symptoms may be delayed from a few hours to two or three days when taken by mouth. They include severe irritation of the upper G.I. tract, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, weakness, cold perspiration, trembling of hands, weak rapid pulse, miosis and rectal bleeding. Delayed cytotoxic effects occur in the CNS, liver, kidneys and adrenal glands 2 to 5 days after exposure.
In man, at the site of injection, painful swelling and ecchymosis develops, with inflammation and necrosis. Ingestion of seeds or extract can cause haemorrhagic gastritis. There is faintness, vertigo, vomiting, dyspnoea, and general prostration. Convulsions may precede death from cardiac failure.

Treatment :
1. Gastric lavage
2. Activated charcoal
3. Purgative
4. Ingestion of anti-abrin` the needle should be dissected out.
02/20/2024 23:28:30 Abrus Precatorius (Ratti / Gunchi)
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