Detoxification of Gunja Seeds with Ex Vivo Study


Nikita Kale1, Prakash Gulbhele2, Vaibhav Gawade3*, Rahul Jagtap3, Sudhir Khodade4

1Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry PES Modern, College of Pharmacy, Yamuna Nagar Nigdi, Pune, Maharashtra India, 411044.

2Department of Quality Assurance Alard, College of Pharmacy, Hinjwadi, Pune-411057, India.

3Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Dr. D.Y. Patil Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, Pimpri, Pune-411018, India.

4Department of Pharmaceutical Science, London Metropolitan university, London N7 8DB, UK.

*Email: [email protected]


Seeds of Abrus precatorius linn. (fabaceae) are used in different Ayurvedic therapeutics. Since they are poisonous, they are processed with various media like Godugdha (cow’s milk), Kanji (sour gruel), Nimbu Swarasa (Lemon Juice), etc. before being incorporated into the Ayurvedic formulations. This study investigates the use of Gomutra (Cow Urine), normal saline (NaCl), and water as detoxification media. A stainless-steel vessel with a dolayantra was used to immerse the seeds for 3 hours of boiling during the detoxification process. Detoxification using Gomutra gave a reddish tinge to the seeds compared to the light brown color seen with NaCl medium. The physicochemical changes in detoxification that occurred in the gomutra treated gunja seeds were validated by TLC and Ex Vivo investigations (agglutination assay). To characterize the extract using TLC, the mobile phase was Toulene: ethyl acetate: glacial acetic acid (6.5: 3.3: 0.2). The removal of distinctive bands in the TLC profile of processed gunja seeds suggested that the gunja seed extract's composition had changed.

Key words: Abrus precatorius, Gunja seeds, Abrin, Gomutra, Dolayantra


Gunja (Abrus precatorius Linn.), known as Indian liquorice, is reputed as one of the world’s most deadly but most beautiful seeds belonging to the family Fabaceae, classified as Upavisha (semi-poisonous medications) and widely employed in various Ayurvedic formulations with significant therapeutic value [1]. Due to the poisonous content present in gunja, it comes under the term "poisonous drug." In Ayurveda, it’s stated that gunja can be used for therapeutic effect after proper detoxification [2]. Cow's milk, sour gruel, lemon juice, water, and other substances have previously been used to detoxify gunja [3]. In this study, we used gomutra and normal saline water for detoxification of gunja, and the confirmatory test known as the agglutination assay was carried out to confirm the agglutination factor present in gunja, which is Abrin, removed after the detoxification process using the new detoxification media, which is Cow’s Urine [4]. This review paper shows the detoxification of gunja seed by using the TLC method and agglutination assay [5].


Drug procurement

HEILEN BIOPHARM PVT. LTD. 1201, Matrix, Near Divya Bhaskar Press, SG Highway, Prahladnagar, Gujarat (India)

Detoxification of gunja seed powder

Instruments used: dolayantra

Two steel vessels are used to form the dolayantra with the help of an iron rod in such a way that the drug tied in cloth should not touch the bottom. The drug was tied into the muslin cloth by making the pottali, and it was deepened into the media in such a way that the pottali should not touch the bottom [6] (Figure 1).