Rosary pea is highly toxic and can be fatal if ingested. In its native range, the roots are used to induce abortion and relieve abdominal discomfort. One of the most deadly plant toxins, abrin, is produced by rosary pea.
The rosary pea, which is the source of abrin, is common to many tropical areas throughout the world and is sometimes used as an herbal remedy. The seeds of the rosary pea have been used to make beaded jewelry, which can lead to abrin poisoning if the seeds are swallowed.