A picture of a Precatory Bean necklace given to me by a client from South America.
Precatory Bean, a.k.a. Crab's Eye Bean, Lady Bug Bean, Jumbie Bean, Prayer Bean, Rosary Bean/Pea, and Jequirity Bean is the red and black colored seed of a legume native to India. It's official name is Abrus Precatorius It has a long and infamous history, mostly associated with witchcraft and murder.
Though beautiful, Precatory Beans are among the world's deadliest plants. Ingesting one small seed is enough to kill a person. The poison is called Abrin and acts similarly to the Ricin toxin found in Castor Beans. There is no antidote.
Due to their beauty and size, Precatory Beans were used as Rosary beads, which is why they have been given the names of Precatory, Prayer, or Rosary Beans.
In India and South Africa Precatory Beans are associated with witchcraft and are mainly used to decorate tools and items used in magic. In South America, Central America, and Mexico, Precatory Beans are believed to be lucky and protective, especially with regard to protecting against the evil eye as well as evil spirits. In Jamaica and surrounding areas, Precatory Beans are believed to have the power to protect one from Duppies.
Traditionally, Precatory Beans were strung and worn as necklaces. Individual beans were used as ingredients in mojo bags, amulets and even statues. I have several small statues that have been "fixed" or "loaded" by having various items included in them.
"Fixed" or "loaded" statues containing Precatory Beans as well as other ingredients.
If you would like to wear or use Precatory Beans for it's alleged magical power to protect from the evil eye and protect from negative spirits, as well as the promotion of good luck, then please make sure that children or pets do not have access to the seeds. I would hate to read of horror stories of a child's or beloved pet's death from accidental ingestion. Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of non-toxic options for those who would like protection from the evil eye and spirits that do not put animal or human life in potential jeopardy.
Precatory Beans made the news last year when several shops in the UK sold trendy red and black necklaces and bracelets that were made from the beans. They were quickly recalled after employees recognized the beans as being poisonous.