This section is from the book "A Practitioner's Handbook Of Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Thos. S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: A Practitioner's handbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
Jequirity, Abrus Precatorius or Indian Licorice. This is a highly toxic agent, the seeds containing proteid poisons with properties similar to the toxic agents of snake venom. A solution of jequiritol applied to the eye causes a purulent inflammation of a most violent character. By means of very weak infusions a moderate inflammation is induced that displaces an existing purulent state by engrafting a new one. Hence, it is used in pannus and chronic trachoma and sometimes in chronic conjunctivitis and purulent ophthalmia.
Merck's jequiritol is a sterile preparation of this agent. Begin by instilling into the eye I drop daily of "Solution No. I" and increasing by I drop daily until the desired reaction results. All preparations of jequiritol soon spoil after being diluted with water, and should always be made up fresh as desired. This is a valuable agent, but must be handled with great caution.