Abstract Strychnos potatorum seeds (cleaning nuts or nirmali) are extensively used by remote village tribals in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India for clarification of turbid and metal contaminated water. In the present study the ability of seed proteins to bind aqueous cadmium has been investigated. Biochemical characterization of the seed powder revealed the presence of coagulant proteins. These proteins were isolated from the soluble extracts of the seeds by ammonium sulfate fractionation. The (30–70%) fraction containing the bulk of proteins were separated by gel filtration into two peaks A and B. The (30–70%) ammonium sulfate precipitated proteins, as well as those from Peak A and B were separately immobilized to affigel-10. The Cd(II) biosorption efficiency by these proteins have been investigated. Different experiments have been conducted (i) over a range of pH (2.0–7.0), (ii) contact time (5–600min), (iii) temperatures (4–40°C) and (iv) metal ion concentrations (80–110mgL−1). The results showed that the optimum conditions for Cd(II) adsorption are almost same for the three proteins used in the study. Cd(II) removal is pH dependent and the maximum removal was at pH 5.0 in a time span of 360min. The equilibrium data fit into Langmuir isotherm than Freundlich model. The correlation coefficient for the pseudo second order is high (∼0.996–1.00) where as the correlation coefficient of the pseudo first order model is too low so the adsorption is better described by pseudo second order model.