Betel nuts facts and benefits

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Betel nuts Quick Facts
Name: Betel nuts
Scientific Name: Areca catechu
Origin It is grown in Tropical Pacific, South Asia, South east and East Africa.
Colors Yellowish to red or orange
Shapes Ovoid drupe, Length: 4-5 cm
Health benefits Stroke Recovery, Anti-cavity Effect, Schizophrenia, Dry Mouth Relief, Prevents Anemia
Scientifically called Areca catechu, is a medium sized, single trunked, evergreen and monoecious tree that does well in tropical as well as sub-tropical climates with well drained soil. The plant grows up to the height of 20 m and 20-30 cm in diameter. It has pinnate leaves measuring 1.5-2 cm long. It bears creamy to white flowers. Fruit is a ovoid drupe which is about 4-5 cm long and is yellowish to red or orange. The seeds inside the fruit is ovoid, ellipsoidal, globose measuring 3-4*2-4 cm. It contains isoguvocine, choline and alkaloids arecaine, arecoline, arecaidine and Guvacine. Nut contains tannin, oil, alkaloids, polyphenols such as flavonoids. Other alkaloids found in it are arecaidine, arecolidine, guvacoline, guvacine, norarecoline and isoguvacine norarecaidine.

Betel nut is actually a substance chewed by huge numbers of people throughout the world. Traditionally, betel nut was regarded as useful to oral hygiene, appetite as well as saliva production. Scientists now realize that chewing betel nut boosts the chance of cancers of the mouth and also the esophagus, and that it can adversely affect the health of kids within the womb. However, there are many possibly beneficial aspects of betel nut, many experts agree that the risks result in the substance unhealthy. Inspite of the name “betel nut,” the substance that individuals chew in lots of areas of the world is generally a combination of two plant items as well as lime minerals. The nut portion is definitely the areca nut, which will come through the palm tree Areca catechu. Occasionally, the nut and lime is contained within a wrapping of leaves from the betel vine, Piper betel. In other preparations all of the components are combined together as powder.

Some research suggests that betel nut utilize may relieve a few of the symptoms of schizophrenia, although not enough evidence, as of 2011, is available to make this more than a possibility. Other areas of medicine where the substance might offer small benefits consist of recovery from stroke and also the intestinal situation ulcerative colitis, however, not enough proof exists to demonstrate this. The nut is considered to have somewhat beneficial effects on the protection against tooth cavities. Although betel nut might have obvious desired biological effects on your body, the serious chances of the nut should also be taken into consideration. Chewing betel nut may cause cancers of the mouth, pharynx and esophagus. Just before cancer develops, the person utilizing betel nut can have problems with serious mouth problems to the extent where the mouth cannot open. Additionally, pregnant women who use betel nut can slow the development of their baby therefore it might be born underweight.

History of Betel Nut

It has long history in South and Southeast Asia and also the Pacific Basin. In Guam along with other Pacific islands, its use could be traced back so far as 2,000 years.

A habit passed through generations, chewing betel nut is really a habitual custom for 10-20% of the world’s population.

World Health Organization estimates that around 600 million people  use betel nut most widely used psychoactive(mainly of the drug) affecting the mind substances in the world.It’s in fourth place after nicotine, alcohol and caffeine).However it is an essential cultural and social tradition in several countries, rising severe health issues on regular usage.

Health benefits of Betal nuts

The roots and leaves of the tree have got excellent therapeutic uses. The nut of the tree also offers therapeutic uses. The nut shouldn’t be taken whenever young. Once the nuts get ripe, they may be dried and utilized for numerous reasons. Listed here are some health advantages of betel nuts:

  1. Stroke Recovery

Betel nut extract is a great idea for stroke recovery, in accordance with InteliHealth. Improvements have been mentioned in speech, bladder control as well as muscle strength in patients taking betel nut extract, even though InteliHealth explains that studies so far have already been small and flawed.

  1. Anti-cavity Effect

In vitro research show that water extract of betel nuts exhibit anti-microbial activity towards particular strains of oral bacteria. Therefore it is stated that its consumption might safeguard teeth from cavities. Chewing on betel nuts might prevent dental plaque. Betel nut might have anti-bacterial effects, also it formerly was included like a toothpaste component to prevent cavities, in accordance with InteliHealth. Due to its toxic effects, however, betel nut is probably less beneficial compared to other restorative agents for dental reasons. Chewing pan along with betel nut has become a common habit. It really is considered to avoid tooth decay. However this must be taken from time to time. Regular intake leads to inflammation resulting in cancer.

  1. Schizophrenia

Preliminary research signifies enhancements in symptoms for schizophrenia patients who take betel nut, in accordance with the NIH. Standard schizophrenia medications create unpleasant negative effects, fueling further efforts to find out new treatments, however the NIH notes that betel nut also created side effects of tremors as well as stiffness within the schizophrenia research.

  1. Dry Mouth Relief

Individuals who chew betel nut have a tendency to create considerable amounts of saliva, in accordance with InteliHealth. This might help individuals with dry mouth brought on by health problems like diabetes and Sjogren’s syndrome. InteliHealth explains that safer medicines are for sale to reduce this symptom.

  1. Prevents Anemia

Betel nuts have been in use for several years like a medication to deal with anemia in pregnant women. They’re good for making up for severe iron deficiency and low blood glucose levels. Frequent, however moderate, usage of betel nut might help combat an iron deficiency.

  1. Beneficial for Brain

It’s been discovered that those who have suffered a brain injury have demonstrated some reaction to betel nuts. Usage of betel nuts helps to improve speech as well as muscle control in such people. However, it may also have unwanted effects when utilized on other sorts of medicine.

  1. Relief from Stomach Worms

Consuming betel nuts assist in treatment of stomach worms just like the tapeworms and also the roundworms. It will help avoid the problems associated with the stomach worms. Betel nut is among the best vermifuge that can help expel the stomach worms.

  1. Can control diabetes

Arecoline is among the bio-chemicals present in betel nut. This particular bio-chemical has been analyzed to have a considerable control on diabetes. Tests on lab animals showed control of blood glucose levels for the considerable time period. Other research has linked chewing betel nut with an increase of chance of diabetes.

  1. Prevents Cellular Degeneration

Betel nuts include antioxidants which help to avoid cellular degeneration within the older ones.

  1. Can control hypertension or blood pressure

Studies have shown that the tannins contained in betel nut are helpful in managing high blood pressure activity by inhibiting the reaction to both angiotensin I and II.

  1. Euphoria

Gnawing betel nuts does make a feeling of well-being and euphoria. This may be one more reason behind its increased use. The elated feeling can make users happy. Users also have reported experiencing a warm feeling in the body after consuming this particular psychoactive substance.

  1. Prevents Nausea

Chewing betel nuts helps prevent nausea. Betel nuts could be chewed just before traveling to avoid vomiting sensation.

  1. Prevents Stomach Problems

Stomach problems just like indigestion, diarrhea and stomach aches is often curable. Consuming betel nuts provides rest from dysentery and in addition helps prevent it when consumed regularly.

  1. Relieves from Excess Heat

Chewing the betel nuts help reduce excessive heat through the body of a human. Consuming betel nuts with betel leaves can be quite beneficial in the summers.

  1. Anti-depressant properties

In accordance with Ayurveda, betel nut is considered to encourage the nervous system. Research into betel nut shows that it does have got anti-depressant qualities. Tests on lab rats recommended that betel nut extracts decreased stress brought on by swimming and tail-suspension.

  1. Immunomodulatory properties

Taking betel nut is assigned to rise in the immunomodulatory response. The extracts of betel nut demonstrated modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism which influences the rise of platelet production.

  1. Energy Booster

The reason behind its increasing popularity is its capability to boost energy. Thanks to its stimulating effects, users experience elevated levels of energy quickly upon chewing these types of nuts. Many state that it wakes them up and offers energy to continue with their day-to-day routine. So chewing it might work to keep you wide awake for a long time, that is especially beneficial whenever driving over night. The heightened alertness as well as increased ability to handle task comes from its active ingredient arecoline?an alkaloid along with a powerful stimulant of the central nervous system.

Side Effects of Betel Nuts

  1. Oral Cancer

When WHO enlists betel nuts like a carcinogen, there’s nothing more to say of the risks of chewing betel nuts. Having that energy boosting bite of betel nut at the cost of cancer predisposition is certainly not worth it. Lots of research has been carried out that verify a powerful correlation in between betel nut consumption as well as oral cancer.

Also, betel nuts available for sale are highly processed and also include lot of additives that may result in the growth and development of oral sub-mucous fibrosis a pre-cancerous situation of the mouth. Their regular usage also carries improved chance of cancer of the pharynx as well as esophagus. To see the effects firsthand, visit Xiangtan, a city in Hunan province, China, where the multimillion dollar industry of betel nuts thrives today. Regular chewing of betel nuts is incredibly common here, that has resulted in amazingly higher incidences of oral cancers among the Xiangtan population.

  1. Mouthful of Stained Teeth

Well, if you’re not going to wash your mouth properly right after gnawing betel nut, your teeth could get stained ultimately. Individuals who gnaw these nuts regularly have a tendency to show teeth stained with the red juice of betel nuts. So in case you don’t drop the habit of chewing betel nuts, your white teeth might soon turn out to be rusty red.

  1. Sensitive Teeth

Individuals who get hooked on betel nuts also have documented elevated dental sensitivity. Because of this, they’re not able to consume spicy as well as sour foods. Consuming hot and cold foods will become difficult.

  1. Salivation

Chewing betel nuts surgesnumerous the creation of saliva. The extra saliva produced throughout the chewing process is considered to enhance digestion, however, many times, it is usually spit out. No surprise, betel nut chewers are frequently seen spitting on the streets. The red splattering related to betel nut chewing is certain to drive onlookers crazy.

On the whole, chewing betel nuts regularly could be deadly. Its risks far outweigh its potential benefits. There is little doubt that it’s toxic habit; hence needs to be instantly stopped before it’s far too late.

Traditional uses

  • It is used to eliminate tapeworms as well as intestinal parasites.
  • The chewing of betel leaf and areca nut is an aid for bad breath.
  • It provides relief from hunger, exhaustion, abdominal pains, leprosy, leucoderma, anemia and obesity.
  • It provides relief from abdominal discomfort as well as weariness.
  • It possesses laxative and diuretic effects.
  • It is used to treat malaria and dysentery.
  • It is a treatment for nasal ulcers.
  • The rind is useful for bloating, flatulence, constipation and also treats oedema.
  • The flowers are used to heal sickness.
  • Nut could be used dried, fresh or cured by baking, boiling and roasting.
  • It is used for the treatment for urinary problems.
  • The burnt nuts are used in dentrifice.
  • It is used as a palate cleanser.
  • It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat fever, headaches and rheumatism.
  • It is used in China for treating parasitic infection.
  • The bark is useful for dropsical, flatulence and obstructive diseases.
  • The powdered dried fruits are heated with coconut oil in Southern India and are applied on burns topically.
  • The young green shoots are used in Malaya as abortifacient.
  • It is used in India to treat skin ulcers.
  • It is used in Tamil and Kerala to treat migraine headaches.
  • It is helpful for low blood pressure, diarrhea, slow heart rate and other intestinal problems.
  • It is used to treat facial paleness, physical weakness and anemia.
  • It is an aid for pain in shins, backache and uneasiness.
  • It is useful for treating leucoderma, obesity and leprosy.

How to Eat         

  • In a betel leaf, few slices of nut are wrapped with calcium hydroxide, cardamom, clove and catechu.
  • The seeds could be consumed raw and the inner parts of shoots are cooked and consumed as vegetables.

Other Facts        

  • The leaf sheath is used to make plates, cups and bags whereas the leaves are used for thatching.
  • The wood is used for construction purposes.

Betel nuts facts

Betel nut thrives well in subtropical and tropical areas and is less tolerable to cooler climatic conditions. This is widely cultivated in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The word betel nut refers to the plant or nuts produced by that tree.

Name Betel nuts
Scientific Name Areca catechu
Native It is grown in Tropical Pacific, South Asia, South east and East Africa.
Common/English Name Betel palm, Betel Nut Palm, Areca Palm, Areca Nut Palm, Indian Nut, Pinang Palm, Adakka, Angiro, Adike, Areca nut, Bo, Bonga, Bua, Bu, Buai, Chambe, Bunga, Gaisa, Kasu, Heta, Kikiro fasia, Malua, Maak, Nokalua, Mpopoo, Nyia nwotapi, Pakku, Ota, Pan, Pinang, Pijaka, Poogiphalam, Poc, Pu, Pua mouku, Pua liki, Pua, Pugua, Puak, Supari, Vua, Vakka
Name in Other Languages Bodo: Goi;
Nepali: Supari (सुपारी);
‘Are’are: Ota;
Bengali: Supuri (সুপুরি), Supari (সুপারি);
Assamese: Guwa (গুৱা), Sûfari (চোফাৰী), Tamûl (তামোল);
Burmese: kwmsee (ကွမ်းသီး), kwmyar (ကွမ်းယာ);
Chamorro: Pugua, åfok, pupulu, måmå’on;
Dzongkha: Doma;
Dutch: betelpalm, pinangboom;
Chinese: Bīnláng (槟榔), Dà fù zǐ (大腹子), Bīnláng zi (槟榔子);
Guadalcanal: Bua;
Maldives: Fōh, bileiy, Fuvah, huni, dhu’fuň;
Punjabi: Suupaari (ਸੁਪਾਰੀ), Spari, Supari;
Gujarati: Ayrike (ઍરિકૅ), Sopari (સોપારી);
Hindi: Kasaili, Supārī (सुपारी);
Indonesian: Pinang;
Ilocano: Bua;
Javanese: Jambe;
Khasi: Kwai;
Kapampangan: Lúyus, Ápî, Samat, Mamâ-n;
Konkani: suppari (सुपारी);
Khmer: Slàa (ស្លា), Klàa;
Malay: Pinang, Kavugu, Pinang, Pokok pinang, Pinang sirih, Pucuk;
Lao: Mark (ໝາກ), Màak;
Mandarin: bīngláng (槟榔);
Malayalam: Adakka (അടക്ക), Chempalukka, Kavungu, Kazhangu, Pakku, Kamuk (കമുക്), Kavung (കവുങ്ങ്);
Maranao: Bamaan;
Meitei: Kwa;
Marathi: Supari (सुपारी), Pugiphala (पुगीफल, पुगीफळ), Pug (पूग), Pugaphal (पूगफल), Pophal (पोफळ), Pophali (पोफळी), Supari (सुपारी);
Mizo: Kuhva;
Memoni: Sopari;
Mon: Sōd (သတ်);
Mishing: Gooya;
Motu: Buatau;
Odia: Gua;
Nepalbhasa: Gwoy (ग्वय्);
Nanggu: Kertu, ndo, pwe;
Palau: Buuch;
Raga: Niniu;
Pohnpei: Pwuh;
Sindhi: Sopari  (سوپاري);
Sanskrit: Poogi phalam, Akoth (अकोट), Udveg (उद्वेग), Khapur (खपुर), Guvakah (गुवाक), Chamarpushpa (चामरपुष्प), Pugh (पूगः), Pugaphal (पूगफल), Pugi (पूगी), Valktaruh (वल्कतरुः);
Tagalog: Bunga, Nga Nga, Tempak Siri;
Sinhalese: Puwak (පුවක්), Golae (ගොලෑ), Karunka (කරුංකා), Rabbaada (රබ්බඩ);
Hokkien: Chinese (檳榔), Hokkien (pin-nn̂g);
Tausug: Bunga, mama;
Telugu: Poka (వక్క), vakka (పోచోక్క), Kramukamu (క్రముకము), Khapuramu (ఖపురము), Ghonta (ఘోంట), Pugamu (పూగము);
Tamil: Paakku (பாக்கு), Atai-k-kay (அடைக்காய்), Kanti (கந்தி), Kamuku (கமுகு), Kuntar-kamaku (கூந்தற்கமுகு), Chakuntam (சகுந்தம்), Chamara-putpam (சாமரபுட்பம்), Pukam (பூகம்), Vimpu (விம்பு);
Thai: Mahk (หมาก), plue (พลู);
Tetum: Bua, ahu, malus, mama;
Tok Pisin: Buai pekpek, Buai, Kaikai buai;
Tokodede: Buo, rapo, malu, mam;
Tulu: Bajjaialso phoolu;
Yap: Buw, gabuy, waech, langad;
Urdu: Chhalia, Dulli, Supari;
Sylheti: Supari, Gua;
Vietnamese: Cau, Trầu;
Tausog: Bunga, Buyuh;
Philippines: buwa;
Zeme naga: Tegutchi, Guchi;
Sri Lanka: Puak;
India: Pan;
Spanish: Palma catechou, areca, bonga;
Arabic: fofal;
Finnish: Betelpalmu;
French: Pin caraïbe, Aréquier, Noix de betel, Noix d’arec, arec cachou, arec de l’Inde;
Hindi: supari, Udveg (उद्वेग), Khapur (खपुर), Guvak (गूआ, गुवा), Chamarpushpa (चामरपुष्प ), Pungi (पुंगी), Pug (पूग), Pugi (पूगी), supaaree (सुपारी), Supari (सुपारी);
Kannada: Adake (ಅಡಕೆ), ಅಡಿಕೆ (Adike);
Kashmiri: Spari, Supari;
Oriya: Gua;
German: Betelnuß, Betelpalme, Catechu-Palme;
Portuguese: arequeira;
Swedish: betelpalm;
Dutch: betelpalm, pinangboom;
Plant Growth Habit Medium sized, evergreen, single trunked, monoecious
Growing Climate Tropical and sub tropical
Soil Well drained
Plant Size Height: 20 m, Diameter: 20-30 cm
Leaves Pinnate, Length: 1.5-2 m
Flower Creamy, white
Fruit shape & size Ovoid drupe, Length: 4-5cm
Fruit color Yellowish to red  or orange
Taste Woody and peppery
Seed Ovoid, ellipsoidal, globose, 3-4*2-4 cm






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