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Betel Nut Health Benefits

The name “betel nut,” the substance that people chew in many areas of the world is usually a mixture of two plant items and lime minerals. The nut portion is the areca nut, which comes from the palm tree Areca catechu.


Sometimes, the nut and lime is contained inside a wrapping of leaves from the betel vine, Piper betel.


In other preparations all the ingredients are mixed together as powder. Research has indicated that betel nut use may alleviate some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, but not enough evidence, as of 2011, is available to make this more than a possibility.


Other areas of medicine where the substance may provide small benefits include recovery from stroke and the intestinal condition ulcerative colitis, although not enough evidence exists to prove this.


For centuries, billions of people across Asia, from Pakistan to Palau, have chewed the spicy date-like fruit of the betel palm for a quick drone.


However, a World Health Organization study has found that chewing betel nuts can cause oral cancer and that the rate of these malignant mouth tumours was highest in Asia where the betel nut is a widely used stimulant.


Betel nut, which contains an addictive stimulant similar to nicotine, is widely used in parts of Southeast Asia, India, Pakistan and the South Pacific as a breath freshener, a hunger antidote, a substitute for cigarettes and as a way to get high.


Because of its toxic effects, however, betel nut is likely less useful than other therapeutic agents for dental purposes.


Betel nut is a nervine tonic, mildly astringent, and widely used in Ayurveda. It is a tonic for both, men and women and also supports reproductive system health.


It can also be chewed after meals, which helps to improve the flow of saliva for healthy digestion.


Some components of betel nut have pharmacological properties, but little evidence supports its use for any therapeutic purpose.

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