All About Traditional Betel Leaf
Betel is a heart shaped glossy leaf consumed widely in India along with areca. Betel leaf has many medicinal properties and are used as stimulant and mouth freshner. It is also an flavourful antiseptic.
The betel and areca play an important role in Indian culture, especially among Hindus.
Betel leaves are traditionally offered as a mark of respect. Along with coconut betel leaves are used for auspicious beginnings. Occasions include, greeting elders at wedding ceremonies, New Year, offering payment to Ayurvedic physicians and astrologers where usually money and or areca nut are kept on top of the sheaf of leaves and offered to the elders for their blessings.
Chewing betel leaf along with areca and lime (Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime) gives a rich red hue on your tongue and lips.
Do you know? during moghul era females used this as lipstics to attract men. It is also belived chewing betel quid before sex is good.
Betel, derived from the Malayalam word vettila.
Consumption of Betel Leaf in modern India
In modern India consumption of betel is not wide spread. It has reduced to occasions or after deliciouse meal in a restaurants.
- In south India betel leaf and araca is served after meals in functions like marriage and local festivals. The betel leaf is predominantly consumed as betel quid or paan, which is a mixture of substances.
- In north India betel leaves are used by the paanwala's.
Betel leaf can be consumed along with tobacco or without tobaco. Depending on the usage betel plant is both good and bad for health.
Benefits of Betel Leaf
- Betel leaves are rich in calcium and iron.
- Betel leaves are used in home remedies.
- In half glass coconut oil add 5 betel leaves and boil it. After betel leaves turns red, filter out coconut oil and use it as a medicine for skin diseases.
- Ayurvedic remedies uses it for remedies of headache, in poison treatments and other ailments.
Drawbacks of betel leaf
- Betel leaf is addictive
- Stains the teeth
Though betel leaves are used by us for so many centuries, In recent decades, it is used along with drugs, precaution should be taken to understand what we chew.
Studies show chewing paan causes cancer and it is because of the areca and other unwanted ingredients. but betel leaves does not cause any harm and it does more good to us.