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Herb of the Month


Pan Patta (Betel Leaf)

Botanical Name :- Piper betle
Indian Name :- Pan


A very attractive spice, fast growing, perennial, evergreen to 1 metre, with creeping stem branches, dark green, glossy, heart-shaped leaves to 15cm long. White catkin flowers turn a green/brown when mature.

Propagation is easy by root division or cuttings, preferably taken in spring or summer. Betel leaf requires a rich soil and prefers a semi-shade position. It makes a good under storey plant. Regular feeding and watering will keep it growing very lush. Although betel leaf is considered a tropical to subtropical plant, it will adapt to cold conditions if given a warm spot in winter, and could be grown in a large pot, and shifted to a cosy position in the cold months of the year.

In about 36 months time, vines grow to a height 150-180 cm. At this stage branching is noticed in the vines. Leaves are removed along with the petiole with the right thumb. Once harvesting is commenced, it is continued almost every day or week. The interval of harvesting varies from 15 days to about a month till the next lowering of vines. After each harvest, manuring has to be done.

An analysis of the betel leaf shows it to consist of moisture 85.4 per cent, protein 3.1 per cent, fat 0.8 per cent, minerals 2.3 per cent, fiber 2.3 per cent and carbohydrates 6.1 per cent per 100 grams. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. Its calorific value is 44.

The plant has many traditional medicinal uses. Malaysians use the leaves for headaches, arthritis and joint pain. In Thailand and China the roots are crushed and blended with salt to relieve toothache. In Indonesia leaves are chewed with betel nut, and the masticated juice swallowed for relief from coughs and asthma

It is vata and kapha suppressant. It is an effective anti wormal agent because of its pungent taste. It is an excellent anti infectious agent again because of its pungent taste. It helps in normalizing the digestive tract hence is very effective in maintaining the digestive system because of its light properties. It provides strength to the heart and tones up the cardiovascular system. It also helps in expelling out the mucus form the respiratory tract because of its hot potency. It is also a good aphrodisiac agent.

According to ayurveda it contains :

  • Gunna (properties) – tikshan (sharp), ruksh (dry) and laghu light
  • Rasa (taste) - katu (pungent) and tickta (bitter)
  • Virya (potency) – ushan (hot)


Healing Power and Curative Properties:

Betel leaf has been used from ancient times as an aromatic stimulant and anti-flatulent. It is useful in arresting secretion or bleeding and is an aphrodisiac. Its leaf is used in several common household remedies.

Aphrodisiac:
Pan-supari, especially the pan, is prescribed by Ayurvedic physicians as an aphrodisiac. Betel leaf is considered aphrodisiac i.e. an agent which stimulates sexual desire. It is a common practice to offer masalapan to newly married couple before retiring to bed. It adds to love making and pleasures.

Scanty or Obstructed Urination :
Betel leaf juice is credited with diuretic properties. Its juice, mixed with dilute milk and sweetened slightly, helps in easing urination.

Weakness of Nerves:
Betel leaves are beneficial in the treatment of nervous pains, nervous exhaustion and debility. The juice of a few betel leaves, with a teaspoon of honey, will serve as a good tonic. A teaspoon of this can be taken twice a day.

Stomach Disorder: 

  • Taken betel morsel (pan supari) prepared with catechu, quick lime, betel nuts, cardamom etc. after meals cures digestive problems and eliminates flatulence (caution: do not add tobacco in this).
  • Fomenting the stomach (incase of children) with heated leaf of betel cures stomach ailments.
  • Boil 3 betel leaves with little black pepper in 250 GMS water and strain it. Taking 2 tsp. of this decoction twice a day cures indigestion

Headaches : The betel leaf has analgesic and cooling properties. It can be applied with beneficial results over the painful area to relieve intense headache.

Respiratory Disorders : Betel leaves are useful in pulmonary affection in childhood and old age. The leaves, soaked in mustard oil and warmed, may be applied to the chest to relieve cough and difficulty in breathing.

Constipation : In the case of constipation in children, a suppository made of the stalk of betel leaf dipped in castor oil can be introduced in the rectum. This instantly relieves constipation.

Sore Throat : Local application of the leaves is effective in treating sore throat. The crushed fruit or berry should be mixed with honey and taken to relieve irritating cough.

Inflammation: Applied locally, betel leaves are beneficial in the treatment of inflammation such as arthritis and orchitis, that is inflammation of the testes.

Wounds : Betel leaves can be used to heal wounds. The juice of a few leaves should be extracted and applied on the wound. Then a betel leaf should be wrapped over and bandaged. The wound will heal up with a single application within 2 days.

Boils : The herb is also an effective remedy for boils. A leaf is gently warmed till it gets softened, and is then coated with a layer of castor oil. The oiled leaf is spread over the inflamed part. This leaf has to be replaced, every few hours. After a few applications, the boil will rupture draining all the purulent matter. The application can be made at night and removed in the morning.

Lumbago:
A hot poultice of the leaves or their juice mixed with some bland oil such as refined coconut oil can be applied to the loins with beneficial results in lumbago.

Problem of Breast Milk Secretion : The application of leaves smeared with oil is said to promote secretion of milk when applied on the breasts during lactation. 

Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Pan Patta :

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Vita-ex Gold Plus Capsule
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Vigor-100 stamina Capsule
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Vita-ex Gold Capsule
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