Botanical Name :-
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 3–6 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
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:
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
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
Scanty or Obstructed Urination :Betel
leaf juice is credited with diuretic properties. Its juice,
mixed with dilute milk and sweetened slightly, helps in easing
Weakness of Nerves: Betel
are beneficial in the treatment of nervous pains, nervous
exhaustion and debility. The juice of a few betel
with a teaspoon of honey, will serve as a good tonic. A teaspoon
of this can be taken twice a day.
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
Headaches : The betel
leaf has analgesic and cooling properties. It can be applied
with beneficial results over the painful area to relieve intense
Respiratory Disorders : Betel
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
is effective in treating sore throat. The crushed fruit or berry
should be mixed with honey and taken to relieve irritating
Inflammation: Applied locally,
are beneficial in the treatment of inflammation such as
arthritis and orchitis, that is inflammation of the testes.
Wounds : Betel
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
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
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.