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21. 10. 2017
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Betel Nut (Supari)

Also known as-

Latin : Areca Catechu

English : Betel nut, arecanut

Sanskrit : Pugah Hindi : Supari

Marathi : Supari

Tamil : Pakkumaram

Telugu : Vakka

Malayalam : Kavennu

Kannada : Adike

How it looks—It is a slender unbranched palm with a crown of pinnate leaves and a ringed stem. The flowers are in a spadix and fruits are smooth and reddish or orange when ripe.

What we use—Roots, leaves, fruits

What it does—It is cooling, astringent, diuretic, digestive, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, nervine tonic, emmenagogue and antibacterial.

How we use it—

In sore lips—Take a decoction of the root as a cure for cracked and sore lips. Its cooling and astringent properties ensure quick healing.

In back pain—Juice the tender leaves and mix with oil. Use this emulsion as a pack for the lower back with a piece of cloth and leave on for 20 minutes. You will notice the pain seeping away.

In worm infestation—The cured arecanuts should be ground in buttermilk and the paste should be eaten to cure worm infestation-especially tapeworm.

As a digestive—The cured nuts are pounded and mixed with mouth fresheners and digestives like edible camphor, cardamom and poppy seeds, to make the market- available betel nut powder. Usually chewed after a meal, it clears the mouth and stomach, gives a sense of satiation and helps in digesting even the heaviest of meals.

Tooth care—Chewing the boiled (cured) nuts promotes salivation and thereby helps heal ulcers apart from preventing tooth decay. Still, it must be remembered that its constant use blackens teeth and loosens them.The charred powder of the nut has always been in vogue as an effective tooth powder for cleansing and strengthening teeth.

In constipation :The juice of the tender nuts is laxative in nature and can be given in mild constipation at bed time.

In dysuria—Water boiled with the areca nut is diuretic and facilitates free flow of urine apart from being a coolant to the body.

In cough—Betel nuts chewed along with the leaves of the betel climber, cut through phlegm and expectorate it and thereby are useful in productive cough.

Modern Study

Areca catechu was an important ingredient of a toothpaste found clinically effective in controlling dental diseases in a study in Udaipur.

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