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Home :: Betel Palm :: Herbs

Betel Palm Herb - Uses And Side Effects

Betel palm comes from the raw, sweetened leaves and nuts of Areca catechu, a member of the Palmaceae (Palm) family. The plant is native to India, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and parts of Africa. Roughly 200 million people throughout the Pacific Rim, Southeast Asia, India, and Indonesia chew betel nuts and leaves, as much as some Americans chew tobacco.

Common doses of Betel Palm

Betel palm is available as betel oil, raw leaves, and nuts. Usually, the betel nut is sweetened with lime (calcium hydroxide), wrapped in the leaf of the betel vine, and then chewed. Chewing the "quid," as this habit is called, can take up to 15 minutes. Some users chew up to 15 quids daily.

Why people use Betel Palm herb

  • As a stimulant
  • Cough
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • To aid digestion

Side effects of Betel Palm

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of betel palm

  • anxiety
  • muscle jerking or muscle paralysis
  • blurred vision
  • cold sweats
  • nervousness
  • constipation
  • pale skin
  • diarrhea
  • restlessness
  • fast or slow heartbeat
  • stomach cramps
  • facial flushing
  • unusually small or large pupils
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • hallucinations
  • worsening of asthma
  • insomnia

Betel palm also can cause high blood pressure. With prolonged use, it may cause: . calcium loss from the teeth

  • increased risk of mouth and esophagus cancer
  • inflammation of the gums and related tissues
  • red staining of the teeth and inside of the mouth.

Excessive betel chewing can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures (similar to symptoms of excessive nicotine use).

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't use betel palm when taking:

  • alcohol
  • atropine
  • drugs used to treat glaucoma
  • heart drugs called beta blockers (such as Inderal or Betapace) or calcium channel blockers (such as Calan or Procardia).

Important points to remember

  • Avoid betel palm if you have a high risk for cancer of the mouth or esophagus, squamous cell cancer, or oral leukoplakia (thick, white patches inside the mouth).
  • Don't use betel palm if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Be aware that prolonged betel nut chewing is linked to mouth and esophagus cancers.

What the research shows

No data support medicinal uses of betel palm. Chewing betel nut has been compared with using tobacco or alcohol legal but potentially harmful

Other names for Betel Palm: -

Other names for betel palm include areca nut, betal, betel nut, chavica betal, hmarg, maag, marg, paan, pan masala, pan parag, pinang, and supai.

Betel nuts are sold under various names in ethnic grocery stores in the United States.

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