Betel leaves or paan patta are eulogized by ayurveda acharyas for their immense medicinal properties. Betel plant or Piper betle is a vine which belongs to Piperacea family. This vine has heart shaped leaves and is mostly grown in South East Asia. In Sanskrit it is known as Nagavallari ( a vine which creeps like a naga or serpent) or Sapthashira (a leaf which contains seven veins).
The health benefits of betel leaves are masked due to its usage in Quid. A quid is a small parcel in which areca nuts, slaked lime, tobacco powder etc are wrapped in betel leaf. These Quids are chewed to get a high. A large population of South East Asia consumes quids which are known to cause cancer. This may be due to irritants which are used with betel leaves. Many studies have shown that betel leaves have anti cancer properties.
According to principles of ayurveda these leaves are light to digest and hot in potency. They balance vata and kapha, but vitiate pitta. The following uses of betel leaves are indicated in ayurveda.
In wounds: The paste of these leaves can be applied on chronic wounds. It’s antibacterial, anti inflammatory and cleansing properties help to clean the wound, reduce pain and accelerate healing process.
Stomach colicky in infants: When toddlers suffer from stomach colicky (stomach pain) the following home remedy can be done. Smear castor oil or coconut oil on smooth surface of 2-3 broad leaves. Warm them little by holding them on candle or oil lamp. Place this leaf on stomach. Take care not to overheat the leaf. Repeat the process for 3-4 minutes. The baby gets relieved of colic pain.
Indigestion and Bad breath: Chewing leaves of these plants after meals helps to relieve bad breath and eases digestion. It increases secretion of digestive juices, reduces bloating of stomach, cleanses the oral cavity, relieves constipation and destroys parasites of intestine.
In sore throat: Mix 5 ml of juice of betel leaves in a glass of warm water and gargle. This helps to relieve sore throat. Singers can regularly use this remedy to keep their vocal chords healthy.
Erectile dysfunction in men: The use of these leaves in conditions like “dhwaja bhanga” (erectile dysfunction) are widely appreciated in texts of ayurveda. Chewing 1-2 leaves of this vine after meals help to overcome this condition. A mixture of saffron, cardamom, dry coconut gratings, raisins and powdered sugar candy (misri) can be wrapped in these leaves to enhance its aphrodisiac properties. This is a known natural herbal remedy for erectile dysfunction.
Precautions to use these leaves:
Some more Home remedies provided by our Face Book Page member SUDHA BALAKRISHNAN
In olden days they use to smear castor oil to this and made warm and kept on the stomach of infants who were suffering from stomach pain.We also use this to make a home made kashayam to cure cold and cough.Its betel leaf . It is used as a medicinal herb for cold, cough and also people have a faith that it is good for digestion.
Dr.Savitha Suri is an ayurvedic Consultant Physician. She has an experience of 26 years in the field of ayurveda. The content is copyrighted to Dr.Savitha Suri and may not be reproduced on other websites. You can contact her for free online ayurvedic consultations at [email protected]
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