Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Betel Leaves or Paan.

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Paan or Piper betle or betel leaves are best remedy for indigestion, skin rashes, bad breath, cough, sore throat and joint pain. It can be used in weight loss and erectile dysfunction remedies.

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).

Betel leaves names in India

ENGLISH: Betel pepper
SANSKRIT: Tambula, Nagvallari, Nagini, Tambulvalli, Saptashira, Bhujangalata
UNANI: Pan, Tambool
SIDDHA: Vetrilai Nagavalli, Kammaruvetritai
TAMIL: Vettilai
TELUGU: Tamalapaku, Tamulapaku
MARATHI: Pan, Nagvel, Vidyachepan
KANNADA: Veelya, villedele
HINDI : Paan/Pan

Ayurveda Health Benefits of Betel Leaves or Pan

Medicinal uses of betel leaves are described as follows in ayuveda

ayurveda health benefits and uses of betel leaves or paan

According to principles of ayurveda pan has pungent (katu rasa), bitter (tikta rasa), sweet (madhura rasa) and astringent (kashaya rasa ) tastes. These leaves are light to digest (laghu) and hot in potency (ushna). They balance vata dosha and kapha dosha, but vitiate pitta dosha. The following uses of betel leaves are indicated in ayurveda.

Anti Parasite :

It is known as krimghna or antiparasitic properties. It helps to eradicate intestinal parasites or worms.

In Wounds (antimicrobial activity of betel leaf)

Studies have shown that pan has antimicrobial properties. 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.

Betel leaf for joint pain 

A hot poultice of betel leaves help to reduce joint pain in conditions like arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce swelling and pain of joints. 

Betel leaf for stomach pain 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.

For children suffering from hard stool problem, a suppository made of the stalk of betel leaf dipped in castor oil can be introduced into the rectum.

Indigestion and Bad breath Paan for digestion

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 ayurvedic daily routine or Dinacharya, ayurveda acharyas recommend to consume paan after meal

Betel leaf for cough and 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.

Also role a pinch of rock salt or sendha namak and 2 corns of black pepper in a paan leaf or betel leaf. Chew this slowly. This relieves irritant cough.

Weight loss and betel leaf

Betel leaves can be used by people who are on weight loss program. It reduces medha dhatu (body fat) and increases the rate of metabolism. This can be chewed along with pepper corns to boost digestion. 

Betel Leaf for 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.

Chemical constituents of Paan leaf

Leaves of paan contains

Water (85-90%),
Proteins (3-3.5%),
Carbohydrates (0.5-6.1%),
Minerals (2.3-3.3%),
Fat (0.4-1%),
Fibre (2.3%),
Essential oil (0.08-0.2%),
Tannin (0.1-1.3%),
Alkaloid (arakene);
Vitamin-C (0.005-0.01%),
Nicotinic acid (0.63-0.89mg/100gms),
Vitamin-A (1.9-2.9mg/100gms),
Thiamine (10-70µg/100gms),
Riboflavin (1.9-30µg/100gms);
Calcium (0.2-0.5%),
Iron (0.005-0.007),
Iodine (3.4µg/100gms),
Phosphorus (0.05-0.6%),
Potassium (1.1-4.6%).

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.

Precautions to use these leaves (Side effects of Betel leaves):

  1. People suffering from acidity, stomach ulcers, migraines, urticaria, tuberculosis, epilepsy, and other psychological disorders should never use these leaves.
  2. Do not chew these leaves in form of quid.
  3. Always chose semi tender juicy leaves. Old leaves will have lost their medicinal properties.

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.

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