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Betel (Pan)

Also known as-

Latin : Piper betle

English : Betel

Sanskrit : Thambulavalli

Hindi : Pan, Tambuli

Marathi : Nagveli

Tamil : Vathalaikkodi

Telugu : Thamalapaku

Malayalam : Vetulakkoli

Kannada : Vilyadele

How it looks—It is a perennial climber, with semi-woody stem. The leaves are heart- shaped resembling pepper leaves and are bright green in colour. Fruits are rarely produced, immersed in fleshy spikes forming nodule- like structures.

What we use—Whole plant

What it does—It is astringent, carminative, stomachic, sialogogue, anthelmentic, aromatic, aphrodisiac, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative and tonic.

How we use it—

In filariasis—Take 7 betel leaves and paste them with a little sendha or rock salt. Take it with warm water everyday for a few weeks in filariasis.

In worm infestation—In such a common ailment, chewing pan leaves and spitting the juice out serves to remove immature larvae from the mouth reducing intensity of infection

In phlegmatic cough and cold—Chewing betel leaves is highly beneficial as it is an expectorant and helps break down solidified phlegm and expel it. You could also combine the juices of the leaves of tulsi, betel and karpuravalli or panjiri- ka-pat. A few drops of the mixture with a tsp of honey is the safest and best remedy for cough in small children.

In ulcerated burns—Bathe the burns in betel leaf juice. The astringent action of betel helps regenerate cells and quickens healing.

In fungal infections—Especially over the face, back and chest, applying a mixture of onion and betel juice twice a day ensures getting rid of patches immediately.

In headache—A simple home remedy is to cut a betel leaf into 2 halves lengthwise, gently warm the halves over fire and apply over each temple. Its aromatic and tonic properties help soothe the headache.

In difficult urination—Mix betel leaf juice with milk, add some sugar and drink it to promote urination and ensure free flow.

In whitlow—To heal this finger infection, make a paste of quicklime and betel, pack the finger with this and tie a cloth around it. Change the pack everyday and keep the finger free of moisture. Cure is usually complete in 4-5 days.

In fresh eye inflammation—Instill a few drops of a mixture of betel leaf juice and honey to combat infection and effect quick healing.