Areca nut

The areca nut (/ˈærɪkə/ or /əˈriːkə/) is the fruit of the areca palm (Areca catechu), which grows in much of the tropical Pacific (Melanesia and Micronesia), Southeast and South Asia, and parts of east Africa. It is commonly referred to as betel nut so it is easily confused with betel (Piper betle) leaves that are often used to wrap it (paan). The term areca originated from the Kannada word adike (ಅಡಿಕೆ)[1] and dates from the 16th century, when Dutch and Portuguese sailors took the nut from Kerala to Europe. Consumption has many harmful effects on health and is carcinogenic to humans. Various compounds present in the nut, including arecoline (the primary psychoactive ingredient which is similar to nicotine), contribute to histologic changes in the oral mucosa. It is known to be a major risk factor for cancers (squamous cell carcinoma) of the mouth and esophagus. As with chewing tobacco, its use is discouraged by preventive efforts. Consumption by hundreds of millions of people worldwide – mainly with southern and eastern Asian origins – has been described as a "neglected global public health emergency".

A close up of Areca nut
Areca nut
Areca catechu nuts at Kadavoor
Areca nuts hanging from the palm
A ripe areca nut.
Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India. (4600092222)
Areca nut plantations in India


The areca nut is not a true nut, but rather a fruit categorized as a berry. It is commercially available in dried, cured, and fresh forms. When the husk of the fresh fruit is green, the nut inside is soft enough to be cut with a typical knife. In the ripe fruit, the husk becomes yellow or orange, and as it dries, the fruit inside hardens to a wood-like consistency. At that stage, the areca nut can only be sliced using a special scissors-like cutter.

Usually for chewing, a few slices of the nut are wrapped in a betel leaf along with calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and may include clove, cardamom, catechu (kattha), or other spices for extra flavouring. Betel leaf has a fresh, peppery taste, but it can also be bitter to varying degrees depending on the variety.

Areca nuts are chewed with betel leaf for their effects as a mild stimulant,[2] causing a warming sensation in the body and slightly heightened alertness, although the effects vary from person to person.

Areca Nuts also known as "Betal Nuts" plants in Nepal. These types of nuts are commonly found in the Terai region of Nepal.

The areca nut contains the tannins arecatannin and gallic acid; a fixed oil gum; a little terpineol; lignin; various saline substances; and three main alkaloidsarecoline, arecaidine, and guvacine—all of which have vasoconstricting properties.[3] The betel leaf chewed along with the nut contains eugenol, another vasoconstrictor. Tobacco leaf is often added to the mixture, thereby adding the effect of nicotine.[4]

In parts of India, Sri Lanka, and southern China, areca nuts are not only chewed along with betel leaf, but are also used in the preparation of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines. Powdered areca nut is used as a constituent in some dentifrices.[5] Other traditional uses include the removal of tapeworms and other intestinal parasites by swallowing a few teaspoons of powdered areca nut, drunk as a decoction, or by taking tablets containing the extracted alkaloids.[5] According to traditional Ayurvedic medicine, chewing areca nut and betel leaf is a good remedy against bad breath.[6] Diplomat Edmund Roberts noted that Chinese people would mix areca nut with Uncaria gambir during his visit to China in the 1830s.[7] After chewing a betelnut, the red residue is generally spat out and is considered an eyesore. This has led many places to ban chewing this nut.


Areca nut and betel leaf consumption in the world

Chewing the mixture of areca nut and betel leaf is a tradition, custom, or ritual which dates back thousands of years in much of the geographical areas from South Asia eastward to the Pacific. It constitutes an important and popular cultural activity in many Asian and Oceanic countries, including Pakistan, the Maldives, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Palau, Yap, Guam, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. How or when the areca nut and the betel leaf were first combined into one psychoactive drug is not known. Archaeological evidence from Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines suggests they have been used in tandem for at least 4000 years.[8]

In Vietnam, the areca nut and the betel leaf are such important symbols of love and marriage that in Vietnamese the phrase "matters of betel and areca" (chuyện trầu cau) is synonymous with marriage. The tradition of chewing areca nuts starts the talk between the groom's parents and the bride's parents about the young couple's marriage. Therefore, the leaves and juices are used ceremonially in Vietnamese weddings. The folk tale explaining the origin of this Vietnamese tradition is a good illustration of the belief that the combination of areca nut and the betel leaf is ideal to the point they are practically inseparable, like an idealized married couple.[9]

Display of the items usually included in a chewing session: The betel leaves are folded in different ways according to the country and most have a little calcium hydroxide daubed inside. Slices of the dry areca nut are on the upper left hand and slices of the tender areca nut on the upper right. The pouch on the lower right contains tobacco, a relatively recent introduction.
Betelnut-Cutter, Indonesia
Areca nut cutter from Bali/Indonesia

Malay culture and tradition hold betel nut and leaves in high esteem. Traditionally, guests who visit a Malay house are presented with a tray of areca nuts and betel leaves, in much the same way as drinks are offered to guests in many cultures around the world. There is even a Malay proverb about the betel nut, "bagaikan pinang dibelah dua", loosely translated like a betel nut cut in two, usually used in the context of wedding to illustrate how perfectly matched the bride and the groom are.

Ashoka betel Nut Pack
Areca Nut in small packs, usually labelled as betel nut in South India.

In the Indian subcontinent, the chewing of betel and areca nut dates back to the pre-Vedic period Harappan empire.[10] Formerly, in both India and Sri Lanka, it was a custom of the royalty to chew areca nut with betel leaf. Kings had special attendants whose duty it was to carry a box with all the necessary ingredients for a good chewing session. There was also a custom for lovers to chew areca nut and betel leaf together, because of its breath-freshening and relaxant properties. A sexual symbolism thus became attached to the chewing of the nut and the leaf. The areca nut represented the male principle, and the betel leaf the female principle. Considered an auspicious ingredient in Hinduism and some schools of Buddhism, the areca nut is still used along with betel leaf in religious ceremonies, and also while honoring individuals in much of southern Asia.

In Assam, it is a tradition to offer pan-tamul (betel leaves and raw areca nut) to guests, after tea or meals, served in a brass plate with stands called bota. Among the Assamese, the areca nut also has a variety of uses during religious and marriage ceremonies, where it has the role of a fertility symbol. A tradition from Upper Assam is to invite guests to wedding receptions by offering a few areca nuts with betel leaves. During Bihu, the husori players are offered areca nuts and betel leaves by each household while their blessings are solicited.

Spanish mariner Álvaro de Mendaña reported observing Solomon Islanders chewing the nut and the leaf with caustic lime, and the manner in which the habit stained their mouths red. He noted the friendly and genial chief Malope, on Santa Isabel Island, would offer him the combination as a token of friendship every time they met.[11]

In Bhutan, the areca nut is called doma. The raw areca nut, which is soft and moist, is very potent and when chewed can cause palpitation and vasoconstriction. This form is eaten in the lower regions of Bhutan and in North Bengal, where the nut is cut into half and put into a local paan leaf with a generous amount of lime. In the rest of Bhutan the raw nut, with the husk on, is fermented such that the husk rots and is easy to extract. The fermented doma has a putrid odour, which can be smelled from miles. Traditionally, this fragrant nut is cut in half and placed on top of a cone made of local betel leaf, which has a dash of lime put into it. "Myth has it that the inhabitants of Bhutan traditionally known as Monyul, the land of Monpas where Buddhism did not reach lived on raw flesh, drank blood, and chewed bones. After the arrival of Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century, he stopped the people from eating flesh and drinking blood and created a substitute which is betel leaf, lime and areca nut. Today, chewing doma has become a custom. Doma is served after meals, during rituals and ceremonies. It is offered to friends and is chewed at work places by all sections of the society and has become an essential part of Bhutanese life and culture."[12]

The addition of tobacco leaf to the chewing mixture is a relatively recent innovation, as tobacco was not introduced from the American continent until the colonial era.

Effects on health

Areca nut vendor hainan jan 2010
Areca nut vendor with red mouth from areca consumption preparing betel leaves

Habitual chewers of betel leaf and areca nut have a greatly increased risk of developing a range of serious diseases, including cancers of the mouth and esophagus.[13][14] It has many systemic effects (see box).[13]

Chewing areca nut alone has been linked to oral submucosal fibrosis.[15] According to Medline Plus, "Long-term use [of betel-areca preparations] has been associated with oral submucosal fibrosis (OSF), pre-cancerous oral lesions and squamous cell carcinoma. Acute effects of betel chewing include asthma exacerbation, hypertension, and tachycardia. There may additionally be a higher risk of cancers of the liver, mouth, esophagus, stomach, prostate, cervix, and lung with regular betel use. Other effects can include altered blood sugar levels, which may in turn increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes."[16]

Use of areca nut has been associated with deterioration of psychosis in people with preexisting psychiatric disorders.[17] Areca nut consumption is also tied to chronic kidney disease in men.[18]

In 2003 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a World Health Organization sponsored group, found sufficient evidence that the habit of chewing betel quid, with or without tobacco, causes cancer in humans.[4][19] Support for this conclusion is provided by a recent study which found that paan, even without concurrent tobacco use, is a risk factor for oral cancer. In October, 2009, 30 scientists from 10 countries met at IARC to reassess the carcinogenicity of various agents including areca nut, and mechanisms of carcinogenesis. They confirmed there is sufficient evidence that areca nut, with or without tobacco, can cause cancer.[20]

The harm caused by consumption of betel quid or areca nut by hundreds of millions of people worldwide (mainly with southern and eastern Asian origins and connections) has been characterized as a "neglected global public health emergency".[21]

During pregnancy

Chewing paan (and/or other areca nut and betel leaf formulations) during pregnancy significantly increases adverse outcomes for the baby.[22] The habit is associated with higher incidences of preterm birth and low birth weight and height.[13] Biologically, these effects may be a consequence of the arecoline that is found in areca nuts.[14] The habit also exposes the fetus to various other toxic components linked to cancer.[13]

Modern-day consumption

Eating Pinang prohibited
Sign in Indonesia saying that chewing betelnut is prohibited. Because of the mess, many places ban chewing betelnut. Notably, Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, has a ban on buai. This buai ban is from Sentani Airport, Jayapura, Papua Province, Indonesia.
Spit from chewing Areca nut 02
Chewing betelnut produces a red residue which is spat out. It is often considered an eyesore.

In India (the largest consumer of areca nut) and Pakistan, the preparation of nut with or without betel leaf is commonly referred to as paan. It is available practically everywhere and is sold in ready-to-chew pouches called pan masala or supari, as a mixture of many flavours whose primary base is areca nut crushed into small pieces. Poor people, who may eat only every other day, use it to stave off hunger pangs.[14][23] Pan masala with a small quantity of tobacco is called gutka. The easily discarded, small plastic supari or gutka pouches are an ubiquitous pollutant of the South Asian environment. Some of the liquid in the mouth is usually disposed of by spitting, producing bright red spots wherever the expectorate lands.

Paan Making
Shopkeeper making paan in an Indian store

In the Maldives, areca nut chewing is very popular, but spitting is frowned upon and regarded as an unrefined, repulsive way of chewing. Usually, people prefer to chew thin slices of the dry nut, which is sometimes roasted. Kili, a mixture of areca nut, betel, cloves, cardamom and sugar is sold in small home-made paper pouches. Old people who have lost their teeth keep "chewing" by pounding the mixture of areca nut and betel with a small mortar and pestle.

In Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, fresh areca nut, betel leaf or 'fruit leaf' (daka in PNG) and lime are sold on street corners. In these countries, dried or flavoured areca nut is not popular. Betelnuts there are referred to in Tok Pisin as buai. There has recently been a controversial ban on selling and chewing betelnut in public places Port Moresby. Because of this, many people have tried to smuggle betelnut into Port Moresby. Notably, there was a raid in Hanuabada in May 2015 where several bags of betelnut were confiscated, the total value of the confiscated nuts exceeding $180,000 USD. Areca nut chewing has recently been introduced into Vanuatu, where it is growing in popularity, especially in the northern islands of the country. In Guam and the neighboring Northern Mariana Islands, betel and areca nut chewing is a social pastime as a means to extend friendship, and can be found in many, if not most, large gatherings as part of the food display.

In Palau, betel nut is chewed with lime, piper leaf and nowadays, with the addition of tobacco. Older and younger generations alike enjoy the use of betel nut, which is readily available at stores and markets. Unlike in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, where the inner areca nut is used, in Palau, the areca nut's skin is chewed along with lime, leaf and tobacco and the juice is not swallowed but spat out.

In Taiwan, bags of 20 to 40 areca nuts are purchased fresh daily by a large number of consumers. To meet the steady year-round demand, two kinds of betel-nut shops sell betel and nuts, as well as cigarettes and drinks, including beer: Small mom and pop shops, often poorly maintained and with unassuming façades, and shops which will often consist of nothing more than a single, free-standing room, or booth. The latter is usually elevated one meter above the street, and measures less than 3 by 2 m. Large picture windows comprise two or more of the walls, allowing those who pass by a complete view of the interior. The interior is often painted brightly. Within such a shop, a sexily dressed young woman, a "betel nut beauty", can be seen preparing betel and areca nuts. Shops are often identified by multicoloured (commonly green) fluorescent tubes or neon lights that frame the windows or that are arranged radially above a store. Customers stop on the side of the road and wait for the girls to bring their betel and areca nut to their vehicles. The habit of chewing betel nut is often associated with blue-collar labor industries such a long-haul transportation, construction, or fishing. Workers in these labor-intensive industries use betel nut for its stimulating effect, but it also becomes a tool for socializing with coworkers. For example, studies have shown chewing betel nut is prevalent among taxi, bus and truck drivers, who rely on the stimulating effect of betel nut to cope with long work hours.[24][25][26] For these reasons, oral cancer has been identified as a leading cause of death in professions with high betel nut-chewing rates.[27]

In Hainan and Hunan Province, China, where Xiangtan is a center of use and processing,[28] a wide range of old and young people consume areca nut daily. Most, though, consume the dried variety of the nut by itself, without the betel leaves. Some people also consume the areca nut in its raw, fresh form with or without the betel leaves. Betel nuts are sold mostly by old women walking around trying to sell it, but the dried version can be found in most shops which sell tea, alcohol and cigarettes.

In Thailand, the consumption of areca nut has declined gradually in the last decades. The younger generation rarely chews the substance, especially in the cities. Most of the present-day consumption is confined to older generations, mostly people above 50. Even so, small trays of betel leaves and sliced tender areca nut are sold in markets and used as offerings in Buddhist shrines.

In Australia, the sale of areca nut is prohibited. [29]

In the Philippines, chewing the areca nut and betel leaf was a very widespread tradition in the past. Now, though, this tradition is almost dead among the urban people in the cities and big towns, and has largely been replaced by gum and tobacco. Nowadays, older people are the only ones chewing betel nuts. But in rural areas, betel nut-chewing is very much alive.

Areca nuts in China 01
Areca nuts as sold in Hainan, China

In the United States, areca nut is not a controlled or specially taxed substance and may be found in some Asian grocery stores. However, importation of areca nut in a form other than whole or carved kernels of nuts can be stopped at the discretion of US Customs officers on the grounds of food, agricultural, or medicinal drug violations. Such actions by Customs are very rare. In the United Kingdom, areca nut is readily available in Asian grocery stores and even in shredded forms from the World Food aisles of larger Tesco supermarkets.

Possession of betel nut or leaf is banned in the UAE and is a punishable offense.[30]

Areca catechu - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-014
19th century drawing of the Areca palm and its nut
Kullan Koungu
An Areca nut Dwarf variety sapling from the Indian state of Kerala
Betel nut palms in Ponda, Goa.jpeg
Betel nut palm cultivation at a spice plantation in Curti, Goa, India

Places such as Guwahati (গুৱাহাটী) in Assam (অসম), Penang in Malaysia, Ko Mak (เกาะหมาก) in Thailand and Fua Mulaku in Maldives have been named after the areca nut.

See also


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster. Additional information: Cognates include Kannada adike/ಅಡಿಕೆ, Malayalam adakka/ataykka, and Tamil adakkai.
  2. ^ Gupta Prakash Chandra; Ray Cecily S (July 2004). "Epidemiology of betel quid usage" (PDF). Ann. Acad. Med. Singap. 33 (4 Suppl): 31–6. PMID 15389304. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-06-12.
  3. ^ "Modern herbal". Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  4. ^ a b "IARC Monographs Programme finds betel-quid and areca-nut chewing carcinogenic to humans". World Health Organization. 2003.
  5. ^ a b Bhat, R.; Ganachari, S.; Deshpande, R.; Ravindra, G.; Venkataraman, A. (2012). "Rapid Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Using Areca Nut (Areca catechu) Extract Under Microwave-Assistance". Journal of Cluster Science. 24: 107–114. doi:10.1007/s10876-012-0519-2.
  6. ^ Naveen Pattnaik, The Tree of Life
  7. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 138.
  8. ^ "Archaeological evidence from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines". Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  9. ^ "Vietnamese Legend". Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  10. ^ "Betel chewing". Singapore Infopedia. National Library Singapore. May 5, 1999. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008.
  11. ^ Graves, Robert (1984), Las islas de la imprudencia, Barcelona: Edhasa. ISBN 84-350-0430-9
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-11-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ a b c d e Garg A, Chaturvedi P, Gupta PC (January 2014). "A review of the systemic adverse effects of areca nut or betel nut". Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology. 35 (1): 3–9. doi:10.4103/0971-5851.133702. PMC 4080659. PMID 25006276.
  14. ^ a b c Javed F, Bello Correra FO, Chotai M, Tappuni AR, Almas K (December 2010). "Systemic conditions associated with areca nut usage: a literature review". Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 38 (8): 838–44. doi:10.1177/1403494810379291. PMID 20688790.
  15. ^ Maher, R.; Maher R; Lee AJ; Warnakulasuriya KA; Lewis JA; Johnson NW. (1994-02-23). "Role of areca nut in the causation of oral submucosal fibrosis: a case-control study in Pakistan". Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine. 23 (2): 65–9. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0714.1994.tb00258.x. PMID 8164155.
  16. ^ [1] Archived July 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Ernst, E. (1998). "Harmless Herbs? A Review of the Recent Literature". American Journal of Medicine. 104 (2): 170–178. doi:10.1016/S0002-9343(97)00397-5. PMID 9528737.
  18. ^ Chou, Che-Yi; Cheng, Shi-Yann; Liu, Jiung-Hsiun; Cheng, Wen-Chun; Kang, I.-Min; Tseng, Yu-Hsiang; Shih, Chuen-Ming; Chen, Walter (2009-05-01). "Association between betel-nut chewing and chronic kidney disease in men". Public Health Nutrition. 12 (5): 723–727. doi:10.1017/S1368980008003339. ISSN 1368-9800. PMID 18647430.
  19. ^ International Agency for Research on Cancer (2005). Betel-quid and areca-nut chewing. IARC Monograph 85-6 (PDF). IARC. ISBN 978-92-832-1285-0.
  20. ^ See table for Group 1 carcinogen agents in Beatrice Secretan; et al. (2009). "A review of human carcinogens". The Lancet Oncology. 10 (11): 1033–1034. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(09)70326-2. PMID 19891056.
  21. ^ Mehrtash H, Duncan K, Parascandola M, David A, Gritz ER, Gupta PC, Mehrotra R, Amer Nordin AS, Pearlman PC, Warnakulasuriya S, Wen CP, Zain RB, Trimble EL (December 2017). "Defining a global research and policy agenda for betel quid and areca nut". Lancet Oncol. 18 (12): e767–e775. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30460-6. PMID 29208442.
  22. ^ Kumar, S (April 2013). "Tobacco and areca nut chewing—reproductive impairments: an overview". Reproductive Toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.). 36: 12–7. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2012.11.007. PMID 23207167.
  23. ^ Collingham, Lizzie (2006). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-19-988381-3.
  24. ^ Chuang CY, Chang CH, Chang CC. The workplace relevant factors of betel quid chewing among transportation workers in Central Taiwan (in Chinese). Taiwan Journal of Public Health 2007; 26: 433–42.
  25. ^ Republic of China (Taiwan), Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Council of Labor Affairs, The Executive Yuan. Health survey for the long-distance bus drivers (in Chinese). Taipei: Republic of China (Taiwan), Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Council of Labor Affairs, The Executive Yuan, 2003. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2011-08-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ Kuo SC, Lew-Ting CY. The health lifestyles of areca quid-chewing taxi drivers – an exploratory study from the viewpoint of social context (in Chinese). Taiwan Journal of Oral Medical Science 2008; 27: 67–80.
  27. ^ Republic of China (Taiwan), Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Council of Labor Affairs, The Executive Yuan. Analysis of the major causes of death of laborers in Taiwan (in Chinese). Taipei: Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Council of Labor Affairs, The Executive Yuan, 2010. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2011-08-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Despite Risks, an Addictive Treat Fuels a Chinese City" article by Dan Levin in The New York Times August 19, 2010, accessed August 20, 2010
  29. ^ "Banned substance Betel Nut readily available for sale in Australia". Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Avoid bringing banned items into the UAE". Retrieved 2017-10-13.

External links


Areca is a genus of about 50 species of palms in the family Arecaceae, found in humid tropical forests from China and India, across Southeast Asia to Melanesia. The generic name Areca is derived from a name used locally on the Malabar Coast of India.

Areca (disambiguation)

Areca is a genus of single-stemmed palms.

Areca may also refer to:

Areca nut, also known as betel nut, from the species Areca catechu

Areca palm, a common name for Dypsis lutescens

Areca Backup, software

Areca catechu

Areca catechu is a species of palm which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Asia, and parts of east Africa. The palm is believed to have originated in the Philippines, but is widespread in cultivation and is considered naturalized in southern China (Guangxi, Hainan, Yunnan, Taiwan), India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Ceylon, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, many of the islands in the Pacific Ocean, and also in the West Indies.The species has many common names including the areca palm, areca nut palm, betel palm, Indian nut, Pinang palm, Chinese language/Mandarin: 檳榔, Tamil: கமுகு, Tagalog: bunga, Indonesia/Malay: pinang, Tamil: கமுகு "kamuhu", Malayalam:adakka, and Kannada: Adike. It is also known as puga in Sanskrit,"puwak" in Sinhala and supari in Marathi and Gujarati. Normally it is known as the pinang tree in Malaysia. In English this palm is called the betel tree because its fruit, the areca nut, is often chewed along with the betel leaf, a leaf from a vine of the family Piperaceae.

Areca is derived from a local name from the Malabar Coast of India, and catechu is from another Malay name for this palm, caccu.

Areca nut production in India

Areca nut production in India is dominant in the coastal region within 400 kilometres (250 mi) from the coast line, and also in some other non-coastal states of India. Areca nut (Areca catechu), a tropical crop, is popularly known as betel nut, as its common usage in the country is for mastication with betel leaves. It is a palm tree species under the family of Arecaceae. It has commercial and economic importance not only in India but also in China and Southeast Asia.Areca nut production in India is the largest in the world, as per FAO statistics for 2013, accounting for 49.74 % of its world output, and is exported to many countries. Within India, as of 2013-14, Karnataka produces 62.69 percent of the crop followed by Kerala and Assam; all three states together account for 88.59 percent of its production. In the other states of Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, where it is also consumed, the crop is grown in a very small area. In Karnataka, in the Uttara Kannada District the crop is grown extensively, and is considered by the plantation owners as a prestige symbol.


Arecoline () is a nicotinic acid-based alkaloid found in the areca nut, the fruit of the areca palm (Areca catechu). It is an odourless oily liquid.

Bentinckia condapanna

Bentinckia condapanna (English:Hill Areca Nut, Tamil:வரை கமுகு)is a species of flowering plant in the family Arecaceae. It is found only in India. It is threatened by habitat loss.This palm is mainly found in the evergreen forests of Western Ghats of India.


The betel (Piper betle) is a vine belonging to the Piperaceae family, which includes pepper and kava. Betel leaf is mostly consumed in Asia, and elsewhere in the world by some Asian emigrants, as betel quid or in paan, with Areca nut and/or tobacco.

In India and Sri Lanka a sheaf of betel leaves is traditionally offered as a mark of respect and auspicious beginnings. Occasions include greeting elders at wedding ceremonies, celebrating the New Year, and offering payment to Ayurvedic physicians and astrologers (to whom money and/or areca nut, placed on top of the sheaf of leaves, are offered in thanks for blessings).

The betel plant is an evergreen perennial, with glossy heart-shaped leaves and white catkin. The betel plant originated in South and South East Asia.

Coat of arms of Penang

The civic coat of arms of Penang is largely based on the coat of arms of Penang first granted to the Settlement (now State) of Penang, then in the Federation of Malaya, by a Royal Warrant of King George VI dated 11 September 1949.

Between 1911 (the date of a previous Royal Warrant) and 1946, when the colony of the Straits Settlements was dissolved, the Settlement was represented in the Straits Settlements' coat of arms by the second quarter, Argent on a mount an areca nut palm tree Proper. The Areca-nut palm is the tree from which Penang (Pulau Pinang, Malay: "Areca-nut-palm Island") derives its name.

Flag of Penang

The state flag of Penang, a Malaysian state, consists of three vertical bands and an areca-nut palm on a grassy mount in the centre. All three bands are of equal width. From left to right, the colour of each band is light blue, white and yellow.

The colours of the flag are derived from the tinctures of the coat of arms of Penang that was granted by King George VI in the 1940s. Light blue denotes the sea that surrounds Penang Island, white represents peace and yellow for the prosperity of the state.The areca-nut palm, known as pokok pinang in Malay, symbolises the tree from which Penang got its name. The tree and its grassy mount is centred within the middle white band.

The flag was first adopted in 1949 after Penang became a component state of the Federation of Malaya. The flag was slightly modified to its present form in the 1960s by removing a torse of blue and white at the bottom of the grassy mount.


Hosahalli is one of twin-villages Mattur-Hosahalli, on the banks of the Tunga River in Karnataka state, southern India. It lies in an agricultural region where the main crop is the Areca nut. It is known for Sanskrit, Veda, Gamaka (story-telling) and Sangeetha (Carnatic music). From above, the village appears as a "Paa Ni Pee Tha" (a seat with an extended hand). The village is situated a little over 5 km from Shimoga city and around 4 km from Gajanur Tunga Anicut (dam).

Jaan Paan Liqueur

Jaan Paan Liqueur is a sweet paan-flavoured spirit/liqueur. It is made with neutral grain spirit, Canadian maple syrup and a blend of herbs and spices, excluding areca nut.

It is produced and bottled in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jaan has an alcohol content of 25% (alc/vol) (50 proof) and in 2011 the Spirits International Prestige Awards gave it a Platinum Medal.

Oral submucous fibrosis

Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF or OSF) is a chronic, complex, premalignant (1% transformation risk) condition of the oral cavity, characterized by juxta-epithelial inflammatory reaction and progressive fibrosis of the submucosal tissues (the lamina propria and deeper connective tissues). As the disease progresses, the jaws become rigid to the point that the person is unable to open the mouth. The condition is remotely linked to oral cancers and is associated with areca nut or betel quid chewing, a habit similar to tobacco chewing, is practiced predominantly in Southeast Asia and India, dating back thousands of years.


Paan (from Sanskrit parṇa meaning "leaf") is a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut widely consumed throughout Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and South Asia. It is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects. After chewing it is either spat out or swallowed. Paan has many variations. Slaked lime (chunnam) paste is commonly added to bind the leaves. Some South Asian preparations include katha paste or mukhwas to freshen the breath.

The origin and diffusion of betel chewing originates from and is closely tied to the Neolithic expansion of the Austronesian peoples. It was spread to the Indo-Pacific during prehistoric times, reaching Near Oceania at 3,500 to 3,000 BP; South India and Sri Lanka by 3,500 BP; Mainland Southeast Asia by 3,000 to 2,500 BP; Northern India by 500 BP; and Madagascar by 600 BP. From India, it was also spread westwards to Persia and the Mediterranean.Paan (under a variety of names) is also consumed in many other Asian countries and elsewhere in the world by some Asian emigrants, with or without tobacco. It is an addictive and euphoria-inducing formulation with adverse health effects. The spit from chewing betel nuts, known as "buai pekpek" in Papua New Guinea, is often considered an eyesore. Because of this, many places have banned selling and chewing "buai".


Pethanaicken Palayam is a taluck in salem district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a considered a major pilgrimage spot and tourist center. The population of the town as per 2011 census by population of the town 33,678.

Agriculture is the main occupation in Pethanaicken Palayam.

Pethanaicken Palayam is famous for Areca nut and Piper Bettle Farms, Coconut Leaves Weaving, production of Areca Plates and production of Coir Ropes. Rice, Cotton, Turmeric and tapioca are grown as a major commercial crop. The pre-dominate soil in the village is blacksanding.

Transport specialities in Pethanaickenpalayam NH 68 which connects Chennai and Salem with Salem, Coimbatore, Trichy, Erode, Dharmapuri, Bangalore, madurai, Attur and the cities around.

The highway is heavily travelled, so it will be expanded to four lanes in an expansion project taking place between 2008–2010.

Paduvakkadu has three historical temples,Lakshmi Narasimhar temple,Load Vinnayaga temple and Sri Muthumariamman temple and has Sivan kovil ,murugan kovil bank on the vashishta Nadhi.

Largest lake in the Salem district known as "Pana yeri(lake)" in center of pethanaickenpalayam. The temple situated over a mountain in north of this place known as "Koppu Kondan Malai(Mountain)" is a most famous worship centre for people all over the panchayat .

A river known as "Vashishta Nadhi(River)" one of the longest river after Cauvery also flows in this town which create it as a long deltaic region serving its agricultural needs and drinking purposes all over the area.

ATM at the city

1.Uco bank ATM

Salem main road, P.N.Palayam-636109.

2.Indian bank ATM

Salem main road, P.N.Palayam-636109.

3.India 1 ATM

Inside Annam super market,

Attur main road, P.N.Palayam-636109

4.Indi case ATM

Attur main road, P.N.Palayam-636109

Siddapura, Uttara Kannada

Siddapura is a town and the headquarters of Siddapur taluk, located in the Uttara Kannada district of the state of Karnataka in southern India. It is nestled among the Western Ghats. The town is surrounded by forest and the region is popular for a large number of waterfalls. Sirsi is the Nearest Large City. Adike (Areca nut) is the primary crop grown in the villages that surround the town.

Sirsi, Karnataka

Sirsi is a hill station populated with 62,882 people in the Indian state of Karnataka and it is home to Elephants, Tigers, Leopard and unique Black panther. Sirsi was also known as Kalyanapattana during the Sonda Dynasty.This town is surrounded by thick green forest & many water falls. Hubli being the nearest city, business opportunities are plenty. Growing Arecanut or betel nut is the main occupation of the people. People own areca farms in acres & are satisfying the needs of the people all over India & abroad. Sirsi - is a tranquil town, dotted with terracotta-tiled houses, Jain Basadis (temples) and ancient Hindu temples. The 16th Century Marikamba Temple enshrines a wooden deity that is believed to have been found in a tank. Once in every two years, the temple celebrates Marikamba jatra (festival) in tribute to Goddess Marikamba.The Nearest international airport is Dabolim Airport , Goa

Sirsi is a tourist destination with a population of 155,079 (as per 2018 election votes). It is the largest city and main commercial centre and business hub in Uttara Kannada district. The city is surrounded by forest, and the region has a number of waterfalls. Hubli and Shimoga are the nearest large cities. The main businesses around the city are mostly subsistence and agriculture based. Adike (also known as supari, areca nut or betel nut) is the primary crop grown in the villages that surround the city, making it one of the major trading centres for areca nut. The nuts grown there are transported all over India, and also exported abroad. The region is also known for spices such as cardamom, pepper, betel leaves, and vanilla. The major food crop is paddy.

Smokeless tobacco keratosis

Smokeless tobacco keratosis (STK) is a condition which develops on the oral mucosa (the lining of the mouth) in response to smokeless tobacco use. Generally it appears as a white patch, located at the point where the tobacco is held in the mouth. The condition usually disappears once the tobacco habit is stopped. It is associated with slightly increased risk of mouth cancer.

There are many types of smokeless tobacco. Chewing tobacco is shredded, air-cured tobacco with flavoring. Dipping tobacco ("moist snuff") is air or fire-cured, finely cut tobacco. Dry snuff is ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. In the Indian subcontinent, the Middle-East and South-East Asia, tobacco may be combined in a quid or paan with other ingredients such as betel leaf, Areca nut and slaked lime. Use of Areca nut is associated with oral submucous fibrosis. An appearance termed Betel chewer's mucosa describes morsicatio buccarum with red-staining of mucosa due to betel quid ingredients. In Scandinavian countries, snus, a variant of dry snuff, is sometimes used. In the United States of America, the most common form of smokeless tobacco is dipping tobacco, although chewing tobacco is sometimes used by outdoor workers and dry snuff is common among females in the Southern states. The overall prevalence of smokeless tobacco use in the USA is about 4.5%, but this is higher in Mid-Western and Southern states.


Talaguppa is a village located in Sagara Taluk in Karnataka State, India. The National Highway No.206 (Bengaluru - Honnavara) passes through Talaguppa village. The village is 14.37 km from the taluk's center Sagara, 77.68 km from

Shivamogga, and 323 km from Bengaluru. It is located at a distance of

14 km from Jog Falls, the highest waterfall in India and Talaguppa is the linking Railway terminus for Jog falls. Areca nut and paddy are the most grown crops.


Vidyarambham (Sanskrit: विद्यारम्भम्) is a Hindu tradition observed on Vijayadashami day mainly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and coastal Karnataka, where children are formally introduced to learning of music, dance, languages and other folk arts. It involves a ceremony of initiation into the characters of the syllabary. In Tamil Nadu they call it as Mudhal Ezhathu. In Odisha it is known as Khadi Chuan (Odia: ଖଡ଼ିଛୁଆଁ) and is mainly celebrated on Ganesh Chaturthi and Vasant Panchami.The Vijayadashami day is the tenth and final day of the Navratri celebrations, and is considered auspicious for beginning learning in any field. The process of learning and initiation on this day is also closely related to the Ayudha Puja ritual. It is usually on Vijayadashami that the implements kept for puja are taken up again for re-use. This is also considered a day when the Goddess of learning, Saraswati, and teachers (gurus) must be revered by giving Gurudakshina. This usually consists of a betel leaf, Areca nut, along with a small token of money and a new piece of clothing - a dhoti or saree.The ceremony of Vidyarambham (Vidya means "knowledge", arambham means "beginning') for children is held in temples and in houses. It is common practise for thousands of people to visit temples to initiate their children into learning.

Initiation into the world of syllabary usually begins with the writing of the mantraMantra

which means

Initially, the mantra is written on sand or in a tray of rice grains by the child, under the supervision of a master who conducts the ceremony (usually a priest or a guru). Then, the master writes the mantra on the child's tongue with gold. Writing on sand denotes practice. Writing on grains denotes the acquisition of knowledge, which leads to prosperity. Writing on the tongue with gold invokes the grace of the Goddess of Learning, by which one attains the wealth of true knowledge. The ritual also involves an invocation to Lord Ganapathy for an auspicious start to the learning process.

Nowadays, the Vidyarambham ceremony is celebrated by people across all castes and religions, with small variations in the rituals followed. The ritual is especially seen in many churches across Kerala, apart from the temples.

Broad culture
True, or botanical nuts
Animal products
Edible plants / roots
Sap / Gum / etc.

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