Betel Nut - A stimulating and refreshing nut from Asia
Called paan in India and pinang in Malaysia, betel nut is used a lot in South-East Asia, where it’s taken on a daily basis by many people.
Betel nut comes from the Betel palm, a tree that can reach 25 metres in height. The origin of this tree is somewhat unknown and it is rarely found in the wild. Practically all Betel palms have been planted by people themselves, with the primary reason for growing them being the production of its seeds of the palm, the Betel nuts.
The use of Betel nuts dates back thousands of years already and played a large role in the culture of South East Asia, particularly in Pakistan and India. To this day, in this region there are many people who make Betel nut use a daily ritual. The typical Betel nut user can be recognized by their frequent spitting on the ground.
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS OF BETEL NUT
There are many active ingredients in Betel nut. The most important of these are: arecoline, arecaine, arecolidine and guvacine. The quantities of these substances varies between 0.3 and 0.6%.
EFFECTS OF BETEL NUT
The principal substance in Betel nut is arecoline. The effect of this is stimulating and refreshing. A side effect of Betel nut is the copious production of saliva. Betel nut users can be seen spitting a lot.
PREPARATION, DOSAGE AND USE OF BETEL NUT
Betel nut on its own is barely active. Therefore the Betel nut must be combines with a tiny amount of quick lime (Calcium hydroxide). With this combination the arecoline in your body is converted to arecaidine, which is what has the eventual stimulating effect.
The Betel nut can be ground and then be drunk with some water. The best way though is still to chew it with some lime. The Betel nut does not need to be swallowed. When chewed well the active ingredients will be taken up via your saliva glands. In addition to this some people report a stimulating effect with smoking ground Betel nut.
For a normal dose 2 gram is more than enough.
Never take more than the recommended dose of 2 grams each time and never more than 5 grams in a day. In addition, betel nut is bad for your teeth and can with extensive usage stain them a reddish colour. If you take too high a dosage it can lead to dizziness and diarrhea. With long-term use betel nut can be mildly addictive.
A pack of betel nut contains 80 gram.
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