If you live in an area where its traditional culture is still exists (albeit not easy anymore to find), you will meet one or two elderly fellows with their mouth chewing something. That thing could be a candy, or chewing gum, but, what they actually chewing is paan.
Paan is a mixture of betel leaves and areca nut. This mixture is then chewed for its stimulant psychoactive effect (similar to cocaine), and the spit from chewing betel leaves or nuts considered as an eyesore. Due to this, many doctors and medicine experts have prohibited chewing paan and betel leaves in many countries, especially in South and East Asia.
But, chewing paan and betel leaves also gives you health benefits. In many cultures, paan and betel leaves sometimes chewed for health purpose. This writing will tell you health benefits of chewing paan and betel leaves nobody told you about. Continue reading to find out. (Also read : Health Benefits of Peanut MMS)
Nutritional Value of Chewing Paan and Betel Leaves
According to researches, paan and betel leaves contain wide variety of chemical substances, including antioxidants, phytochemicals, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Betel leaves, in particular, contain water, energy, protein, fats, fiber, calcium, iron, and antioxidants (including flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, saponins, and tannins).
Other chemical substances responsible for paan and betel leaves psychoactive effects are psychedelics, lysergamides, tryptamines, phenethylamines, etc. For more details, see the list of chemical compositions of paan and betel leaves per 100 g serving size below. (See also : Benefits of Jamun for Weight Loss)
- 44 kcal Energy
- 85 g Water
- 6 g Carbohydrates
- 3 g Protein
- 2 g Mineral (including Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, etc)
- 2 g Dietary fiber
- 1 g Fat
- 550 mg Potassium
- 230 mg Calcium
- 40 mg Phosphorus
- 11 mg Iron
- 7 mg Sodium
- 0.15 mg Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
- 0.7 mg Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- 0.25 mg Riboflavin (Vitamin B12)
- 3 mg Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
- Hydroxychavicol acetate
- Allylpyrochatecol acetate
- Stearic acid
- Methyl eugenol
- Steroids other compounds
Some chemical substances cause paan and betel leaves to have unique aroma.
So, what are the health benefits of chewing paan and betel leaves? Here are the answers :
1. It can be applied to treat filariasis
Other than chewing and swallowing paan and betel leaves, you can also apply to area infected by parasitic disease caused by mosquitoes such as : filariasis, dirofilariasis, tularemia, Japanese encephalitis, etc. (Recommended : Health Benefits of Green Tea First Thing in The Morning)
2. It helps you overcome obesity
The causes of obesity may vary among individuals. It can be genetic, the person’s diet, lack of exercises, etc. But, it doesn’t matter what the cause, chewing paan and betel leaves will help lose weight and burn body fat to overcome obesity.
3. It helps heal dyspnoea
Another valuable health benefits of chewing paan and betel leaves nobody told you about is its ability to heal dyspnoea. Experts says, chewing paan and betel leaves mixed with honey can heal this disease (usually to treat children). It also heals indigestion.
4. It is used traditionally to treat sore throat.
Some folks in Asia have relied to chewing paan and betel leaves to treat their sore throat. Well, if looking at it from medical point of view, their belief makes sense because paan and betel leaves contain corticosteroids, which somewhat increase the healing rate of sore throat by reducing inflammation.
5. Excellent in boosting your mood
Well, this is basically the main purpose of chewing paan and betel leaves for most people. So, is there any connection between a good mood and health condition?
Yes, there is. A calm and relaxed mind is almost always associated with healthy body. So, boosting your mood by chewing paan and betel leaves is a good way to start a healthy lifestyle.
6. Want to get rid of bad breath? Chew paan and betel leaves!
Do you always concerned about the smell coming out from your mouth? Don’t worry, now you can boost confidence by chewing paan and betel leaves. This activity will get rid of bad breath according to traditional folk medicine database.
7. It transform body odor to more pleasant smell
Do you have problem with your body odor? Well, you can reduce your body odor by chewing paan and betel leaves. Its chemical composition has the effect on body odor, and somewhat it camouflages it with better smell.
8. Betel leaves paste is used to treat wounds and cuts
Just back at home with few bruises and cuts from your adventure or work? Well, even a small cut will cause you trouble if not treated properly. Betel leaves is good at providing solution for this problem. Just put some betel leaves paste on wounded area and you’ll be fine.
9. It provides enough supply of Vitamins
Not all Vitamins are exclusive to Fruits and Vegetables. You get some Vitamins from paan and betel leaves, too. Study on betel leaves says per changeable serving size of it, found the presence of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and beta carotene. This is a good sign for health.
10. It is used to treat irritating cough
Do you feel irritated by cough? Well, make yourself feel better by chewing paan and betel leaves. It is believed to relieve itchy throat that causing common or phlegm cough.
11. It is used to stop nosebleed
Chewing paan and betel leaves is believed to have effects on a bleeding nose or epistaxis. It stops the blood from coming out (or you can say, the blood clots after paan and betel leaves is chewed). This is probably due to paan’s vasoconstrictive properties. (You may want to read : Benefits of Namaz During Pregnancy)
12. It heals diseases caused by inflammation
The history of traditional medicine tells us about benefits of betel leaves on inflammation. From scientists point of view, it is due to Vitamin C composition in paan and betel leaves that makes it good againts inflammatory diseases such as : arthritis, orchitis, and machitis.
13. It possesses analgesic and cooling properties
In order to surpress the pain or cooling burning sensation down in separate occasions, people have chewed paan and betel leaves from time to time. This is due to its analgesic and cooling properties. (See also : Benefits of Aloe Vera for Eyes)
Cautions in Chewing Paan and Betel Leaves
Please keep in mind that chewing paan and betel leaves has the same effects as consuming drugs. It’s strongly advised not to abuse it for your own good.