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Betel leaves: why Indians chew on this leaf after a meal

Jan 14, 2021 15:04 IST

Have you ever wondered why some people end their meal with betel leaves or paan ke patte? According to historic records, even the royals in India commonly followed the practice. Ayurveda practitioners say that chewing on betel leaves supports digestion and promotes gut health. The leaves are believed to be anti-flatulent and carminative and thus, enhance metabolism. 

Considered to be an analgesic, experts believe applying a paste made out of the leaves can help relieve symptoms of pain. Using the paste on a wound or a cut can do wonders. If you're suffering from internal injuries or pains, drinking betel leaf juice may offer some pain relief. 

A powerhouse of antioxidants, betel leaves help ease constipation and an upset stomach. Just crush the leaves and soak them in water overnight. Drink the water the next day on an empty stomach to reap benefits for the bowels. 

Paan ke Patte serve as an antidote for a variety of respiratory issues like cough, cold, congestion and asthma. Simply apply mustard oil on the leaf, warm it and place on the chest for relief. Alternatively, you can boil the leaves with cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in water and consume the concoction.  

Rich in polyphenols, the leaves come with anti-fungal and antiseptic elements that help cure any kind of fungal infection and provide protection from germs. The paste can be applied on the infected area to kill the fungus. 

So now you know why the humble leaf has been such an important part of India’s culinary culture! 

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