Published On: Wed, Sep 25th, 2013

Betel Nut (Areca Nut) : Chemical Constituents, Uses and Synonyms

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Morphology and Distribution of Areca Nuts:

Areca nuts are the dried ripe seeds of Areca catechu belonging to the family Palmae. They are known as betel nuts. This plant is cultivated in India, Sri Lanka, South Eastern Asia, and East .

Chemical constituents of Areca Nuts:

Areca contains like arecoline, arecaidine, guvacine and guvacoline. It also contains lipids, volatile , tannins and gum. Arecoline is the only alkaloid which is active physiological activity. The above alkaloids are reduced pyridine derivatives.

Betel nuts from India

Betel nuts from India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Uses of Areca Nut:

  • The drug is parasympathomimetic
  • It has sialogogue properties (increases flow of saliva)
  • It is used for mastication in India after eating food.
  • Anthelmentic drug
  • Used as Vermicide
  • Used as taenifuge in veterinary practice

The habit of chewing may cause Oral Leukoplakia. It is not used in human medicine.

Synonyms of Areca Nut :

  • Bengali – Superi
  • Hindi – Supari
  • Malayalam – Adakka
  • Marathi – Supari, Pophali
  • Sanskrit – Pooga, Poogiphalam
  • Tamil – Kamuku
  • Telugu – Vakha
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