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Betel Nut

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Betel nut, also known as Pinang or Areca nut, is the seed of the Betel Palm (Areca catechu). Betel nuts are often chewed for their helpful effects, which are caused by the relatively high levels of alkaloids in the seed. Chewing betel nuts is an important and popular cultural activity in many Asian countries. It is also used as an offering in Hinduism.

India (the largest consumer of betel nut), the betel nut is cut into small pieces using a special instrument called sarota, and the husk is wrapped in a betel leaf along with lime and may include clove, cardamom, catechu (kattha), etc. for extra flavouring. Betel leaf has a fresh, peppery taste, but, depending on the variety of areca from which it comes, it can be very bitter. Seasoned chewers might mix the betel nut with tobacco. This preparation of betel nut is commonly referred as paan in India and Pakistan, and is available everywhere.

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