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Areca

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What other names is Betel Nut known by?

Arec, Aréca, Areca catechu, Areca Nut, Areca Palm, Arecanut Palm, Aréquier, Betel Nut, Betel Quid, Betelnut Palm, Bing Lang, Chique de Bétel, Gubak, Noix de Bétel, Nuez de Areca, Nuez de Betel, Palmier d'Arec, Palmier à Bétel, Palmier à Canne Jaune, Palmier Doré, Pinag, Pinang Palm, Pinlag, Poogiphalam, Puga, Supari, Tantusara.

What is Betel Nut?

Areca is a plant. The nut is used to make medicine. Areca nut is chewed alone or in the form of quids, a mixture of tobacco, powdered or sliced areca nut, and slaked lime wrapped in the leaf of "betel" vine (Piper betel).

Areca is used for treatment of a mental disorder called schizophrenia and an eye disorder called glaucoma; as a mild stimulant; and as a digestive aid.

Some people use areca as a recreational drug because it speeds up the central nervous system (CNS).

In veterinary medicine, an extract of areca is used for expelling tapeworms in cattle, dogs, and horses; to empty animals' bowels; and for treating intestinal colic in horses.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Schizophrenia. Early research suggests that betel nut might be helpful for schizophrenia. Some patients with schizophrenia who chew betel nut seem to have less severe symptoms.
  • Stroke. Early research suggests that taking a solution containing betel nut extract might improve speech, strength, and bladder function in people who have had a stroke.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Aiding in digestion.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of betel nut for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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