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Top 15 Benefits of Betel Leaf. Methods to grow and store Betel Leaves explained.





Introduction :
Betel leaves has a significant traditional importance in every Indian household. Festivals is incomplete without the presence of betel leaves . We complete the food with betel leaves on certain occasions as it helps in digestion. Along with helping in digestion there are other benefits. Here in this blog, I am listing out few health benefits of betel leaves. Note that I am referring to plain betel leaves and not the betel nuts used with betel leaves.




1. Nutritive values :

Betel leaves is rich in 
Vitamin C , 
Vitamin B1 (thiamine), 
Vitamin B3 (niacin), 
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin )
Carotene.
It is also a great source of  minerals like
Calcium
Magnesium

2. Reduces blood glucose levels :

It has anti diabetic properties as it reduces blood glucose levels. Betel leaves fights the oxidative stress due to its antioxidant property lowering the blood glucose levels. 

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3. Prevents cancer :

Chewing betel leaves helps in prevention of oral cancer as it contains alot of anti oxidants. Anti oxidants neutralise the effects of free radicals and inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
Note :
 However, eating betel leaves combined with betel nuts and tobacco posses a risk of oral cancer. 

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4. Lowers Cholesterol :

Studies have found betel leaves decrease LDL (low density Lipoprotein) and VLDL (Very low density Lipoprotein) which is bad cholesterol and increase  HDL ( High density Lipoprotein).

5. Aids in weight loss  :

Betel leaves increases the metabolic rate and thus helping in weight loss. 

6. Can treat gastric pain :

Eating betel leaves after food helps in digestion and reduces acidity and gastric pain. It also prevents bloating.
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7. Heals wounds :

Betel leaves is used in Ayurveda to treat wounds. It helps in wound healing process.

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8. Reduces mouth ulcers :

Betel leaves reduces the mouth ulcers . It also acts as mouth freshener.


9. Reduces kidney related ailments :

If you are suffering from dysuria (Pain while passing urine ), and have bladder related problems chewing betel leaves .

How to use :
Extract the betel leaves juice and mix it with diluted milk and drink. Betel leaf juice has diuretic properties which eases  urination relieving dysuria and other bladder related problems.

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10. Relieves headache :

Betel leaves has analgesic properties. Make a paste of betel leaves and apply on forehead for relief from headache.





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11. Promotes hunger :

Chewing betel leaves is shown to improve the appetite. It increases the hunger as it helps in digestion.

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12. For lactating mothers :

Betel leaves is given for lactating mothers as it is rich source of calcium. 

13. Cures dry cough and bronchitis:

Betel leaves has anti histamanic effect which decreases the cough and eases breathing.  The anti inflammatory action on the constricted bronchioles in asthmatics may be relieved.

How to use : 
Chew betel leaves along with a black pepper corn at night . 

For children :
Extract the juice of betel leaves and mix it with honey and give it to children .
Note :
 Honey should never be given to infants upto 1 year. And home remedies is not for infants upto 1 year.

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14. Good for skin :

Since betel leaves is rich in antioxidants it is good for skin. It can cure pimples too. 
How to use :
  • Boil the betel leaves in water and wash the face with the water once cooled.
  • Make a paste of betel leaves and apply it on the face.

15. Treats depression :

Magnesium content in betel leaves helps in treating depression.  The phenolic compounds in betel leaves releases catecholamines which promotes the sense of well being.  
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These were the uses of betel leaves.  If you know few more uses please leave in your comments in the comment section. 

How to grow betel leaves :

You can plant it in pot . It requires loamy soil , slightly damp and not water logged therefore ensure that the water drains off in the pot and keep the pot in partial shade.




How to store betel leaves :

Betel leaves is best eaten fresh.





If you want to store for 2 days you can wrap in moist cotton cloth .

If you wish to refrigerate wrap in paper and the  store .


Varieties of betel leaf :

There are few  varieties of betel leaves. Choose the dark leaves which is bit spicy in taste as it is rich in medicinal properties compared to the lighter coloured ones.





Conclusion:

Betel leaves has  a lot of significant health benefits . Eat this leaves in moderation like two times a week. However, eating this plain leaf is  not harmful but when it is mixed with betel nuts , tobacco it becomes addictive and may lead to cancer.
If you are not exposed to this leaf may be because it is not grown in your region or other factors perform a patch test and make sure you aren't allergic to this leaf and include it in your lifestyle.

Thank you,

Divya Lokesh.












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