Chewing Beetle leaf (Paan) play an important role in Indian Tradition. In many Hindu religious ceremonies Paan is used for performing the rituals also it holds a great significance in wedding rituals and all other important functions where its offering is a mark of respect for the guests. The betel leaf is known as Paan in Urdu/Hindi, and Taambuul and Nagavalli in Sanskrit. The betel plant is an evergreen and perennial creeper, with glossy heart-shaped leave. The Betel plant originated from South and South East Asia (India and Sri Lanka). Farmers called barui prepare a garden called a barouj in which to grow betel. There are various types of leaves, the most popular being : Calcutta, Banarasi, Magahi, etc. In South Asia Dinajpur, Rangpur, Chittagong, Faridpur, Jessore, Narayanganj, Barisal and Sylhet are the areas producing most betel in India. Banarsi Paan is famous worldwide.
According to Indian traditional Ayurvedic medicine, chewing areca nut and betel leaf is a good remedy against bad breath. Chewing Pan also helps in diseases such as bleeding or hemorrhages, tuberculosis, reduces the blood pressure assists in digestion, decreases menstrual bleeding and also its acts as an antiseptic etc. Commonly used herbs for this purpose are jatiphal (Myristi cafragrans), Lavang (Syzygium aromaticum), kapur (Cinnamomum camphora), kankol (piper cubeba), supari (areca catechu, lata kasturi (hibiscus abelmoschus) are the herbs which are to be accompanied by Pan. Sometimes tobacco is also added in Pan. Some of the popular preparations of Paan in India are Meetha Paan and Sada Paan.
Beetle leaf and areca is also a very important part of Vietnamese culture. In Vietnamese there is a saying that "the betel begins the conversation. Pan is not only chewed in India but also Burma, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and may other parts of south Asia. In Malaysia beetle leaf is used to cure headache, arthritis and joint pain. In the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and China they are used to relieve toothache.
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