Calcutta Meetha Paan is a must try for tradition of chewing betel leaf is an integral part of the Indian culture, which is very fresh and had good flavour. The Betel nut seeds are chewed after meals as they stimulate the activity and salivary digestion, but it seems that they also possess cardiotonic action, astringent and vermifuge.
The seed called Betel Nut, is considered economically important for its properties as a stimulant, digestive and heart tonic. In fact is used to extract substances alkaloids as the active principle arecoline, used as anthelmintic. For these reasons it is widely cultivated as well as in India and Malaysia also in many other tropical regions, not only in Asia, from Pakistan to the southern islands of the Pacific and Taiwan as well as in Africa.
The consumption of nuts Betel is a very ancient practice, widespread and deeply rooted in the customs of many indigenous peoples, among people of all social classes. News on uses and properties of the seeds of betel already are found in a Chinese document dated between 180 and 140 BC, while in Europe the first information were introduced by Marco Polo in 1298.
The seeds of Areca catechu , in addition to being high in fat, contain many tannins, one of red, said kuni or red-Areca. These substances have the property of stimulating the secretion of saliva and promote digestion, have cardiotonic effects and action vermifuge and astringent.
The most common way to consume betel nuts is to cut them into thin slices, wrap them in leaves of the betel paan, previously dusted with lime, adding, sometimes, other spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, catechu, etc.. Is obtained, so the real betel, in the form of nuggets that are chewed after meals to freshen the breath and aid digestion, often for social customs or ceremonial rites.
The presence of the leaves of the betel pepper adds a mild narcotic effect, in addition to spicy aromatic flavor. The betel nuts are, however, the drawback to blacken the teeth and saliva of red dye, as a result of tannins in abundance.