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Why do many Indians chew paan(betel leaf)? Does it have health benefits or risks?


Posted Date: 18 Apr 2013      Posted By:: Soumyadip Saha     Member Level: Gold    Member Rank: 460     Points: 5   Responses: 4



Paan or betel leaf is chewed almost all over India. There are also many different varieties of paan available all over the country. It is common to see people chew paan after dinner in some places. It is also common to see a paan being served in many events like wedding anniversaries.
Why do people chew paan? Is it due to any custom or tradition or does it have any health benefits associated with it? If not then does chewing paan cause any health related problems?
Personally I do nit find any significance of it and have never tried it as some people also chew paan with tobacco and tobacco can cause cancer and many other health risks.
What are your views regarding why people chew paan?

With Regards
Soumyadip Saha




Responses

#414382    Author: Naresh Kumar Behera      Member Level: Gold      Member Rank: 183     Date: 18/Apr/2013   Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 5     Points: 2

Chewing pan (betel leaf) instead of gutkas is somehow better. Pan (betel leaf) is an old fashion which is being used since many decades in our country. There are many medicinal benefits in betel leaf. Eating betel leaf after heavy lunch gives benefit for digestion; betel leaf is used for ailments like boils etc.

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#414384    Author: K Mohan      Member Level: Platinum      Member Rank: 4     Date: 18/Apr/2013   Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 5     Points: 4

Though chewing paan or betel leaf is very bad habit, people do take it for two reasons. One thing to get rid of odour smell from the mouth and betel leaf taken with chunna has the digestive power. In Hyderabad people are habituated to take full plate of famous mutton biryani which has whole lots of spices and it is heavy food. So the dinner normally becomes heavy in Hyderabad and to avoid next day problem with stomach people go for paan or betel leaf which acts as digesting agent. People also take zarda paan to add kick to their thinking power.

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#414425    Author: Venkiteswaran.      Member Level: Diamond      Member Rank: 17     Date: 18/Apr/2013   Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 5     Points: 5

Chewing betel leaf without tobacco and without much arecanut is good for digestive purposes. This also helps to avoid bad breath. It is a very mild aphrodisiac. Hence elders allow pan chewing only to married persons. Siting in a leisurely mood after a goo meal husband and wife chewing betel is an advised ritual for the happy life for couples.

The old traditionalm saying " Bhaarya hasthena Tamboolam..." ( betel from the hands of one's wife)- has come in that relation.

The lime(Chuna) spread on the reverse of the betel leaf also helps as a calcium supplement and is good for the teeth primarily. Spices like Cardomom,Clove ,pepper are added in minor quantities to give good smell and taste as well as for their medicinal properties.

But tobacco or any other chemical is bad and that is why present day betel chewing is discouraged.

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#414430    Author: Soumyadip Saha      Member Level: Gold      Member Rank: 460     Date: 18/Apr/2013   Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 5     Points: 1

I did not know about the digestive properties of betel leaves, so thank you all members who explained me.I also did not know that lime is good for our teeth. many of my family members chew paan with lime and they have never had any sort of dental problems.
However chewing paan causes staining of the teeth which I think is disadvantageous.

With Regards
Soumyadip Saha


 
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