Talk:Areca nut

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IARC monographs[edit]

Currently the article lists the evaluations of the 1987 monograph regarding betel quid and areca chewing.

"There is inadequate evidence that the habit of chewing betel quid without tobacco is carcinogenic to humans."

There appears to have been another evaluation done in 2004 which is what the WHO article refers to.

http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol85/volume85.pdf

"There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of betel quid without tobacco. Betel quid without tobacco causes oral cancer."

with an overall evaluation of

"Betel quid without tobacco is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)." and

"Areca nut is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)."

It seems like the article needs to be revised regarding this. The IARC summaries and evaluations passage directly contradicts the preceding paragraphs and references.

Inexcusable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.59.177.244 (talk) 11:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Comment 1[edit]

this page has also been defaced with several racist word substitutions.

Nonsense[edit]

This page is complete nonsense. For a couple of reasons...

  • It isn't a "betel nut", it is an Areca nut from an Areca palm tree. It is only erroneously called a "Betel Nut" because people often eat it with the leaves from a completely unrelated type of shrub called Betel.
  • As far as I know, the drug is in the Betel leaves, NOT the Areca nuts. Areca nuts just change the taste of the drug and make it red. Carl Kenner 21:15, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
    • I'm wrong. I did some more research and apparently both the Areca nut and the Betel leaf contain different mind-altering drugs. Carl Kenner 21:40, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
  • You seem hung up on the idea that calling it "Betel Nut" is erroneous, because it does not grow from the Betel plant. But there is no use in being pedantic about common names. Saying the term is erroneous is only based on your assumption that the name Betel refers to the originating plant. It obviously doesn't, and no one who knows what the nut is ever gets confused in thinking it comes from the Betel vine. I recommend the "erroneous" term be removed. 116.197.243.60 (talk) 15:18, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Isn't betel nut the most common name, not areca nut? While it can clearly be confusing, objecting to betel nut is misguided. Steak sauce doesn't contain steak. Pancake syrup is not made from pancakes. Steak sauce is consumed with steak, pancake syrup with pancakes, betel nuts with betel leaf (of course, betel nuts aren't completely analogous to steak sauce since the betel nut is the "steak" and the betel leaf is the "condiment").192.104.39.2 (talk) 22:52, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


By the way, the calcium oxide "lime" chemical (not the citrus fruit) keeps the Betel drug in its freebase form so it can enter the bloodstream.

Carl Kenner 21:15, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I think Piper betel is more of a vine than a shrub, as for the slaked lime bit, can you cite a good explanation of how this interacts with the drugs?--AnonyGnome 05:40, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Chemically, slaked lime is a base, meaning that it attracts H+ ions ("protons") and makes them less available to other molecules. Therefore, it deprives the main psychoactive "alkaloids" in betel nut (mainly arecoline) of its loosely-attached hydrogen atom, but not of that atom's electron, leaving the alkaloid "ionized" (electrically charged). Compared with its non-ionized state (which is more prevalent in the absence of slaked lime), it is now far more likely to cling to water molecules and to get pulled along with them; in other words, it dissolves much better in water (and saliva). In practical terms, this means that the lime has converted the active ingredient from its "freebase" form so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. People chew coca leaves with lime for the same reason. Myron 12:27, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

is it a nut?[edit]

Isn't a seed part of a nut (a fruit)? The opening sentence implies they are the same (or the name is a misnomer). A-giau 11:39, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

I've a feeling that the Betel nut is a nut in the same sense that a coconut is, ie, not at all. AnonyGnome 02:00, 10 September 2006 (UTC)


The Areca nut is a nut, but the name "Betel nut" is wrong because the betel vine has no nuts. It was (somewhat crassly) called betel nut by British colonial writers because it is usually chewed wrapped in betel.Mohonu (talk) 04:18, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

It might be helpful to talk about the preperation within a leaf with lime...[edit]

I just tried some today in Taiwan and each nut came wrapped in a leaf with some lime (the chemical). It wasn't clear to me in the article that this was a preperation, but found it in other pages. Thanks! - chrizbo@hotmail.com

"Betel leaf has a fresh, peppery taste, but, depending on the variety of areca from which it comes, it can be very bitter."[edit]

Betel leaves do not come from any variety of Areca, should this be depending upon the variety of Areca with which it is chewed?

AnonyGnome 02:02, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

No. It ought to be"variety of betal vine." The bitterness comes from the betal, not the areca. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.188.253.72 (talk) 16:21, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Structure[edit]

"According to the botanical classification, the betelnut tree belongs to the same family as oil palm and talipot palm, the Arecaceae; however, their outer appearances are quite different"

Hmmm, if the plants you mention belonged to the same genus maybe the differences would be notable, we're not talking Genus here but Family.

One may as well express surprise at the differences between a common daisy (Bellis perennis) and an annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus) as both belong to the family Asteraceae or Erythronium and Cardiocrinum both belonging to Liliaceae --AnonyGnome 02:35, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

This page is a mess - redundant, poor grammar, errors of fact. I don't know enough about the subject to fix it, so I'm going to mark it for cleanup. --DrGaellon 09:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Chink?[edit]

According to the entry on this word here and the following discussion, isn't this an ethnic slur? More to the point, (and I'm not easily offended), if I were an asian individual, I might be offended by finding such things in here, considering these articles should really read like an encyclopedia... Just my 2 cents...


stimulant or sedative?'

Chewing[edit]

The article needs more information on exactly how it is chewed. Is it ground into a pulp over the course of 10-20 minutes and spit out? Is it chewed and gradually dissolved? Or is it chewed and swallowed? -Rolypolyman 04:10, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I think it is chewed then dissolved. That was according to "Last Man Standing", when Jason got addicted to this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TimHowardII (talkcontribs) 20:04, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Ways of Chewing[edit]

Rolypolyman, like in drinking, there are roughly two ways of chewing:

  • The refined way, in which you put in your mouth a little of the mixture, let's say half a betel leaf, two slices of areca nut, a tad of lime and a clove. In this case you will slowly chew and savour it, swallowing the juices.
  • The gross way, in which you fill your mouth with the stuff and produce so much juice that you will have to spit from time to time. Some buses in Sri Lanka have diagonal red lines in the front from the spitting habits of the driver.

Mohonu (talk) 03:46, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


The section "colonial Prejudice is not POV[edit]

Contempt can be ignored or made mild by Europeans, but from Asia we see this differently. In the citation it does say "The natives chew these nuts all day" and "and chewed by the natives. They stain the lips and teeth red and also the excrement, they are hot and acrid when chewed. " this is certainly not what someone from Indonesia would write about the nut. Kampong people58.10.80.244 (talk) 05:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

It isn't contemptuous, though, and it's inappropriate to characterize it as such - especially because the question of whether it's contemptuous or not shouldn't even be ours to answer. Find a reference that says "this is contemptuous," not a reference that you say is itself contemptuous. 67.158.66.240 (talk) 21:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Kampong people got a point, User talk:67.158.66.240. Suppose that the talk is about French wine and the citation would say:...The natives in France drink this stuff all day. It is drunk by the natives. It stains their lips purple and also the excrements." It is contemptuous. Chewing areca nut is been as important and cherished a custom in south Asian cultures as the ceremony of drinking wine in France or the tea ceremony in Japan. I don't see that chewing nut is respected in the general information available. Very quickly the writers jump to the conclusion that it is unhealthy and produces cancer. As if South Asian people were reckless or stupid. French wine when abused also is bad for health. I don't even need to talk about colonial literature, it happens even now. Before you put a tag identify yourself with a user name. What is your point in denying things you have no knowledge about? Are you just trying to be provocative? Are you engaging in vandalism? MojaLabbu (talk) 06:04, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
It is an original interpretation of the citation, and not appropriate for Wikipedia under Wikipedia's policy on original research. 67.158.66.240 (talk) 14:59, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Regarding your edit summary - if your complaint is that the reference is wrong, as in factually incorrect, then the right thing to do is to delete that reference and the text that depends on it, not to write about how wrong it is without supporting the claim. Would you like to delete the reference and the text that depends on it? I'd be quite happy with that. 67.158.66.240 (talk) 15:03, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
The section about colonial prejudice does not constitute an OR original research and also not a POV. The section is mostly a summary for what the rest of the article says. The remaining part of what the section says is not rocket science:
  • 1.The colonizers did not take the habit, so they looked at it from afar.
  • 2. Regarding the wrong use of the term betel, you only have to refer to the section below and the article on Betel where there is enough evidence about the difference between the term for the leaf and the term for the nut in the different laguages of the stuff's user countries.
  • 3. Regarding the reverence and importance of the stuff (Vietnam, India, ...) there are referenced paragraphs in the remaining article.
  • 4. Furthermore: since the nut represents the male priciple and the betel the female, in most user cultures the term "betel-nut" is not a happy combination because it puts the female part of the whole first.
  • 5. If you look carefully at the pages preceding the cleanup of the article, when many repetitions were removed, you will realize that most of this section is a synthesis of what contributors from different countries in Asia had written. So please allow me to remove the unwarranted tag and greetings from Southeast Asia! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 125.27.16.206 (talk) 04:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Pinang[edit]

Why does Pinang redirect to this article?--Rockfang (talk) 20:32, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Appears to be the Malay term for the plant. Deserves a disambiguation note to Penang, though. --Paul_012 (talk) 06:19, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Amyotropic lateral sclerosis[edit]

Reading First Aid for USMLE Step 1 2010. Pg 407 links Betel nut ingestion to Amyotropic lateral sclerosis. Not qualified to make edits on this subject, but if anyone with some qualifications believes this to be correct and wants to edit, feel free 49.2.10.223 (talk) 17:37, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Basis for comparison for increased risk of cancer[edit]

The Merchant et al. study further determined that paan, when consumed with and without tobacco, increased oral cancer risk by 9.9 and 8.4 times, respectively

9.9 and 8.4 times in relation to what? These numbers are useless without a basis for comparison.

99.240.120.244 (talk) 13:21, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Fixed, ApostleVonColorado (talk) 13:56, 29 June 2012 (UTC)