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.

"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 (talk) 11:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Comment 1[edit]

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


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. (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"). (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! -

"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 (talk) 16:21, 4 February 2011 (UTC)


"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)


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)


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?'


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)

I think people who swallow the buai pekpek get a stomachache from that which is why people spit the pekpek. Unfortunately inconsiderate D bags often spit buai pekpek on the sidewalk where people have to look at it. So gross. Malum Nalu is on point in his blog posts calling out the buai pekpek that sadly is on the streets of Moresby. Pom Town deserves better than pekpek-covered sidewalks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1:E540:184C:6425:932:3230:C12 (talk) 19:30, 16 June 2015 (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. (talk) 21:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Kampong people got a point, User talk: 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. (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. (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 (talk) 04:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)


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

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

Buai pekpek[edit]

I think it's worth adding information to the article about buai pekpek, the spit from betelnut. Buai pekpek has created a lot of controversy as buai is popular in many places but there's always that one inconsiderate guy who spits buai pekpek on the sidewalks, and this has led to debates on whether or not to ban chewing buai in public locations. In particular, Port Moresby has a recent ban on betelnuts and that's a big deal since that's the capital of Papua New Guinea and the largest city in Oceania outside of Australia and New Zealand. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1:E540:184C:6425:932:3230:C12 (talk) 16:29, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

First, find material in reliable sources. See WP:RS. Do not write your own thoughts and opinions. See WP:OR and WP:NPOV. Third, paraphrase pertinent sections from those reliable sources; do not copy entire sentences or chunks of material (except for an occasional direct quote). Fourth, add accurate references for the material you add. See WP:CITE. Be sure not to add too much information on a relatively minor issue. See WP:UNDUE. Fifth, always sign your comments with four tildes: ~~~~. (You neglected to sign your comment, just above.) If you have any questions, you can ask at WP:Teahouse, WP:Help, or on the talk page of the article. CorinneSD (talk) 22:03, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

BT dubs, does anyone else think buai pekpek should have its own article? I mean, cigarette butts have their own article and I don't see how buai pekpek is any less notable than cigarette butts. In Port Moresby they banned chewing and selling betelnuts and part of the rationale for that was that too many people in Pom Town were spitting the pekpek all over the sidewalks where everyone had to look at it. So I'd say buai pekpek should have its own Wikipedia article like cigarette butts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1:E500:E40:ACB0:E0AD:BDEE:66F6 (talk) 04:35, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Bump — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1:E440:2728:B456:E608:C6C0:6C73 (talk) 02:10, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

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Not a forum[edit]

Collapsed - Wikipedia is not a forum WP:NOTFORUM
  • == Edits about buai pekpek ==

Okay, so I get how it might be considered by some to be vandalism to post so much about Students Against Buai Pekpek and in general about how skeavy buai pekpek is on pages that have nothing to do with betelnuts. But what exactly are the limits for posting about buai pekpek? And how many colleges does Students Against Buai Pekpek need chapters at for us to get our own Wikipedia article? Because in my radius on Yik Yak, you can often find posts about the dangers of betelnuts and the skeaviness of buai pekpek. In fact, the chicken emoji 🐓🐓 is often used to refer to buai pekpek, and in general such activism as slogans against betelnut like "Who chews buai? NOT THIS GUY!" or "show your town respect, keep it free of buai pekpek!" and the hashtag #MopUpBuaiPekpek2015. Our GIM by the way is September 20th on Yik Yak so you all are welcome to come to our GIM and support clean sidewalks for all! 2600:1:E540:6452:28E0:F45B:22AF:1C6A (talk) 10:15, 30 August 2015 (UTC)🐓🐓

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