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Information about: Betel

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Betel. (Betle). A species of pepper, Chavica betel, a creeping or climbing plant of the East Indies, native order Piperaceae. The leaves are employed to inclose a piece of the areca or betel nut and a little lime into a pellet, which is extensively chewed in the East. The pellet is hot and acrid, but has aromatic and astringent properties. It tinges the saliva, gums, and lips a brick red, and blackens the teeth. The word betel is also applied to other species of Chavica which are used for the same purpose.