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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Artanthe hixagona, Betel Pepper
(Piper betle)
[ju jiàng]

A climbing shrub of the pepper family native to tropical zones and which is trained on a pole or trellis in a hot, but shady location. The oil is obtained from fresh leaves. The juice of four leaves is said to be equal in strength to one drop of the oil. The plant's main use is to wrap the leaves around betel nuts (Areca catechu) to make a betel quid for chewing.

CONTAINS: Leaves contain 85.4% moisture, 3.1% protein, 0.8% fat, 6.1% carbohydrate, 2.3% fiber, 2.3% mineral matter, 230 mg calcium, 40 mg phosphorus, 7 mg iron, 3.5 mg ionisable iron, 9600 IU carotene (as vitamin A), 70 UG thiamine, 30 UG riboflavin, 0.7 mg nicotinic acid, 5 mg vitamin C, 100 grams of anti-oxidant hydroxy-chavicol (4-allyl pyrocatechol), which is comparable to BHA, NGDA, and propyl gallate. Plant also contains betel-phenol (chavibetol) and cadinine.

PROPAGATION: By semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
NEEDS: Deep, rich soil with good moisture retention and shade. Weak or congested stems are removed in late winter or early spring before new growth appears.
HARVEST: Leaves as required.
PART USED: Leaves, oil.
WEST AFRICAN or ASHANTI PEPPER (Piper guineense): The leaves are used as a substitute for those of P. betel in making betel quids.

Aromatic, antibacterial, stimulant with a clovelike flavor. Leaves are antibiotic and the oil is antioxidant.
The fresh crushed leaves have been used for edema, inflammation, itch, rheumatism, sores.
Has been used for cough and diptheria.
The essential oil is considered a counter irritant and has been used for bruises, enlarged glands, sores and swellings.
The decocted stem has been used for cough, as a carminative, for edema, wet sores, rheumatic pains.
The roots, fruits and leaves have been used in the treatment of malaria.
Used externally for excess mucous and diptheria (the oil is used as an inhalant).
Has been used in Indonesia as a pessary after childbirth. Also, the oil has been used for breast abcesses. In India it has been used externally to suppress milk in mammary abcesses.

!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
BETEL OIL = 1 to 2 minims

The leaves are used to form a wrapper around a slice of betel nut to make a chewing quid.

©2003 by Ernestina Parziale, CH