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The areca nut
Betel or Areca palm (Areca catechu) is a palm tree species native to India and Malaysia. It belongs to the genus Areca, from the family Arecaceae. Its orange-red fruits, known as areca nuts, are used to make a betel quid, traditionally consumed in much of Asia. The areca nut is one of the most important stimulants in the world, used by 200 to 400 million people.
Description Areca catechu L.
The tree is a palm tree with solitary trunk and thin 20 cm in diameter, it can reach 25 meters in height. His stipe is ringed, marked by
the scars of the fallen leaves, it is green in its young part then greyish.
The leaves are pinnate and recured, they are arranged at the top of the trunk. The inflorescences placed at the base of the leaves, surrounded by two spathes, are monoecious. Male and female flowers
more numerous, are at the end of the inflorescence while the less numerous female flowers are at the base. The flowers are yellow and fragrant.
The fruits of drupes are ovoid and monosperms of light green and orange color when ripe. The fruits are known as areca nuts, they are used to make betel chew, consumed traditionally in much of Asia.
The areca nut is often incorrectly called betel nut, the betel, Piper betle, is a climbing plant of the piperaceae family, its leaf is used to wrap the open areca nut in two and filled with lime.
The areca nut contains active ingredients of the alkaloid family. The most important arecaine and arecoline are comparable to nicotine for their stimulating, appetite suppressant and slightly exhilarating effects on the brain.