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Effects of Consumption of Thamboolam (Conventional Betel  Chewing) in Traditional Siddha Medicine 
Thomas M.Walter
H.Nalini Sofia
” is a name referred to betel leaf, areca nut and slaked lime takentogether or considered as a whole
Sometimes cardamom, long pepper, clove,calophyllum aromaticum, nutmeg, mace and dried ginger are also added with them andchewed. Areca
nut has
a long history of use and is deeply ingrained in manysociocultural
and religious activities. The use of betel leaf can be traced as far back astwo thousand years. It is described in the most ancient historic book of Ceylon, theMahavasma, which is written in the Pali language. Areca
nut is the seed of the fruit of the oriental palm,
 Areca catechu
. Thin slices of the nut, either natural or 
 processed, may be mixed with a variety of substances including
slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) andspices such as cardamom, coconut,
and saffron. Most significantly, they may be mixedwith tobacco
 products or wrapped in the leaf of the piper betel plant. Areca
nut is used byan estimated
200-400 million people, mainly IndoAsians and Chinese. Betel chewing isconsidered as a good and cheep source of dietary calcium
Major ingredients of 
betel - Dark coloured pungent betel leaf.
Areca nut (Areca catechu)
Lime (Calcium hydroxide)
Asst. Lecturer, Dept. of Gunapadam (Pharmacology), Govt. Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai,Tamilnadu, India.dr.thomaswalter@gmail.com 
PG Scholar, Department of Maruthuvam (Medicine), National Institute of Siddha, TambaramSanatorium, Chennai, India.nalinisofia@yahoo.com 
Properties of the Ingredients and its traditional uses1.
Betel leaf 
Betel leaves have a strong pungent aromatic flavor and is widely used asmasticators. The presence of a fairly large quantity of diastase in the betel leaves is likelyto play an important part in starch digestion. Large quantities of saliva produced bychewing betel leaf act as digestive and probably the presence of diastase enhance thisactivity. The leaves contain good amount of B vitamins (particularly nicotinic acid)ascorbic acid and carotene.
betel leaf consists of more juice which cures pharyngitis, abdominal pain and abdominal distension. Ordinary betel leaf cures urticaria and the effects due tothe derangement in the equilibrium of the three humours namely
Vatha, Pitha
. It gives a pleasant odour in the mouth. Betel leaves possess an anti-oxidantaction. The anti-oxidant effect is due to the presence of phenols particularly hydroxyl-chavicol (4- allyl pyrocatechol). The leaf produces an aromatic volatile oil containing a phenol called chavicol which has powerful antiseptic properties. The essential oil present gives rise to a sensation of warmth and well –being in the mouth and stomach. Itis also known to produce a primary stimulation of the central nervous system, followed
 by a kind of inebriety in large doses. The betel leaf is believed as a common householdremedy for various ailments.
Traditional uses
A paste of betel leaves mixed with salt and hot water can be administered for filariasis.
For treating obesity one betel leaf mixed with piper nigrum is prescribed for two months.
Juice with honey or a liquid extract is useful in coughs, dyspnoea, deranged phlegm andindigestion, common in children.
The application of leaves smeared with oil is said to promote secretion of milk whenapplied on the breasts of lactating women.
A local application is recommended for inflammatory swellings such as orchitis, arthritisand mastitis.
In pulmonary affections of childhood and old age, leaves soaked in mustard oil andwarmed are applied to the chest in order to relieve cough and dyspnoea.
2. Areca catechu (Betel nut)
 The nut is used as a masticatory by the people of India and East Asia. The betelnut contains several alkaloids, the chief of which is arecoline, an oily liquid, which issoluble in water and most of the organic solvents, and boils at 220˚C. It is highly poisonous and resembles pilocarpine in action.
The quality of areca nut
If one chews areca nut, it removes
(phlegm) and relieves constipation. Itdestroys the germs and cures hemorrhoids and fissure in ano. If taken in excess it willcause anasarca. Dried nut is stimulant, astringent and taenifuge. It increases the flow of 

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