Inventory, bunch : 3.00
Paan leaves are available year-round.
Paan leaves, or Betel leaves, are known for their ability to serve as a digestive aid when chewed. They are known scientifically as Piper betel and called have been used in south and Southeast Asia for centuries. In many homes throughout India Betel leaves are offered to guests in a bundle called a ‘pan-supari’ as a courtesy.
Paan leaves are smooth and dark green. They are heart-shaped and long with a pointed apex and are about 5-8 cm wide and roughly twice that length. Betel leaves contain tannins and sugars as well as an essential oil that is a light yellow and has a sharp, bitter taste.
Paan leaves not only have good digestive properties, but are also considered to be a good source of calcium and antioxidants. The leaf is a natural anti-depressant and stress-reliever and contains an essential oil that has antiseptic properties. Paan leaves contain vitamin C, thiamine, niacin and carotene.
Paan leaves are used primarily for their medicinal or healing properties. The leaf is most often chewed along with other barks and leaves such as sweetened coconut, lime, Cardamom, Anise seeds, Licorice, and fruit preserves. The leaves are also used for samosa-type pouches for betelnut (areca nut) and pan masala or other accoutrements. The leaves of the Betel plant are also used as a garnish under various dishes for presentation.
The Betel leaf dates back to 2600 BCE, used by Indian royalty and lovers because of its breath freshening and relaxant qualities. It is native to central and eastern Malaysia, and spread throughout tropical Asia and west to Africa. There are 32 varieties of the popular leaf, cultivated throughout India and Bangladesh, creating a huge industry for the plant.