Betel Leaf Side Effects

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Betel leaf, scientifically known as Piper beetle, is a widely recognized medicinal plant predominantly found in Asia. Renowned for its abundant antioxidants and phytochemicals, betel leaf possesses remarkable cooling and rejuvenating properties. Interestingly, this remarkable plant boasts a staggering 90 different varieties worldwide, with India alone being home to 45 distinct varieties.

Nutritional Composition

The following is the composition found in the fresh betel leaves. 

  • Moisture – 85–90 %
  • Chlorophyll – 0.01–0.25 %
  • Protein – 3–3.5 %
  • Vitamin C – 0.005–0.01 %
  • Carbohydrate – 0.5–10 %
  • Iodine – 3.4 µg/100 Mg
  • Minerals – 2.3–3.3 %
  • Fat – 0.4–1.0 %
  • Fiber – 2.3 %
  • Thiamine – 10–70 Μg/100 g
  • Phosphorus – 0.05–0.6 %
  • Iron – 0.005- 0.007 %
  • Calcium – 0.2–0.5 %
  • Vitamin A – 1.9–2.9 Mg/100 g
  • Riboflavin – 1.9–30 Μg/100 g
  • Potassium – 1.1–4.6 %
  • Tannin – 0.1–1.3 %
  • Nitrogen – 2.0–7.0 %
  • Nicotinic Acid – 0.63–0.89 Mg/100 g
  • Energy – 44 Kcal/100 Gm

Properties of Betel Leaves

  • Betel leaves are highly nutritious and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They also contain enzymes such as catalase and diastase, as well as a significant amount of important amino acids like arginine, lysine, and histidine. 
  • These leaves are not only rich in nutrients but also contain enzymes, essential oils, and bioactive substances that have quick-acting therapeutic properties, making them beneficial for conditions like heart, liver, and brain diseases.
  • The betel leaves also possess catalase and diastase enzymes, along with a considerable amount of amino acids. However, amino acids such as arginine, lysine, and histidine are present in trace amounts. 
  • Additionally, betel leaves have a potassium nitrate content ranging from 0.26% to 0.42%. The study conducted on betel leaves revealed the presence of sugars like maltose, fructose, glucose, and sucrose. 
  • Furthermore, the betel plant’s leaves exhibit a high concentration of polyphenolic and flavonoid compounds. Based on the information provided, it is evident that betel leaves are highly nutritious, containing an ample supply of minerals and vitamins. In fact, consuming six betel leaves with slaked lime is equivalent to consuming 300 ml of cow’s milk.

Side Effects of Betel Leaves

While betel leaves offer numerous benefits, it is important to acknowledge the potential side effects and precautions associated with their use. 

  • Potential for developing substance dependence.
  • One of the most concerning side effects arises when betel leaves are chewed in combination with other ingredients like areca nut and tobacco. This combination has been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer, tooth decay, and gum disease.
  • It is worth noting that some individuals may have allergies to betel leaves. If you experience any allergic reactions, such as itching, rashes, or swelling, it is recommended to discontinue the use of betel leaves and seek advice from a healthcare professional.
  • It is crucial to be aware that betel leaves may interact with certain medications. If you are currently taking prescription drugs, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before incorporating betel leaves into your medicinal routine. This precaution ensures your safety and helps prevent any potential adverse effects.
  • May trigger excessive sweating, a sense of euphoria and excessive salivation. 


Consuming betel leaves with tobacco, lime, and areca nuts may cause many side effects.


1. Is betel leaf bad for health?

Betel leaf is known for its numerous health benefits. It possesses potential anticancer, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antifungal, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties, making it a valuable addition to one’s wellness routine.

2. Can I take betel leaf daily?

Taking betel leaf daily can have many health benefits. One of the key advantages is its ability to eliminate toxins from the body and restore the stomach’s pH levels, thereby enhancing appetite.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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