Saturday, February 23, 2008

Preparing betel nut, the chewed Asian stimulant

Preparing betel nut
Originally uploaded by machagurl
Betel nuts are chewed in Asia for their effects as a mildly euphoric stimulant, attributed to the presence of relatively high levels of psychoactive alkaloids and terpeneols. Chewing betel nuts increases the capacity to work, also causes a hot sensation in the body, heightened alertness and sweating[citation needed]. It should be noted effect of chewing a few betel nuts is milder than drinking a cup of coffee.

Betel chewing is a tradition which dates back thousands of years. The bitter poultice is an acquired taste, and, although it is not clear why the people of the Pacific originally began to chew betelnut, the habit has been passed down through the generations and now provides a cultural link to their past.

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