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Dictionary

Betel leaf

Betel leaf is a creeper from the pepper family (Piperaceae) which is a popular spice plant. This plant comes from Southeast Asia, and more specifically from the regions of India and Malaysia, where it is used for both medical and narcotic purposes. Betel occurs in Ayurveda – traditional Indian medicine.

This creeper reaches from 5 to 20 meters in length, looks like ivy from the appearance and way of climbing. Stems after some time are woody, and on them there are cleavage roots, stabilising the plant. Young stalks have a reddish-red colour. Betel leaves are evergreen, shiny and smooth, with a pale underside. In the kitchen, it is used to wrap in food, as in the case of Thai Miang Kham also it can be added to salads, including Nasi Ulam. It grows in Asia – from India to Indonesia – where it also plays a role in the Hindu religion (including wedding ceremonies).

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