Betel nut (Areca catechu) is the seed of the betel palm. This palm tree can grow up to 75 feet high and has leaves of 3 feet long.
Betel nut is one of the world's most popular plants. The leaf is converted into paper for rolling tobacco and herbs. Betel nut is chewed with burnt lime and sometimes with tobacco or other herbs for chewing. There are millions of Asians who enjoy betel nut daily as much as the Europeans enjoy their cup of coffee.
Regular use of betel nut stains the mouth and teeth a deep red. Asian betel chewers are quite proud of these stains.
Betelnut is a stimulator. The active substance, arecoline, has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, it improves learning and thinking capacities, it enhances the breathing, benefits your mood and reduces the strain on the heart. It gives a euphoric feeling and has aphrodisiac qualities. The chewing of betel gives a cheerful relaxation and a nice feeling in the mouth that rises up to the brains. This makes it an enjoyable pastime.
You can have a teaspoon of powdered Betel nut mixed with water or coffee. For a better effect mix it with lime and chew on it for some time. This makes the active substance work, which is absorbed via the mouth in the blood. The saliva and chewed leftovers should be spit out after a while. For a better taste and assimilation into the body you can eat parts of lemon with it or sprinkle the powder with lemon juice. Never use more than 3 grams at a time and 6 grams a day.
Regular chewing of betel nut is very bad for the teeth and colours the teeth red. It also increases the chance of getting ulcers or cancer in the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus and stomach. High doses can cause diarrhoea and dizziness. One of the consequences of long term use is a light addiction.
Erowid with chewing tips - If you'd like some more tips on the use of betel nut take a look at this page.