Areca Nut Areca catechu
Common name: Betel nut, pinang.
Occurrence: a tree cultivated in the East Indies, India and Sri Lanka.
Parts used: the seeds contain a large amount of tannin, gallic acid, a fixed oil, lignin and a volatile oil. They also contain three alkaloids, arcoline, arecain and guracine with the second listed being the active principle.
Medicinal uses: aromatic, astringent, taenacide and mydriatic. The native people chew these nuts, which stain the teeth, lips and excrement red. Taken internally, the seeds expel tapeworms and cause contraction of the pupil of the eye. Areca nut is also made into a toothpaste in Britain.
Administered as: powdered nut, fluid extract.