ARECA CATECHU: ENFOLDING OF HISTORICAL AND THERAPEUTIC TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE WITH MODERN UPDATEAbstract
Areca catechu has been in use as a social drug from the time immemorial and usually chewed by at least 10% of the world’s population. Areca catechu commonly known as supari consists of dried ripe nuts and belongs to the family Palmae which is cultivated in tropical India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South China, the East Indies, the Philippines Islands and part of East Africa (including Zanzibar and Tanzania). Large quantities are exported from Madras, Singapore, Penang, and Sri Lanka. Areca nut (seed) contains tannin, gallic acid, gum, and alkaloids, viz. arecoline, arecaine, arecaidine, guvacoline, guvacine and choline and various minerals such as copper, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It also contains vitamin B6 and vitamin C. In Unani medicine, it is used for stomatitis, bleeding gums, gingivitis, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, leucorrhoea, antiperspirant, urinary disorders, anorexia, diarrhoea and improves foul breath. Experimental studies of A. catechu showed antioxidant activity, hypoglycemic activity, anti-depressant activity, and anti-HIV activity, etc. The present review is an attempt to compile and explore comprehensively the ethnomedicine uses, phytochemical properties and pharmacological uses of Areca catechu.
M. Rashid*, S. Shamsi, A. Ilahi, M. Nazamuddin, B. Tafseer and O. Akhtar
Department of Ilmul Saidla, Aligarh Unani and Ayurvedic Medical College, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
21 January 2015
22 March 2015
28 April 2015
01 May 2015