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Betel leaves or paan patta are eulogized by ayurveda acharyas for their immense medicinal properties. Betel plant or Piper betle is a vine which belongs to Piperacea family. This vine has heart shaped leaves and is mostly grown in South East Asia. In Sanskrit it is known as Nagavallari .
The health benefits of betel leaves are masked due to its usage in Quid. A quid is a small parcel in which areca nuts, slaked lime, tobacco powder etc are wrapped in betel leaf. These Quids are chewed to get a high. A large population of South East Asia consumes quids which are known to cause cancer. This may be due to irritants which are used with betel leaves. Many studies have shown that betel leaves have anti cancer properties.