In India the practice of chewing paan after a meal is very common and has a number of health benefits. But did you know that chewing betel leaves can help you lose weight too? When combined with pepper this mixture becomes a potent weight loss tool that shows results in about eight weeks. Here’s how it works and how you can use it.
How do betel leaves and pepper help you lose weight?
Betel leaves have very potent carmative properties and aid in proper digestion. One study found that not only does chewing the leaf help speed up your metabolism, but it also aids in preventing acidity by increasing the amount of mucous in the stomach, protecting the stomach lining from the ill effects of gastric acids. Apart from that, betel leaves start working on your digestion as soon as you chew them as they increase the production of saliva in your mouth and signal your stomach to get ready to digest the food you have eaten. It also helps get rid of toxins (also known as ama in Ayurveda) from your stomach and helps relieve constipation (due to its high fibre content). Also, according to Ayurvedic texts betel leaves help reduce medha dhatu (or body fat) in your body, hastening the weight loss process.
On the other hand, pepper contains phytonutrients and pepperin that helps in the break down fat and proper assimilation of all the nutrients in the food you eat. Also, the piperine content of black pepper makes it a great digestive. It stimulates the taste buds to signal the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid, which helps digest proteins and other foods in the stomach. If food it left undigested in your stomach it tends to cause flatulence, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation and acidity. Apart from that, it also promotes sweating and urination which is a great way to get rid of excess water and toxins from the body.
How to use:
Take one betel leaf (make sure it is tender and green) and add 5 pepper corns to it. Now fold it up and chew on this. The pepper may be a bit too pungent for you in the beginning, so you can chew on it and keep it in your mouth, allowing your saliva to carry the nutrients into your stomach. Have this on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning for about 8 weeks.
A word of caution: Please make sure you buy and eat fresh and tender betel leaves as leaves that are slightly old or yellowing lose their medicinal value. Also be sure to not eat leaves that are rotting (they start to turn black when they get spoilt) as this could lead to an upset stomach.
Disclaimer: This is only a home remedy, please do not use it instead of medical advice. Please consult your doctor before you try any of these remedies.
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Arawwawala LD, Arambewela LS, Ratnasooriya WD. Gastroprotective effect of Piper betle Linn. leaves grown in Sri Lanka. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014. Jan;5(1):38-42. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.128855. PubMed PMID: 24812474; PubMed. Central PMCID: PMC4012360.
 P. Guha. Kamla-Raj 2006 J. Hum. Ecol., 19(2): 87-93 (2006). Betel Leaf: The Neglected Green Gold of India. Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology.
 P. Santhakumari, A. Prakasam, and Dr. K.V. Pugalendi. Journal of Medicinal Food. Spring 2006, 9(1): 108-112. doi:10.1089/jmf.2006.9.108.
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