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Paan is in existence from 2000years it is believed to have originated in Malaysia or India. Tambula, as the betel preparation is called in Sanskrit, is derived from the term tamra meaning copper indicating red colour. This red colour is alluded to because of one of the most popular ingredients of paan namely catechu or katha. According to Sushrata, the patriarch of ancient Indian medicine, paan keeps mouth clean strengthens the voice, tongue and teeth and guards against diseases. It is also said to aid in digestion and purify blood.
Other uses of paan:
Stomach pain is eased with heating and applying these leaves on the childrenís abdomen.
Headache is relieved with making a paste of paan and applying it to the temples on the head the two sides will help to bring down the pain.
Constipation in children is relieved by inserting the stalk of betel leaf dipped in castor oil and inserted in the rectum will ease out the stools.
When these leaves are made into a paste and applied over the wounds which heal within two days.
For the new mothers: during lactation, the betel leaves, smeared with oil applied on the motherís breast helps to promote secretion of milk.
Paan Is mainly grown in kerala and west Bengal area they also cite it to srilanka, in the famous silapadigaram the heroine is said to have fed her lord with paan, so it all dates back to ages of people relishing this green leaves grown in different regions of asian pacific area. <?xml:namespace prefix = v /><v:shape id=_x0000_i1026 style="WIDTH: 180pt; HEIGHT: 169.5pt" type="#_x0000_t75"><v:imagedata o:title="" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\cli p_image005.png"></v:imagedata></v:shape><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]--><v:shape id=_x0000_i1027 style="WIDTH: 145.5pt; HEIGHT: 187.5pt" type="#_x0000_t75"> <v:imagedata o:title="" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\cli p_image007.png"></v:imagedata></v:shape><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]--><v:shape id=_x0000_i1025 style="WIDTH: 180pt; HEIGHT: 140.25pt" type="#_x0000_t75"> <v:imagedata o:title="" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\cli p_image003.png"></v:imagedata></v:shape><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]--><v:shape id=_x0000_i1028 style="WIDTH: 43.5pt; HEIGHT: 60pt" type="#_x0000_t75"> <v:imagedata o:title="" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\cli p_image009.png"></v:imagedata></v:shape><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->
Wonderful meal has to be followed by paan, which are many in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">India</st1:country-region></st1:place>,
We have the madras vethalai and karuppu vethalai which is very pungent and strong in taste, then we have this banarasi patha which is very mild.
One thing about this paan is it helps digestion like no other, when taken after a heavy meal it helps you to lighten up fast, winter and its lethargic lay back attitude and the wonderful fried stuff goes hand in glove and what better way to ease out the system with paan.
Even babies who have an upset stomach are given sorasam made up of pan one garlic pod and some omam all ground together and strained, this is diluted according to the age of the child, even the new born has problems when the mother in never on diet and takes heavy meals, so they also get a dose of sorasam once a week but with half the paan and some omam and garlic, sometime this brings out everything in the form of vomit and all the phlegm comes out giving relief to the untold misery of a child suffering from cold. Even now the pregnant are always advised to have paan to help digest fast as they suffer from indigestion more often and eliminates flatulence.
In <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">India</st1:place></st1:country-region> we offer paan and betel nut to every one who come home as a tradition so that they could sit down have it with fresh lime [chuna] and then take on their journey. The lime is a source of calcium to woman which is very important to them in their life.
Men also love these and people in kolkata are mad about paan, no party is without this and the lesser said the better the paan in kolkata are so big it is equal to 4 madras vethlai and the strong pungent juice is very spicy on the tongue. It is prepared with khatha, a red substance which helps coloring is a reddish solution derived from the wood of the tree acacia catechu. It is an astringent and disinfectant. Many ingredient go into it saunf, sweet coconut, elaichi and gulkand to cool off.
this article has been taken from various sites, and compiled here by sunkan