In this article, I would like to share some interesting after food snack, natural, herbal mouth freshner - Paan. It is consumed in south-east and south asia,Taiwan,Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines. It is known by different names based on locations as killi, paan, manan, sirih, sireh, beeda, taambola, gillauri. The betel leaves and Areca nut are native of Australasia & Islands of south-east asia.
Chewing the mixture of betel leaf with areca nuts is a tradition, custom or even ritual which dates back to thousands of years from India and other Asian countries. Paan chewing constitutes a popular activity in India. It is usually taken by men after smoking or after a heavy meal. They are available readily at small road-side paan shops. It is used as natural mouth freshner in India.
In urban areas, chewing paan is a nuisance because some reckless chewers spit the paan in public areas. One can find red stains on the walls in some crowded places in India. It is banned in some countries like Singapore, UAE and some parts of India.
Actual paan is of many types, comes in different flavors, sizes, shapes and even there are exciting and very interesting variety - "the fire paan", available at some experienced paan shops. Though some claim chewing paan can cause cancers, it is believed to be due to the addition of artificial flavoring agents added as ingredients to the paan. It can be taken in the place of chewing gums like orbit/wrigleys spearmint gum etc It is said to prevent halitosis - a condition of bad breath. Mint, dry, sweet, chocolate paan, meenakshi, cherry paan are some of the flavors available at most of the stores.
WHO ,and other organisations have listed in harmful food substance as most of the oral cancer patients have been found to be associated with history of paan chewing apart from tobacco abuse. Beetel leaves are fo.lded with slices of areca nut, sugar crystals, slaked lime (chunnam) paste, katha paste and mukhwas are common ingredients.
Gulkand a sweet flavour prepared from dried rose petals and sugar are used in sweet paans.
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