Indian researchers have found that chewing betel leaf could fight chronic myeloid leukaemia a form of bone marrow cancer. Now what is this betel leaf? It belongs to the family of pepper and kava.
Betel leaves are used as mild stimulants and posses some medicinal properties. They are consumed as betel squid or pann by the members of South East Asian community. This squid contains betel leaf, areca nut, slaked lime and tobacco. In some places cardamom, saffron, aniseed and sweeteners are added according to local taste.
But a research by WHO has found that, the incidence of oral cancer is high among those who chew pann than those of their Western counterparts, who does not have this habit. An interesting thing is that the cancer usually develops at the place where the squid is kept.
Recently Indian researchers from Mumbai and Kolkatta have found that a molecule hydroxychavicol derived from the alcoholic extract of betel leaves may be highly useful for those suffering from CML a form of cancer where the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells and where common drugs are not beneficial.
According to my personal opinion it would be better if people chew only betel leaves without the dangerous extra fittings such as tobacco and areca nut to better use the medicinal properties of betel leaf.