Piper Betle Leaves for Itchiness and Allergy
Piper betle or betel leaf is a vine plant that originally comes from South and South East Asia. Piper betle leaf is a heart shape leaf in glossy surface with green or green reddish color. In South and South East Asia, piper betle is cultivated due to the high demand of piper betle leaf for consumption and medicine. In Bangladesh, piper betle is one important commodity that is not only locally consumed but also exported to various countries in the world.
For consumption, people usually take it as betel quid with addition of one or more ingredients, including tobacco. However, consuming betel quid is not good for health, especially if it is mixed with tobacco since betel quid with tobacco is carcinogenic. Piper betle leaf itself does not show any side effect but the addition of areca nut and tobacco will make it dangerous for health.
Piper betle leaf has anti-oxidant and anti-septic properties. In addition, piper betle leaf contains various substances such as eugenol, phenyl, propane, estragol, sesquiterpene, kavibetol, terpennena, tannins, allylpyrokatekol, kavicol, and essential oil. The exact composition will be different for different types of piper betle.
As medicine, one common use of piper betle leaf is to treat itchiness. As a home remedy for itchiness and allergy such as prickly heat, you can make a paste from piper betle leaves and apply the paste to the itchy area. For the paste, you can add a small slice of ginger and eucalyptus oil. Piper betle leaf is also good to treat vaginal itchiness that is very common in female. Eugenol inside the piper betle leaf can help female treat the yeast infection and the tannin can help reduce the secretion of vaginal fluid. To treat the vaginal itching, you can boil two or three piper betle leaves with one cup of water and let it cool. You can use it as a vaginal douche every day until the itchiness has gone.