State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPB) Kerala

Areca catechu L.

  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Vernacular names: Adakkamaram, Kavungu, അടക്കാമരം, കവുങ്ങ് (Malayalam), Areca palm (English), Kramuka (Sanskrit), Supari (Hindi), Pakku (Tamil)
  • Distribution: Cultivated from India to the Solomon Islands and in Africa and Tropical America
  • Description: Tall palms. Leaves terminal; leaflets many, linear or linear-lanceolate. Spadices several, axillary, branched, shortly peduncled; spikes flexuous or straight. Spathes boat-like. Flowers monoecious, creamy-white; lower ones female, upper ones male, many. Fruit orange-red in colour.
  • Habit: Tree
  • Habitat: Cultivated
  • Flowering & Fruiting: Throughout the year

  • Parts used: Leaves, root and nut
  • Properties & Uses: Anti-microbial, appetizer and digestive. The powdered nuts are used in the treatment of diarrhea, ulcers, skin diseases and urinary disorders. The fruits are used in gynaecological disorders, haemorrhage and diseases of the nervous system. The roots and seed kernels are used as a diuretic and cardiotonic.
  • Systems of Medicines: Ayurveda, Folk, Unani, Homeo, Modern,
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