Piper betle


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Product Description

Scientific name: Piper betle
Family: Piperaceae
Zone of production: Indonesia (Java)



Green, herbaceous, hints of citrus leaves. Under sweetish tones, it reminds me of some Costus or Alpinia leaves that I smelled in the forests in Guatemala


The aroma and taste of different locally available varieties of Piper betle L. leaves vary due to their essential oil and other constituents. In this study, the essential oils were extracted from seven local varieties of P. betle L. leaves (Bangla, Bagerhati, Manikdanga, Meetha, Kalibangla, Chhaanchi and Ghanagete) with the aim to characterize the varieties on the basis of oil constituents and to study their enzyme inhibitory and cytotoxic properties. Forty five identified essential oil constituents were subjected to different multivariate statistical analyses e. g. PCA, PLS-DA (R2 = 0.40694; Q2 = 0.31199), OPLS-DA (R2X = 0.154; R2Y = 0.742; Q2 = 0.664) and sPLS-DA. The first three statistical models distinguished mainly Chhaanchi, Meetha, Manikdanga from the others. sPLS-DA model separated all the varieties. The biplot, VIP score plot and other loading plots obtained from the above mentioned models identified mainly the phenylpropanes and a few terpenes to be responsible for distinguishing the varieties chemically. The essential oils exhibited very good acetylcholinesterase inhibitory properties, suggesting their potential for enhancing memory function. The essential oils also inhibited β-glucuronidase, involved in excretion of xenobiotics and other materials from the body, and showed cytotoxic properties. The study suggested potential applicability of the P. betle L. leaf essential oils in medical and cosmetic sector.


Essential oils are commercially important in perfumery, food and pharmaceutical industries because of their aroma. Bioactivities of different essential oils have been studied. Such oils have been screened for their antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects to a great extent. Essential oils and their components have also been reported to possess antioxidant, analgesic, digestive, anticarcinogenic, immunomodulatory, antiapoptotic, anti-angiogenic, semiochemical and other activities as reviewed recently (Koroch et al., 2007; Saad et al., 2013; Perricone et al., 2015).

The aromatic leaves of Piper betle L. (Piperaceae), commonly known as betel leaf, are consumed as masticatory as well as for its medicinal importance in South East Asian countries. The essential oil (EO) present in the leaves is also consumed during chewing. The aroma and taste of such leaves varies with local varieties (Karak et al., 2016). Volatile oil content of betel leaves varies with varieties from 0.15% to 0.2% (Saxena et al., 2014). A large number of agricultural families depend on cultivation of betel vine in rural areas of India, particularly the state West Bengal, for their livelihood. But a huge quantity of the unsold perishable leaves are wasted (Guha, 2006). In addition, the chewing habits of people are changing with the change of life style. As a result, consumption of P. betle by local people is gradually decreasing and consequently the farmers are worst affected. The wastage may be minimized by extracting unsold leaves for EOs which may have promising industrial future (Guha, 2006). Essential oil components were analyzed from betel leaves collected from South India (Jirovetz et al., 1999), North India (Saxena et al., 2014), Eastern India (Suryasnata et al., 2016), other parts of India (Kumar et al., 2007; Bajpai et al., 2010), Sri Lanka (Mohottalage et al., 2007), Philippine (Rimando et al., 1986), Thailand (Tawatsin et al., 2006). Different bioactivities of betel leaf oils e.g. antifungal (Dubey and Tripathi, 1987; Prakash et al., 2010; Basak and Guha, 2015), antimicrobial (Sugumaran et al., 2011; Saxena et al., 2014), larvicidal (Wardhana et al., 2007), insecticidal (Tawatsin et al., 2006; Mohottalage et al., 2007), phytotoxic (Dubey and Tripathi, 1987) and antioxidant (Prakash et al., 2010) activities have been reported. Nanoemulsion (oil-in-water) of betel leaf essential oil showed antibacterial activity against selected food pathogens (Roy and Guha, 2018). Betel leaf essential oil could be applied as food preservative (Basak, 2018). The aim of the present study was to compare the essential oil composition and bioactivities e.g. acetylcholinesterase, β-glucuronidase inhibitory and cytotoxic properties of different local varieties of P. betle leaves collected from West Bengal, a part of Eastern India.


Forty five essential oil constituents identified from seven different local varieties of P. betle leaves included fourteen monoterpenes, twenty three sesquiterpenes and eight phenylpropanes (Table 1). On the basis of relative percentage area (Table 2) of each constituent with respect to total area, it was observed that the P. betle leaf oil had predominance of phenylpropanes as the major constituents. In varieties Bangla, Bagerhati, Manikdanga, and Ghanagete, eugenol acetate and eugenol were


Essential oils, obtained from seven local varieties of P. betle leaves, were analysed by GC–MS for their chemical constituents. Different multivariate statistical analysis of forty five essential oil constituents helped in characterizing the varieties on the basis of these constituents. Phenylpropanes were the major contributors for variation of essential oils of different varieties. The essential oils were also studied for acetylcholinesterase, β-glucuronidase inhibitory as well as cytotoxic.


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