khasi woman preparing betel nut (india)

Khasi woman preparing her Betel nuts (India)

The woman is removing the husk of an Areca nut.­

The metal box she is holding contains calcium hydroxide (slaked lime), an ingredient that enhances the potency of the Betel nut.­

The Areca nut is then wrapped with Betel leaf and chewed for its exhilarating lift.­ Betel chewing has been claimed to produce a sense of well-being, euphoria, heightened alertness, sweating, salivation, a hot sensation in the body and increased capacity to work.­

Just like alcohol, tobacco, coffee and sakau, Areca nut and Betel leaf are culturally-approved psychoactive drugs.­

The Areca nut, by association, is sometimes inaccurately called the "Betel nut" or "Betel Quids".­

See the Areca nut Wikipedia article.

See the Betel leaves Wikipedia article.

areca nut betel leaves betel nut betel quids box east khasi hills indigenous knife mawlynnong meghalaya preparing woman
Surok Mawlynnong, Meghalaya 793109, India

Photos taken in India in 2013

The highlight if this trip was the Maha Kumba Mela Hindu Festival, the largest human gathering on earth, which happens once every 12 years.­

Other regions visited include the springs of the Ganges river, Varanasi, the Konark sun temple.­

See also my photos of Nepal that I took the same year.­