Latin name: Areca catechu
Also Known as: Areca nut, Betel nut, Paan
Origin: Sri Lanka
The areca nut is the seed of the areca palm (Areca catechu), which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Asia, and parts of east Africa. This seed is commonly referred to as betel nut. The areca nut is not a true nut, but rather a fruit categorized as a berry.
The nuts are chewed for their effects as a mild stimulant, causing a warming sensation in the body and slightly heightened alertness. Various compounds present in the nut, most importantly arecoline, the primary psychoactive ingredient which is similar to nicotine.