Inflammation, such as pain, soreness or swellings, are important immune responses and several naturally occurring products as leafy greens have the power to curb inflammation and prevent diseases. Paan or betel leaf could provide the key to unlock an arsenal of anti-inflammatory drugs, suggest Indian researchers.
A part of India's food culture, Ayurvedic texts have mentioned the medicinal properties and therapeutic effects of betel leaf. So, the next time you hear the words 'Meetha patta' or 'Madrasi patta', don't ignore the humble heart-shaped popular mouth-freshener.
‘Paan or betel leaf can help reduce inflammation, suggested Indian researchers. This could pave the way for the possible development of new class of anti-inflammatory drugs.’
Scientists at University of Calcutta and Indian Institute of Chemical Biology here have examined nine varieties of betel leaf and identified the ones that can reduce inflammation.
Ena Ray Banerjee of the university's Immunology and Regenerative Medicine Research Laboratory said, "Usually people generalize paan as one variety and don't know that some varieties could be causing them harm in the long run. Among the nine varieties, five showed anti-inflammatory properties, one showed the tendency to cause inflammation and three didn't show significant anti-inflammatory activity."
The findings were presented at the 'Frontiers in Translational and Regenerative Biology' conference. Banerjee said, "It will pave the way for the possible development of new class of anti-inflammatory drugs. The study also links environmental influence to the anti-inflammatory attributes of paan. The soil and nutrient conditions, climate and farming profile impacts the kind of functional role the leaves have. Focused biodiversity conservation policies should be a major thrust area."