- BETEL LEAVES - Chaa phluu, phok puu noo, phak phiuu
nok, pblug ring, ye-thoei (Thai), LA LOT (Vietnamese)
Herbaceous plant, creeping or erect, up to 60 cm high, Cultivated
in India and SE Asia as spice and medicine. In Thailand the young leaves
are eaten raw or cooked. They are used raw to wrap ginger, peanuts,
roasted coconut meat, dried shrimp, chilli, shallots, lime and, sweet
coconut meat sauce to make miang kam bai chaa phluu, a kind of snack.
The leaves are also mixed in khaao yam, blanched as a vegetable or put
into curries. See also a Vietnamese
recipe. The whole plant is a carminative. The roots or fruit
help to cure dysentery, while the crushed roots and leaves are combined
with salt to ease toothaches. Available all year but best
purchased in warmer months.