Tambul – Pan Chewing: Right Method, Benefits, Contra Indications

Tambul is called pan or betel leaf. Pan chewing is part of ancient Indian custom. It is also mentioned as a part of healthy daily routine both by master Charaka and Sushruta. Needless to say, it comes with its own bunch of benefits.

pan chewing


Ingredients of pan – Tambula –
Tambula leaf – fully grown, fresh – one or two.
Half a teaspoon (small spoon) of powders of
Edible camphor
Betel nut
Kankola (Piper cubeba) – These are the ones that are mentioned by master Charaka and Vagbhata.
Now-a-days, many other ingredients like fennel, mint, etc are added along with lime powder, to make it more tasty.

Sanskrit verse

Quality of betel nut

As per Ayurveda Mahodadhi, the arecanut used for the purpose of tambula should be atleast 3 months old. The nut that which exceeds the third month will have the constituents of arecanut in their fullest form and is considered to be cardiac and pleasant to mind.


Time of administration

It is administered after meals, once or twice a day.
The best time for consumption of the tambula is after food, preceded by drinking water and when a person has indulged in heavy quantity of food.  The ideal time would be 1 ghatika [24 minutes] after the intake of food, to be specific.

Ayurveda Mahodadhi

The supari betel  is to be prepared with the powder of  following ingredients –karpoora, kankola, cloves, arecanut, jatiphala, dried ginger, slaked lime, khadira sara, kasturi, chandana powders.

The betel leaf supari prepared with above ingredients improves the complexion of skin, promotes health, intellect, memory, stimulates the appetite as a digestive.

Hence, it is adviced to partake tambula both in day and night time after consuming food.

The betel leaf controls the vata; arecanut controls the secretion of the kapha dosha and the khadira sara addresses the pitta dosha. The foresaid tambula, thus  addressing  all the three doshas is hence being adviced for regular usage after meals to promote the health of an individual.


It helps to mask  bad breath caused by indigestion, gastritis, due to foods with strong smell like onion and garlic.
It helps to take out excess secretion of saliva. It brings about clarity of mouth.
Soon after finishing meals, there will be Kapha Dosha dominance. Pan leaf with the said spices helps to keep Kapha in balanced condition.
It helps in digestion of food taken.
In ancient times, at night, wife prepares special tambula for the husband. Because of ingredients like camphor, tambula also acts as aphrodisiac.
It brings about pleasant sensation in sense organs. It strengthens them.
Useful in soar throat, cough and toothache. Chewing Pan is one of the best home remedies for toothache.

Side effects

Because of its aphrodisiac effect, it is not indicated in students. 
Excess of lime powder should be avoided. Excess may cause burning sensation in tongue.
Betel leaf is contra indicated in dysuria ( difficulty in passing urine)

It is avoided in children, because they feel difficulty in speaking, after having pan.
Avoid excess sweet ingredients. Pan now a days is made excessively sweet. But it is undesirable as it may increase kapha and suppress the Kapha balancing effects of cardamom and camphor. Excess sweet takes away the digestive nature of pan.
Usually pan is taken at night. Highly sweet pan is especially bad for night, because excess sweets are better avoided at night. (Find out why)


The tambula sevana is contraindicated in persons suffering from the eye diseases,  haemorrhagic conditions, pthisis, poisonous conditions , tuberculosis inebriated state, stupor, giddiness and dyspnoea. – Ayurveda Mahodadhi.

As per Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrathana 2nd chapter,

ताम्बूलं क्षतपित्तास्र रूक्षोत्कुपितचक्षुषाम् ।

विषमूर्छामदार्तानामपथ्यं शोषिणामपि ॥ ७ ॥

tāmbūlaṃ kṣatapittāsra rūkṣotkupitacakṣuṣām |

viṣamūrchāmadārtānāmapathyaṃ śoṣiṇāmapi || 7 ||
Chewing of betel leaves is contraindicated in those suffering from
Kshata – wounds,
Pittasra – bleeding diseases,
Roukshya – dryness,
Utkupita chakshu – inflammation of eye,
Visha – poisoning,
Murcha – unconsciousness,
Mada – intoxication and
Shosha – emaciation.

Tambula sevana as per Bhojana Kutuhalam

When the betel leaves and betel nut are taken in equal quantity it produces color(redness). when the betel nut is more in quantity there is loss of color.

When the lime is in excess it produces bad unpleasant odour, and when the betel leaves are in excess it results in good fragrance. At night one should consume tambula having betel leaves in excess.

One must take tambula along with jati, lavanga, karpura, takkola and katuka. person who desires good appetite, clearing of mouth and fragrance should hold this in mouth. The over use of tambula leads to physical weakness, pallor, ophthalmic disorder and usnaroga(Daha).

24 thoughts on “Tambul – Pan Chewing: Right Method, Benefits, Contra Indications”

  1. Tambul is taken by Pregnant Woman and Lactating Mothers – can we more insight on this. Which Dosha it increases?

    • Hi, Tambul can be had by pregnant mother and lactating mother. Regarding betel leaf details, I am going to write an article very shortly.

  2. eating paan is craziest thing and it straight effects mouth and 6 other cancers ,its known as bad habit

  3. I chew betel leaves only. Only the leaf and my tongue feels rough. My taste buds also pop up a little swollen on my tongue and my tongue feels burnt

  4. Does wonders for digestion, and elimination…
    One additional tip: “Katha” is very harmful, but “Chuna” is panacea.

  5. It may help to include shredded coconut and fennel seeds along with betel leaves to reduce swelling/burning effect. And a tinge of gulkand too if sweet taste is not undesirable.

  6. Betel leaves are very beneficial. It is the “kattha” (blackish paste) that causes cancer and other harm. Chuna (limestone) is actually very beneficial, but needs to be taken in very minute quantity – less than size of a wheat grain per day.

  7. The most mistake in India – is to add Tobaco everywhere
    I do not know how you were so deceived.
    As a result, you spoil Betel and Ganja – which fit for puja to Krishna or Shiva, by “Godless Nasa”- Tobaco – the poison of the fools, plant of uncivilized peoples of ancient america, that cheats the whole western pishachi world.

  8. I have been having beetal leaf along with wheat grain equivalent chunna from past 1 year now. My wife also ate during pregnancy and after delivery. To realise real benefit one has give it some time. It is working for me…..

  9. Sir
    Is there any ayurvedic company make tamboola choorna or anything like that to have with betal leaf?

  10. Yes,In Maharashtra city,Satara-415001 a product called tambul vida is manufactured by Bhave Supari Badishep


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