Areca Tea A Cup of Good Health

Shwetha Chawadi
Published: January 2020

Looking for a natural way to soothe your upset belly or a sore throat? Do you need something healthy to enhance your strength or need some help winding down? An accompaniment for your breakfast or a remedy to your afternoon droop? How about brewing some tea? Yes, Tea!! Known for the health benefits that come along with it consuming tea today is also vastly regarded a very positive thing and is said to be the second most consumed drink in the world after water.

Consuming tea – popularly called as Chai in India has become a cornerstone of the Indian culture. Tea unlike other beverages is available and consumed in every form imaginable and enjoyed on a larger scale because of its versatility. From Rose tea to Vanilla to black and grey, tea is a galore of collections. As our nutritional format continues to navigate towards healthier alternatives, so many regular cups of tea have been substituted with different flavours of cups of tea.

The innovative entrant to the tea family in the recent times has been Areca tea, which is gaining popularity slowly but steadily. Areca tea did I mention? Though it sounds a little weird to many and interesting to a few, areca tea has managed to hook the attention of healthy tea lovers across the world off late. The ancient Indian belief of tea being a medicinal drink too, only supports the fact that areca tea consumption can have positive effects.

It is a well-known fact that tea plays a significant role in our health and areca tea is the latest addition to the list of tens of thousands of teas, such as ginger tea, lemon tea, masala tea, basil tea and many more. Significant research has gone into the production of areca tea which has proven to be beneficial. Areca nut particles are processed using the traditional method of alkaloid denature and added along with a few ayurvedic herbs to be produced as Areca tea, which is proven to contain no harmful chemicals.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but typically formulating and developing something can get bigger and better with the research and development that goes into crafting it. Nivedan Nempe is one such innovator from India who defied the norms of Areca nut being harmful and created an amazing beverage out of areca nut that is today improving the health and making the lives of many people.

Nivedan – a pharmacist cum entrepreneur from Mandagadde village in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district stepped forward to erase the wrong conception of arecanut being harmful (to an extent where it was on the verge of being banned) and has been successful to an extent. Probe him about what got him to the production of Areca tea and he simply quotes, “necessity is the strongest of things, for it rules everything.”

Despite moving to Australia to pursue a Masters in Manufacturing and Management Technology his rootedness in agriculture, got him fascinated with research. When discussions about Areca Nut being harmful was spreading wide across the globe, he says he was surprised at this fabricated information, for he knew that it was definitely not so for the reason that he belonged to the family that produced Areca nuts for decades and was well aware of its properties. Also the ban on ghutka (whose main ingredient was arecanut) in 2013 by the State government, encouraged him to reconnoiterthe alternate uses of areca nut. It was then that he decided to delve deep into it and began research. A pharmacy degree he earned before moving to Australia helped him set up a small lab in his home town. “After I returned from Austarlia, I started experimentation and research on the properties and medicinal benefits of this widely acclaimed jungle spice. Chemical analysis helped me understand tannin – a type of biomolecule bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins. Tannin, which is said to be the main ingredient of a regular tea and easily soluble in water, is found in high percentage naturally in areca nut and this pushed me to incorporate the concept of tea using areca nut. Besides this, areca nut is also a natural sweetener and the tea prepared from it can be consumed without sugar; thus helping diabetes patients as well,” said Nivedan. He also mentioned that alkaloids, which are carcinogenic, are removed from areca nuts, while many other beneficial aspects are retained during the 6 step processing stage to get a desired output. Areca tea is being endorsed for its chemical-affluent properties, with an acceptable measure of antioxidants and proline, recognised to have anti-ageing properties.

The nut also houses digestive enzyme augmenting agents that help the digestion process. The cellularity and amount of islet cells is said to progress with the use of areca tea, which designates essential pancreatic protection, facilitating a possibility to use it as an anticipatory measure in preventing diabetes. Studies also reveal that people with diabetics have shown 50 percent of improvement in 21 days of consuming areca tea.

Escorted by its medical benefits, areca tea is today available in the form of tea bags in different flavours. Ginger for the metro population who suffer from sore throat due to the pollution, lemon for the citric flavor lovers, tulsi for the old school tea lovers and mint for the nicotine addicts. Pair your delicious breakfast with these flavours of health, and immunity-boosting teas for now and forever.