Red betel (Piper ornatum or Piper crocatum) is a plant that is quite easy to find in various regions in Indonesia. Besides being able to decorate the house, it turns out that red betel is also a medicinal plant, which has many benefits and can help overcome a number of health problems.
Red betel is a plant native to Peru, then spread to several regions
in the world, including Indonesia. Red betel is a bush plant, stems tend to be segmented, with a distance of between 5-10 cm, and each node will grow roots.
Maybe not many know that red betel contains compounds that can bring good to our bodies. So, what are the benefits of red betel for health?
Red betel contains several beneficial compounds such as essential oils, flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannins. All these compounds contain red betel has antibacterial properties.
Research in the Bali Medical Journal in 2018 showed that red betel leaf extract had a concentration of 2.5; 5; and 10 percent each inhibited the growth of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcommitans (Aa) and Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) bacteria. More specifically, red betel leaf extract at a concentration of 10 percent gave the most effective results in inhibiting the growth of Aa and Pg bacteria.
Prolonged exposure to free radicals in liver cells can cause oxidative stress. Without proper treatment, it can lead to liver injury and fatal liver diseases, such as cirrhosis.
This is where the benefits of red betel can be used. Red betel is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Research in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal in 2020 showed that the administration of low concentrations of red betel extract showed strong anti-inflammatory activity for damaged liver cells.
Help treat periodontitis
Periodontitis is a condition that occurs due to the accumulation of plaque and calculus. One of the benefits of red betel is believed to be able to overcome periodontitis.
Research in the Journal of Dentomaxillofacial Science in 2017 used red betel leaf gel as an additional therapy for scaling and root planning to improve Clinical Attachment Level (CAL) in the treatment of chronic periodontitis. The results of his research, topical application of red betel leaf gel in chronic periodontitis patients showed better development.
Eliminate bad breath
The boiled water of red betel leaf can act as a mouthwash, which prevents bad breath and eliminates body odor. According to a study published in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development in 2021, chromatography results showed that red betel leaf contains flavonoid compounds, polyphenols, tannins, and essential oils.
Adding from a 2016 report in Media Pharmaceutica Indonesiana, as a mouthwash, red betel can help prevent the formation of dental plaque and gingivitis, as well as an expectorant cough medicine.
How to use it, simply boil the red betel leaf with enough water. Then, use the boiled water to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth. If used regularly, it is believed to be able to eliminate bad breath.
Pesticides are usually used to kill various harmful insects in the environment. Unfortunately, the use of pesticides often causes side effects for the environment and health. Well, the content of flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and essential oils in red betel makes this plant has the ability as a biopesticide.
A study in the journal BIOEDUSCIENCE in 2020 tried to understand the benefits of red betel to eradicate the larvae of the house fly (Musca domestica). The results showed that biopesticides from red betel were effective enough to kill house fly larvae. Although it takes quite a long time, which is at least 24 hours. Furthermore, the biopesticide used must have a concentration of at least 2 percent.
Anti-diabetic drugs generally have an impact and side effects on the liver and kidneys. Especially if consumed in the long term. On the other hand, the journal Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical states that powder from dried betel leaf can lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
This alternative herbal medicine works without causing side effects in newly diagnosed patients. Betel leaf powder, including red ones, works by lowering oxidative stress levels and reducing glucose levels.