Betel Leaf Essential Oils (Piper betle)

Betel Leaf Essential Oils
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Botanical name  Piper betle L.

Family  Piperaceae

Source  Leaves

Origin  India

Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma/Color   Clear yellow to dark brown liquid with creosote-like odor

Blends With Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Rosemary & Cardamom.

Product Abstract

Betel Leaf Oil is derived from Betal Leaf plant leaves that yield this aromatic essential oil. The heart-shaped leaves have distinct pleasant aroma & are commonly chewed alone or with other plant materials.

The betel leaf essential oil is valued in Ayurveda for its stimulating, carminative, aromatic, antiseptic, warming and aphrodisiac properties. It has several medicinal applications among natives and is especially used to harden gums, preserve teeth and sweeten breath. It also improves voice and is reputed aphrodisiac.


The betel which includes pepper and kava. Betel leaf is mostly consumed in Asia, and elsewhere in the world by some Asian emigrants, as betel quid or in paan with Areca nut and/or tobacco.

In Sri Lanka and in many parts of India a sheaf of betel leaves is traditionally offered as a mark of respect and auspicious beginnings. Occasions include, greeting elders at wedding ceremonies, New Year, offering payment to Ayurvedic physicians and astrologers where usually money and/or areca nut are kept on top of the sheaf of leaves and offered to the elders for their blessings.

Harvesting/Extraction Information

The betel leaf is cultivated mostly in India,  farmers called barouj  prepare a garden called a barouj in which to grow betel. The barouj is fenced with bamboo sticks and coconut leaves. The soil is plowed into furrows of 10 to 15 metres' length, 75 centimetres in width and 75 centimetres' depth.Oil cakes manure, and leaves are thoroughly incorporated with the topsoil of the furrows andwood ash. The cuttings are planted at the beginning of the mansoon season.

Common usage

  • Analgesic
  • Eases Constipation and Improves Digestion
  • Relief From Back Pain And Muscular Tensions
  • Reduces Gastric Pain
  • Increases Hunger
  • Promotes Oral Health
  • Treats Respiratory Problems
  • Relieves Cough
  • Eases Bronchitis
  • Antiseptic and Antifungal Benefits
  • Heals Wounds And Infection
  • Treats Headache
  • Prevents Body Odour


Dilute before use; for external use only. May cause skin irritation in some individuals; a skin test is recommended prior to use. Contact with eyes should be avoided.

Key constituents

Safrole  6.5–45.3%

Eugenol  20.5–33.2%

a-Terpinyl acetate  6.8–11.0%

Isoeugenol   0–10.6%

(E)-Anethole  0–7.8%

b-Caryophyllene  0–7.8%

 Dodecanal  0–7.1%

b-Selinene  0–6.4%

Sabinene  0–6.1%

Estragole  0–4.8%

a-Cubebene  0–4.4%

Camphene 0–3.7%

a-Pinene 0–3.2%

Decanal  0–2.9%

1,8-Cineole  0–2.8%

Octadecanal  0–2.7%

b-Elemene  0–2.6%

Geraniol 0–2.5%

a-Terpineol  0.3–2.3%

b-Myrcene  0–2.2%

a-Thujene  0–1.9%

g-Elemene 0.9–1.8%

Methyleugenol 0.3–1.7%

g-Terpinene 0.5–1.6%

Caryophyllene oxide 0–1.6%

Linalool  0.2–1.5%

Terpinen-1-ol 0–1.5%

b-Phellandrene 0–1.3%

Bornylene  0–1.2%

d-Cadinene 0–1.2%

a-Muurolol 0–1.2%

g-Cadinene 0–1.1%

Safety summary
Hazards  Potentially carcinogenic, based on estragole, safrole and methyleugenol content; skin sensitization;
mucous membrane irritation (low risk).

Contraindications  Should not be taken in oral doses. Maximum dermal

use level:

EU                                       0.008%

IFRA                                    0.01%

Tisserand & Young           0.1%

Our safety advice We recommend a dermal maximum of 0.1%, based on a content of 45.3% safrole, 4.8% estragole and 1.7% methyleugenol with respective dermal limits of 0.05%, 0.12% and 0.02%.

Regulatory guidelines IFRA recommends a maximum dermal use level for estragole of 0.01% in leave-on or wash-off preparations for body and face. IFRA and the EU recommend a maximum exposure level of 0.01% of safrole from the use of safrole-containing essential oils in cosmetics. IFRA recommends that the maximum concentration of methyleugenol for leave-on products such as body lotion should be 0.0004%.  The equivalent SCCNFP maximum is 0.0002% .

Organ-specific effects

Adverse skin reactions  No information found.

Systemic effects

Acute toxicity No information found.

Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  Betel leaf oil showed no chemopreventive activity against human mouth epidermal carcinoma (KB) or mouse leukemia cell lines, and in fact enhanced proliferation to a small degree. Safrole, estragole and methyleugenol are rodent carcinogens when exposure is sufficiently high; b-elemene and geraniol display anticarcinogenic activity; there is evidence of both antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic activity for eugenol.

Other constituents of betel leaf oil may counter the carcinogenic action of the three known carcinogens, and there is tentative evidence to support this for betel leaf extracts. However, there is also evidence to the contrary for the essential oil, and there is great variation in the composition of betel leaf oils. There are numerous cultivars of betel leaf, many of which contain eugenol as a major constituent; these are the ones generally distilled for commercial use. Other cultivars have chavibetol, chavicol, isoeugenol, or eugenyl acetate as major constituents .

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