and confused by this double novelty, for he had never been

time:2023-12-02 03:44:29 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:reading

The betel is a species of pepper, the leaf of which very much resembles that of the black pepper, but is highly aromatic and pungent. It is cultivated to a very large extent by the natives, and may be seen climbing round poles and trees in every garden.

and confused by this double novelty, for he had never been

It has been said by some authors that the betel has powerful narcotic properties, but, on the contrary, its stimulating qualities have a directly opposite effect. Those who have attributed this supposed property to the betel leaf must have indulged in a regular native "chew" as an experiment, and have nevertheless been ignorant of the mixture.

and confused by this double novelty, for he had never been

We will make up a native "chew" after the most approved fashion, and the reader shall judge for himself in which ingredient the narcotic principle is displayed.

and confused by this double novelty, for he had never been

Take a betel leaf, and upon this spread a piece of chunam as large as a pea; then with the pruning scissors cut three very thin slices of areca-nut, and lay them in the leaf; next, add a small piece of ginger; and, lastly, a good-sized piece of tobacco. Fold up this mixture in another betel leaf in a compact little parcel, and it is fit for promoting several hours' enjoyment in chewing, and spitting a disgusting blood-red dye in every direction. The latter is produced by the areca-nut. It is the tobacco which possesses the narcotic principle; if this is omitted, the remaining ingredients are simple stimulants.

The teeth of all natives are highly discolored by the perpetual indulgence in this disgusting habit; nor is this the only effect produced; cancer in the cheek is a common complaint among them, supposed to be produced by the caustic lime which is so continually in the mouth.

The exports of areca-nuts from Ceylon will give some idea of the supply of palms. In 1853 no less than three thousand tons were shipped from this colony, valued at about 45,000 l. The greater portion of these is consumed in India.

Two varieties of palms remain to be described - the date and the sago. The former is a miserable species, which does not exceed the height of three to five feet, and the fruit is perfectly worthless.

The latter is indigenous throughout the jungles in Ceylon, but it is neither cultivated, nor is the sago prepared from it.


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