Areca Nut Biological Sources, Morphology, Chemical Constituents, Adulterants and Uses + MCQ (10)

Areca Nut Biological Sources, Morphology, Chemical Constituents, Adulterants and Uses + MCQ (10)

Areca Nut

Synonyms :- 

Betal nuts; Pinang; Semina Areacae, Supari (Hindi).

Biological Source :- 

Areca nuts are the seeds of Areca catechu Linn., belonging to family Palmaceae.

Geographical Source :- 

The tree is cultivated in tropical India, Sri Lanka, Malay States, South China, East Indies, Philippine Islands and parts of East Africa (including Zanzibar and Tanzania). In India it is cultivated in the coastal regions of southern Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bengal and Assam.

Cultivation and Collection :- 

Areca palm is mostly propagated by seeds. The palm requires a moist tropical climate for luxuriant growth; it is very sensitive to drought. It grows in areas with heavy rainfall in between temperature of 15–38°C. It is cultivated in plains, hill slopes and low lying valleys. The seeds are collected from 25–50 years old trees.

Areca nut is a handsome palm with a tall, slender stem crowned by large elegant leaves. Each tree contains about 100 fruits per year which are detached by means of bamboo poles and the seeds extracted. The pericarp is fibrous and surrounds a single seed which is easily separated. The seeds are usually boiled in water with the addition of a little lime and dried.

Characteristics :- 

Areca nuts are about 2.5 cm in length, bluntly rounded, conical in shape and 2–3 cm wide at the base. The testa is brown and marked with a network of small depressed lines. The ruminate endosperm is opal-white. Patches of a silvery coat, the inner layer of the pericarp, occasionally adhere to the testa. The deep-brown testa is marked with a network of depressed fissures; the colour of the testa is due to the presence of tannin. In the centre basal part of the endosperm, the small embryo is situated and an external pale area indicated its position. The seed is very hard, has a faint cheese-like odour when broken and an astringent, acrid taste.

Chemical Constituents :-

Areca nut contains a number of alkaloids of a piperidine series, such as arecoline (methyl ester of arecanine), arecaine (N-methyl guvacine), guvacine (tetrahydronicitinic acid), arecaidine, guvacoline, arecolidine, leucocyanidine, (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, procyanidins A-l, B-l and B-2; phthalic, lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic acids, β-sitosterol and choline. Arecoline is present in about 0.1–0.5% yield and is medicinally important. In addition to alkaloids, areca nuts contain fat (14%) and amorphous red tannin (15%) known as areca red of phlobaphene nature. The fat consists mainly of the glycerides of lauric, myristic and oleic acids.

Uses :- 

Powdered Areca is used as anthelmintic, taenifuge and vermifuge for dogs. It has aphrodisiac action and useful in urinary disorders, as nervine tonic and emmenagogue. The chewing of Areca nut may cause mouth cancer.

Substituents and Adulterants :-

Nuts from other plants, such as,Areca caliso, A. concinna, A. ipot, A. laxa, A. nagensis, A. triandra, Caryota cumingii and Heterospathe elata are used as substituents for Areca nuts.

Sago palm nuts (Metroxylon species), dried tapioca (Manihot esculenta), and slices of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) form cheap adulterants that are mixed with slices of Areca nuts and prove a serious menace affecting the industry. Nuts of Caryota urens, cut to various shapes and sizes resembling genuine Areca nuts, and coated with concentrated Areca nut extract kali, form the principal adulterant. Adultera-tion above 10% significantly increases the fibre content of the sample, which can be used as a measure of detecting adulteration.

MCQ

1. Areca Nut belong to family

A. Combretaceae

B. Liliaceae

C. Solanaceae

D. Palmaceae

2. Which of the following is synonymous of Areca Nut?

A. Psyllium

B. Aconite

C. Palmaceae

D. Mitha zahar

3. Which of the following is not adulterant of Areca Nut?

A. Sago palm nut

B. Areca caliso

C. Sweet Potato

D. Dried tapirca

4. Which of the following is not use of Areca Nut ?

A.Anti fungal

B. Urinary Disorders

C. Anthelmintic

D.Taenifuge

5. Which is adulterant of Areca Nut ?

A. Sago palm nut

B. Dried tapirca

C. Sweet Potato

D. Areca caliso

6. Which of the following drug is example of piperidine contain Alkaloids ?

A. Arjuna

B. Areca Nut

C. Aconite

D. Pale catechu

7. Which of the following is not Morphology characteristics of Areca Nut?

A. Areca nuts are about 2.5 cm in length.

B. The seed is very hard, has a faint cheese-like odour when broken and an astringent, acrid taste.

C. The seed is very hard, has a faint cheese-like odour when broken and an aromatic, acrid taste.

D.Patches of a silvery coat, the inner layer of the pericarp, occasionally adhere to the testa

8. Which of the following chemical constituents is medical important in areca nut ?

A.Guvacoline

B.Stearic acids

C.Guvacine

D. Arecoline
9. Which of the following is major chemical constituents of Areca Nut ?

A.Guvacoline

B.Stearic acids

C.Guvacine

D. Arecoline

10. Arecoline is

A.Ethyl ester of arecanine

B.Methyl amide of arecanine

C.Methyl ester of arecanine

D.Methyl ether of arecanine

Answer Key :-

1. D

2. C

3. B

4. A

5. D

6. B

7. C

8. D

9. D

10. C

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Reference :-

16 Edition of Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy Text Book ( Pg. No. :- 411&412)

 

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