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betel nut
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The nut or fruit of the Areca Palm, which is chewed in tropical Asia, Melanesia, and New Guinea as a stimulant. It was misnamed by Europeans because it is chewed with the betal leaf; hence, betel palm is the Areca Palm from which the nut is obtained. Archaeological occurrences include Spirit Cave (c 10,000-7,000 BC), eastern Timor (early Holocene), and several sites in the Philippines, where teeth stained by the nut have been found from c 3000 BC.

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