No auspicious ritual is complete in any Indian family without the serving of paan to guests. Distribution of paan (betel leaf) and supari (betel nut) among guests is considered a good omen by people of all communities. Though paan has been traditionally linked to functions in India, betel is a native of Malaysia. It was introduced in India several centuries ago and has gradually become a part of the Indian culture and tradition. There is a myth associated with paan chewing that it causes throat or tongue cancer. But many scientists have made it clear that paan per se will not cause cancer. If tobacco products are taken along with paan, the tobacco products will trigger oral cancers. Betel leaf as well as its fruit is used in traditional systems of medicine to treat a number of health problems including relief from headache, stomach-ache, constipation, common cold and boils. Betel is also used in the treatment of wounds as natural chemicals present in it will help in wound healing. Paan also promotes saliva formation which helps in easy digestion of food. It is a good diuretic, meaning promotes urine. Since it promotes urine, excess water in the body can be removed in case of swelling of legs and hands. Ayurvedic and Unani doctors prescribe paan as a natural analgesic (pain relieving agent). Just put a betel leaf on the affected area and it will show results within minutes. ============= Home Remedies ============= Boils are really painful. For relief from skin problems particularly boils, just apply a few drops of castor oil on a betel leaf and then warm it. Spread the leaf on the affected portion. Keep it for a couple of hours or allow it to stay overnight. For those conscious of good health, juice obtained from a few paan leaves mixed with honey will do wonders. Not only does it keep the body healthy, but also helps in fighting infections. Here is a grandma's recipe to promote lactation in nursing mothers. Just keep betel leaves on the breasts and it increases milk production in lactating mothers. To keep the mouth fresh and free of bacteria, simply chew a paan leaf. Do not add any tobacco product. A little of limestone will not do any harm, according to practitioners of traditional systems of medicine.