The effect of Piper betel leaves on the blood pressure and heart rate of healthy volunteers and on the rabbit isolated heart and ileum

Dr. Asmaa A Alwan Dr. Adnan AlAdhal

The Piper betel plant is an evergreen and perennial creeper, with glossy heart-shaped leaves. It belongs to the family Piperaceae. It is native to Asia mainly Malysia, Srilanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. It is also found in Madagascar, Africa. It is sold in many Yemeni governorates such as Aden, Taiz, Hodeidah; and Hadramout where it is cultivated. The betel leaves are consumed as betel quid or paan, with or without tobacco, as an addictive psycho-stimulating and euphoria-inducing formulation.
The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacological effect of Piper betel on some clinical and experimental parameters. The first part of the research was a clinical study on healthy volunteers, and involved the study of the acute effect of chewing Piper betel leaves on the cardiovascular profile. The results showed an increase in systolic blood pressure, a decrease in diastolic blood pressure, and a decrease in heart rate. Second the study of the chronic effect of Piper betel leaves on the cardiovascular system; the result showed an increase in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and a decrease in heart rate. A pilot study for the effect of chewing Piper betel leaves on ECG was also done and it showed a decrease in the QRS height.
The other study in animals was the direct effect of Piper betel extract on rabbit's ileum and heart. The result exhibits a profound contraction of rabbit's ileum similar to the contraction result from neostigmine, and a relaxation of heart with a decrease in heart rate similar to that produced by propranolol.
We conclude that Piper betel leaves may increase the blood pressure and may have cholinomimetic effects on smooth muscles. 




Piper betel