Areca is a plant whose nut is sometimes used to make medicine. The nut is chewed alone or in the form of quids, a mixture of tobacco, powdered or sliced areca nut, and slaked lime wrapped in the leaf of “betel” vine (Piper betel).
Areca is used for treatment of a mental disorder called schizophrenia and an eye disorder called glaucoma; as a mild stimulant; and as a digestive aid.
Some people use areca as a recreational drug because it speeds up the central nervous system (CNS).
In veterinary medicine, an extract of areca is used for expelling tapeworms in cattle, dogs, and horses; to empty animals’ bowels; and for treating intestinal colic in horses.