Beetle nut cracker ‘ Kacip ‘.

The Malaysian ‘ Beetle nut cracker ‘ Kacip.

Many implements were made to beautify the ritual and evince the social status of the chewer. These objects range from elaborate areca nut cutters (“kacip”), to silver and gold containers (“cupu”) to finely-made boxes (“tepak”) made of rare woods or tortoise shell to store the implements. Artisans also made silver and gold containers specially designed for travelers and even small silver spittoons for courtly matrons to take with them on their journeys.

The areca nut is the seed of the areca palm and is often erroneously called betel nut because it is usually chewed wrapped in betel leaves. To prepare a chew, the nut is thinly sliced with a specially-designed nut cracker. A few pieces of nut are then wrapped in a betel leaf and mixed with lime and sometimes cloves, cardamon and tobacco. Chewing areca and betel gives the user a mild stimulative effect producing a sense of well-being, euphoria and heightened alertness.

According to the venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica betel is chewed on a regular basis by around 10% of the world’s population. Most of those enjoying this exotic treat live in southern Asia and the Pacific, the tropical Austronesian world where the habit seems to have originated.


Etlingera elatior (also known as Torch Ginger, Ginger Flower, Red Ginger Lily, Torch Lily, Wild Ginger, Combrang, Bunga Kantan, Philippine Wax Flower, Xiang Bao Jiaing, Indonesian Tall Ginger, Boca de Dragón, Rose de Porcelaine, Porcelain Rose) is a species of herbaceous perennial plant.

The showy pink flowers are used in decorative arrangements while the flower buds are an important ingredient in the Nonya dish laksa. In North Sumatra, the flower buds are used for a dish called arsik ikan mas (Andaliman/Szechuan pepper Spiced Carp)

It is known in Indonesian as bunga kecombrang or honje, Malay as bunga kantan and Thai as ดาหลา daalaa. In Thailand it is eaten in a kind of Thai salad preparation

Leaves of E. elatior have the highest antioxidant, antibacterial and tyrosinase inhibition activities among five Etlingera species studied. Antioxidant properties (AOP) of leaves were significantly stronger than flowers and rhizomes. Leaves of highland populations had higher AOP values than lowland counterparts.

IMG_0437may just see American Politicians  coming here for advice. Master Lew see many people. Penang Malaysia

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