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Base or Sirih – Betel Chew  

by on Friday, 1 September 2006One Comment | 3,977 views

Base (Piper betle) the leaf of a species of slightly narcotic pepper. These seeds, when combined with betel nut and lime, are chewed mostly by older people all over Indonesia; the teeth become rust-colored after years of chewing. Chewed in Indonesia for over 2.500 years, Base could also serve important ritual functions in restoring harmony and peace between individuals or within a community. On Bali, only a diminishing number of old people still chew Base.


The betel chew has three ingredients: areca nut (often, mistakenly, called betel nut), betel leaf, and lime. Very often a fourth material is added, gambir.

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  • One Comment »

    • jillswab said:

      When we were in Bali last year we had the fortunate experience to chew the Betel Chew although we didnt notice any outstanding effects the taste was something else and we had a lot of fun doing it.

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