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Summarize in your own words, the uses of betel nuts and leaves. Your account which should be continuous, must not exceed 120 words.

 
Ever seen Indians spitting out red substances from their mouths and having their lips conspicuously stained red ? Those red substances are actually chewed betel nuts. The betel nuts are chewed mainly by the Indians and Malays, from countries like India, Malaysia and Thailand.

The nuts are usually removed from the betel or areca palm fruits. Softened by boiling, the nuts are then sliced, dried in the sun before being grated into fine, thin shreds. To enjoy betel chewing, one must spread lime on the betel leaf, then sprinkle some grated betel nuts on it, fold up the leaf and chew in the mouth. The gums, teeth and lips will then be stained red and later turn black if the habit is continued with no proper cleansing methods.

Long ago in the past, betel nuts had already proven their usefulness. Before the emergence of cosmetics, women used to color their lips red with betel nuts. It was only after the invention of lipsticks that betel nuts were used as nerve soothing medicine instead.

In India, betel nuts are chewed during important occasions like births, marriages and death ceremonies. It was believed that Emperors long ago sent betel nuts as tributes to other foreign kings. Before carrying out capital punishment, prisoners were also given betel nuts, probably as "farewell gifts". Even in some countries now, betel nuts are offered as gifts of apology or as hints from hosts to their guests about their overstay.

The preparation and serving of betel nuts are also viewed significantly in India. The skills are used to gauge and choose ideal daughter-in-laws. The more skilful the lady is, the better the family background she has and of course, the more ideal she is. To bless a bride with good fortune, betel leaves are often used to cover her lap during the wedding ceremony. By pouring the juice of betel leaves upon the expecting mother's navel and observing the direction of the liquid flow, the sex of the foetus could be predicted too.

In more developed countries, doctors have claimed that betel leaves are rich in vitamin C. They are also good for relieving patients with breathing difficulties. On the other hand, there are some medical experts who discovered that the betel-chewing may lead to mouth cancer. Whatever the conclusion is, I am sure that the traditional chewing of betel leaves and nuts will still be practiced by Indians in India and other parts of the world.

 
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Answer
 

Long ago, betel nuts were used by women to color their lips red. After cosmetics were launched, betel nuts were used as medicine to sooth nerves. Ancient emperors used betel nuts as tributes to foreign kings and prisoners sentenced to death were given betel nuts. In India, betel nuts are chewed during important ceremonies. Even today, betel nuts are offered as gifts or apology, or as hints to guests overstaying their welcome. The preparation and serving of betel nuts are used as tests for grading daughter-in-laws. Betel leaves are used to bless brides and the juice to help predict the sex of unborn babies. Some doctors recommend Vitamin C rich betel leaves for patients with breathing difficulties. ( 115 words )

     
conspicuously   very noticeable
     
tribute   something that you say, write, or give that shows your respect and admiration for someone
     
gauge   to make a judgment about something
     
 
 

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