Piper betle Linn. a maligned Pan-Asiatic plant with an array of pharmacological activities and prospects for drug discovery

Piper betle L. is one of the important plants in the Asiatic region which ranks second to coffee and tea in terms of daily consumption. Though the plant is known for abuse, in recent years several reports have been pub- lished on the effects of the plant extract and chemical constituents on different biological activities in vitro and in vivo. The leaf extract, fractions and purified compounds are found to play a role in oral hygiene, anti-diabetic, cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory, anti-ulcer, hepato-protective and anti-infective, etc. Patents were also awarded for some of the biological activities like anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immunomodulatory associated with leaf extracts and purified compounds.