The areca nut is the seed of the areca palm which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is commonly referred to as betel nut, as it is often chewed wrapped in betel leaves (betel quid, paan, sirih). The habit has many harmful effects on health. Many Batak women chew regularly their betel quid which contains betel leaf, areca nut, local spices, slaked lime and tobacco. The areca nut contains the alkaloid arecoline, which promotes the distinctive red salivation, is itself a stimulant and powers the betel-nut stained kisses of the Batak market women from Lake Toba...
Street portraits of Batak women in Matt Hahnewald's
Flickr Album 2012-04b Kissing Batak Betelnut Women
Flickr Album 2012-04a Watching Agile Batak Dancers