In praise of paan

dekhna ai “Zauq” honge aaj phir laakhoN ke khooN
phir jamaaya us ne laal-e-lab pe laakha paan kaa
— Zauq

Paan is almost as old as India itself. Ameer Khusro in his book “ijaaz-e-khusravi” gives some qualities of paan.

1. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) has informed about its benefit.
2. It gets the root of the teeth fortified and this thing is known by experience that the teeth of the inhabitants of other lands fall because of eating fruits while the Indians who use it excessively do not fall.
3. It removes the pus in teeth, which is a source of abhorrence, and it, brightens teeth.
4. Removes the foul smell of the mouth.
5 . When it is chewed it produces good smell, which gets the mind of those present fragrant.
6. It removes phlegm.
7. Makes heart cheerful.
8. All fats are source of redness, and this leaf removes redness.
9. For the healing of wound of arrow or sword, it is tied on the wound.
10. It prevents vomit and exhilarates heart burning.
11. For the satiated it increases appetite.
12. It is a source of satiety in hunger.
13. It brings a little intoxication (exhilaration).
14. Of nine tastes, it has three perfect ones – bitter, salty & sweet, and tasteless pungent.
15. Six fruits have six different tastes while this leaf tastes as if it is all the six fruits.
16. Of the seven colors, it has five perfect ones – red, green, white, blackish like aloe wood and yellow.
17. Not without companions- areca nut, lime, and color.

Lucknow ki shaan, Azhar bhai ka paan [Photo:]

18. Everywhere fruits are eaten and not the leaf but here the leaf is taken as a fruit.
19. Monarchs never keep any food in the robe except this and that too with great honor.
20. Eating anything in a market is regarded a bad habit but this food is a sign of greatness.
21. It is used on the occasion of entertainment, it is always kept away from mourning and grief.
22. It is fit for hospitality.
23. All the leaves separated from the branch do not survive beyond one day, while this leaf is fresh even after six months.
24. it is fresh with water and also is fresh without water.
25. By taking the betel the beauty of the handsome person increases.
26. It turns the pearl like teeth into the sun-faced Indian(women) gem.
27. It decorates the assembly of the companions.
28. The gifts that are exchanged between the lover and the beloved, none is better than this.
29. Its taste is ecstatical and not sensual.
30. Its external form is admirable.

[From the translation published by The Islamic Thought and Science Institute, USA]

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Kashif-ul-huda is the editor of Follow him on twitter.

7 thoughts on “In praise of paan”

  1. paan is very auspicious in south india .. and yes this is high value of medicine , especially post pregnancy ….
    thanks for sharing this wonderful work .

  2. While paan and its correct ingredients are good, the stuff shown in the picture is hardly paan: it is a disgusting concoction of rubbish, artificial flavors and colors. Apparently, people spit mainly if they eat tobacco with paan as it creates a burning sensation. So the problem is the addition of tobacco….

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