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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Tambula, TAmbula, Taambula

Tāmbula, an item of Ritualistic Worship

Tāmbula is one of the items offered to a deity in ritualistic worship. It is also consumed by many people in the country after food. The most common tāmbula consists of betel leaf smeared with lime paste and areca nut. To produce a good taste and fragrant breath some other ingredients are also added like:

  1. Cloves
  2. Cardamom
  3. Camphor
  4. Copra

Qualities of Tāmbula

Tāmbula is said to contain thirteen qualities such as:

  1. Elimination of wind
  2. Destruction of excess phlegm
  3. Annihilating disease germs
  4. Impart sweet smell to the breath

People Using Tāmbula

Since it is also considered an aphrodisiac, sanyāsins,[1] widows, brahmacārins[2] and those observing a fast on the ekādaśī and other sacred days are forbidden from taking it.


  1. Sanyāsins means monks.
  2. Brahmacārins are the students of Vedic learning living in the gurukula, and celibates also.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore