Betel Nut and Lime Carrier

1801-1900 in India

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Pierced brass betel nut box, Indian, 19th century. Full view, graduated matt black perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pierced brass betel nut box, Indian, 1801-1900

Betel nuts and limes were contained in this pierced metal box. Betel nut is taken in many areas of the world as a narcotic, a substance that relieves pain and alters mood and behaviour. It is often mixed with ingredients such as lime to produce feelings of mild euphoria. Too much can have a sedative effect. Betel nut chewers are recognisable by the distinctive red staining on their teeth, mouth and gums.


Asian Medicine
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete
box - container
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
Knight, Frank and Rutley

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