Now, you can do more than just chew with areca

Nivedan Nempe

A pharmacist by profession, Nivedan Nempe wanted to try something new with areca nut. Knowing its antioxidant properties well, he came up with an idea to make tea out of it.

The 29-year-old entrepreneur will soon launch this product in the market.

‘Areca tea,’ a variety of tea made of areca nut, will be launched in the City in January. This variety is being promoted for its chemical-rich properties, content of antioxidants, proline (amino acids) and some digestive enzyme-enhancing agents.

The idea struck him while he studied the phyto-chemistry of areca nut. Speaking to Deccan Herald, he said the process began with the extraction of tannin from the nut.

“Areca nut has 30 per cent tannin (which is typical to any form of tea) and 13 per cent proline. When I came across these details and researched about it, I realised we could make tea out of it,” he said.

The medicinal uses of the tea are plenty, said Nempe, who claims it is better than green tea.

“Proline is known to have anti-ageing properties. This apart, areca nut is known to aid digestion. Having one cup of areca tea is as good as having two cups of green tea,” said Nempe.

Nempe, who hails from Mandagadde in Shivamogga district, is of the opinion that at a time when the ban on gutkha (which contains areca nut) has been bothering the crop growers, having a byproduct of this sort would address the issue.

Having seen the challenges that an agriculturist faces, Nempe said he wanted to do something for their well-being. “I went to Melbourne to pursue my master’s degree and travelled in six countries. I realised that earning money was not the only motive in life. I wanted to return to the country and give back something to my hometown. To ‘make in the country’ is the prime idea behind this,” he said. The manufacturing units have been set up in Shivamogga and Udupi districts. Nempe said the units would have senior citizens and physically challenged people as employees.

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