Sai Baba's chewing habitFrom: Afshin (firstname.lastname@example.org)Subject: Sai Baba's chewing habit (a must read)Discussions:soc.culture.argentina, soc.culture.brazil,Date: 09-11-03Document date: 02-09-1999Found the following on the net, it was posted by someone in 1996.While reading book "Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba" by John Hislop, I came across a puzzling passage (page 24) where Sai Baba prepares and chews betel, saying that it is not a bad habit and the substance (betel) purifies blood.Isn't it amazing that even an omniscient and omnipotent Avatar needs some sort of medicine? Maybe it was only meant as an example to follow?, but that would require the divine potencies to overcome very likely side effects of the addiction... "In Taiwan, 80% of total deaths due to oral cancer has been reported to be associated with the betel-chewing habit. Since metabolic absorption of ingredients of betel nut or quid directs the cancer-causing principles of betel nut or quid to other organs/tissues of the body, the evidence is growing to indicate that cancers other than oropharyngeal may also be caused by betel-nut or quid chewing. For instance, urinary tract and urinary bladder are likely to be susceptible to cancer due to betel nut or quid chewing."Source:(Editors exbaba.com: link doesn't work anymore.)Just in case you decided to take up this good habit anyway, please consider holiday destinations other than Canada... "Betel nut contains a toxic substance, arecoline, which has been linked to oesophageal cancer. The importation and sale of Betel nut or products made with Betel nut is considered to be a violation of Section 4(a) of the Food and Drugs Act. While the traditional use of Betel nut products is recognized, the Health Protection Branch can not allow a toxic food to be sold in Canada."(Editors exbaba.com: link doesn't work anymore.)Comment from the editors of exbaba.com on the above:Sai Baba nowadays doesn't chew the betelnut anymore, but not for health
reasons...Read Robert Priddy's article on this.
Addition to 'Sai Baba's chewing habit' from Serguei BadaevDate: September 22, 2003With regard to the article about SSB betel chewing habit I would like to offer a link to WHO evaluation of betel and areca:I hope it will fit instead the links that do not work in the original article about this topic. Here also are the SSB's words about betel:"Visitor: What is that? SSB: (in English) That is the nut. This is the leaf. See, the leaves, and this is betel. This is not a bad habit. If it were a bad habit, Swami would not chew it. The leaves, their juice purifies the blood. The nut digests. Here, even with the little puppies, they mix the nut and give it for digestion. And the other thing that is put is calcium. The three mixed make red colour. This is Indian." (J. Hislop. Conversations with Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba. p.19)