Chewing of the betel nut dates back as far as The Vedic period in Hinduism around 1700 – 1100 BCE. Held in high esteem and very much a cultural tradition, royalty had servants carry trays and would offer guests betel nuts and betel nut leaves as one would offer a drink.
The chewing of nuts was also associated with lovers. Chewing the nut preserved fresh breath and was also known to have relaxing properties. Hence there was a sexual symbolism, the areca nut the male and the leaf the female.