Betel box, anonymous, c. 1750
Betel (from the Piper 'betel' pepper plant) is a mild stimulant that is chewed throughout the whole of Asia. The custom was also practised by women of Eurasian origin. In Asia, European men generally smoked it in their pipes. Betel boxes contained the paraphernalia and ingredients needed for rolling a betel chewing quid: areca nuts, ginger gum, limestone chalk and betel leaves.