Piper betle (L): Recent Review of Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties, Safety Profiles, and Commercial Applications

Molecules. 2021 Apr 16;26(8):2321. doi: 10.3390/molecules26082321.


Piper betle (L) is a popular medicinal plant in Asia. Plant leaves have been used as a traditional medicine to treat various health conditions. It is highly abundant and inexpensive, therefore promoting further research and industrialization development, including in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Articles published from 2010 to 2020 were reviewed in detail to show recent updates on the antibacterial and antifungal properties of betel leaves. This current review showed that betel leaves extract, essential oil, preparations, and isolates could inhibit microbial growth and kill various Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria as well as fungal species, including those that are multidrug-resistant and cause serious infectious diseases. P. betle leaves displayed high efficiency on Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. The ratio of MBC/MIC indicated bactericidal and bacteriostatic effects of P. betle leaves, while MFC/MIC values showed fungicidal and fungistatic effects. This review also provides a list of phytochemical compounds in betel leaves extracts and essential oils, safety profiles, and value-added products of betel leaves. Some studies also showed that the combination of betel leaves extract and essential oil with antibiotics (streptomycin, chloramphenicol and gentamicin) could provide potentiating antibacterial properties. Moreover, this review delivers a scientific resume for researchers in respected areas and manufacturers who want to develop betel leaves-based products.

Keywords: Piper betle; antibacterial; antifungal; betel leaves.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Piper betle / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Extracts