Health Benefits of Tamarind
12:43 PM | Author: Atie
The Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) (from the Arabic: تمر هندي tamar hindi = Indian date) is a tree in the family Fabaceae. The genus Tamarindus is monotypic (having only a single species). The Tamarind in Hindi, is called *Imli* and is used in pickles and as dry spice. It is a tropical tree, native to Africa, including Sudan and parts of the Madagascar dry deciduous forests. It was introduced into India so long ago that it has often been reported as indigenous there, and it was apparently from India that it reached the Persians and the Arabs who called it "tamar hindi" (Indian date, from the date-like appearance of the dried pulp), giving rise to both its common and generic names. However, the specific name, "indica", also perpetuates the illusion of Indian origin. The fruit was well known to the ancient Egyptians and to the Greeks in the 4th Century B.C.E.

The tree can grow up to 20 metres (66 ft) in height, and stays evergreen in regions without a dry season. Being a tropical species, it is frost sensitive. It can withstand rather dry soils and climates. The tree has pinnate leaves with opposite leaflets giving a billowing effect in the wind. Tamarind timber consists of hard, dark red heartwood and softer, yellowish sapwood. The leaves consist of 10–40 leaflets. The flowers are produced in racemes. The flowers are mainly yellow in colour. The fruit is a brown pod-like legume, which contains a soft acidic pulp and many hard-coated seeds. The seeds can be scarified to enhance germination.

Nutritive Values: Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin A: 30 I.U.
  • Vitamin B: Thiamine .34 mg.;
  • Riboflavin: .14 mg.;
  • Niacin: 1.2 mg.;
  • Vitamin C: 2 mg.
  • Calcium: 74 mg.
  • Iron: 2.8 mg.
  • Phosphorus: 113 mg.
  • Fat: .6 gm.
  • Carbohydrates: 62.5 gm.
  • Protein: 2.8 gm.
  • Calories: 239

Health Benefits:

  • Tamarind juice is a mild laxative.
  • Tamarind is used to treat bile disorders
  • Tamarind lowers cholesterol
  • Tamarind promotes a healthy heart
  • The pulp, leaves and flowers, in various combinations, are applied on painful and swollen joints.
  • Tamarind is use as a gargle for sore throats, and as a drink to bring relief from sunstroke.
  • The heated juice is used to cure conjunctivitis. Eye drops made from tamarind seeds may be a treatment for dry eye syndrome. Tamarind seed polysaccharide is adhesive, enabling it to stick to the surface of the eye longer than other eye preparations.
  • Tamarind is used as a diuretic remedy for bilious disorders, jaundice and catarrh.
  • Tamarind is a good source of antioxidants that fight against cancer.
  • Tamarind reduces fevers and provides protection against colds. Make an infusion by taking one ounce of pulp, pour one quart of boiling water over this and allow to steep for one hour. Strain and drink tepid with little honey to sweeten. This will bring down temperature by several degrees.
  • Tamarind helps the body digest food
  • Tamarind applied to the skin to heal inflammation
  • The red outer covering of the seed is an effective remedy against diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Juice extracted from the flowers is given internally for bleeding piles.


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