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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Tamarindus Indica (Tamarind)?

Tamarindus Indica, Tamarind

What is Tamarindus Indica (Tamarind)?

Tamarindus Indica is popularly used in Indian cuisine. The tamarind tree produces the pod-like fruits that contain edible pulp which is used in traditional medicines. The fruits are used in making Sāmbhar in the Indian kitchen. Along with this beneficial property, it is also used in treating cardiac disorders, diarrhea, arthritis wound healing, and anorexia. Women eat tamarind during their pregnancy period to fulfill their craving. In many foods and beverages tamarind used as a flavoring agent and also used for chutneys and curries.

Tamarind might have ingredients that have a laxative effect and shows some activities against certain bacteria and fungi. Tamarind seeds mostly available during the dry season, and are a rich source of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and some amino acids. They show numerous nutritional health benefits.

Tamarindus Indica is long-lived, a beautiful fruiting tree growing up to the height of 30 meters. Tamarind is thought to be native of Madagascar and eastern Africa and is distributed widely throughout the tropical belt, from Africa to South Asia, Taiwan, Australia, and China. It is also cultivated in other countries. India is the largest producer of tamarind.

The tree is with a short massive trunk, small flower, and fat reddish brown pods. The height of the tree is up to 30 meters, the bark is brown to blackish in color, fruits are green in color when young and on maturity converts into brown color. It contains fleshy, juicy pulp. The pod of tamarind is 12to 15 cm in length with a brown hard shell. The fruits of tamarind are harvested by pulling the pod from its stalk. The plant is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical region and tolerates 5-6 month of drought conditions but does not bear frost or waterlogging.

Classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
  • Division: Magnoliopsida
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass: Rosidae
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Tamarindus
  • Species: Tamarindus indica

Other Names of the Herb:

  • Hindi name: Imali, Imli, Ambli, Amili, Imli, hunase
  • English name: Tamarind, Indian date
  • Kannada name: Hunase hunnu, Amli, Huli, gotimili hunase annu
  • Tamil name: Puli, Amalaphalam, Naattupuli, kinjam, puliyam, palam
  • Malayalam name: Amlam, Amlika, balampuli tintrini
  • Urdu name: Imli, Imli muqqashar, Maghz tukhm imli
  • Arab name: dar-al-sida, humar, Sabara
  • Marathi: Aambali, Aamli, Amli, chichi, chinch, Chitz
  • Telugu: Chinta chettu, Aamli

What are the Medicinal Properties of Tamarindus?

  • Rasa (taste): Madura (sweet), pungent (sour)
  • Guna (qualities): Dry, guru (heavy to digest)
  • Vipaka: Pungent (after digestion undergoes sour taste)
  • Veerya: Ushna (hot potency)
  • Effect on tridosha: Balance kapha and vata dosha
  • Part used: Flower, seed, fruit, and kshara

What are the Major chemical Constituents of Tamarindus?

  • The bark contains: Hordenine
  • Seeds: A polysaccharide
  • Fruits: Tamarindienol
  • Stem bark and leaves: tannins, saponins, sesquiterpenes, alkaloids, and phlobatamins.
  • The leaves extracts of Tamarindus indica contains compounds such as limonene, caryophyllene, 3-eicosyne, phytol, longifolene, 10-octadecenoic acid, cryptopinone, beta-sitosterol, methyl 1-5-tricosenoate, 1-methyl-4-propylbenzene, methyl hexadecanoate, and methyl 9,12,15- octadecatnenoate.

What are the Health Benefits of Tamarindus Indica?

Natural Skin Exfoliating Agent

Tamarindus indica is the rich source of alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), it is one of most important skin exfoliating agent which remove all the dirt and impurities from your skin. It also helps to unclog the skin pores. Mix one tablespoon of tamarind pulp, rock salt, and yogurt. Apply this mixture on your face and massage gently in circular motion for 5-10 minutes and then wash the face with clean water. This will helps to eliminate the dead skin from your face. Do this 1-2 times in a week.

Anti-aging Properties

Tamarindus indica is packed with numbers of antioxidant and anti-aging constituents. The antioxidant property of herb helps to overcome the action of free radicals on our body and reduce the oxidative stress. It eradicates the free radicals that cause the premature aging.

Improve Digestion

Tamarind has been considered a natural laxative and a rich source of dietary fibers. The herb improves and can also increase the efficiency of your digestive system. It stimulates the action of bile, which helps in faster digestion of your food. The Fiber content of herb not only provide bulk to your stool but also stimulates and enhance the activity of gastric juices which speed up the digestion. It also acts as a great laxative which eases the problem of chronic constipation.

Good for Heart Disorders

Tamarind is the rich source of mineral potassium, which plays a crucial role in the reduction of blood pressure. The fiber content of herb helps in eradication of bad cholesterol i.e. LDL from the veins and arteries. High cholesterol level in the body interferes with the heart functioning. The vitamin C in Tamarindus indica act as an antioxidant which can reduce the impact of free radical on your hearts.

Improves Blood Circulation

The herb is also a very good source of iron, which helps to maintain the proper red blood cells count in your body. RBC ensures the proper supply of oxygen to the different organs to function properly. It will also help to reduce the symptoms of anemia.

Treat Diabetes

The herbs helps to stop the activity of alpha-amylase, an enzyme which interferes with the proper absorption of carbohydrates in the body. Carbohydrates increase the level of glucose in your body. The herb is also the richest source of magnesium which also helps to eradicate diabetes.

Along with all these wonderful properties, the Tamarindus indica also boosts the immune system, shows anti-inflammatory effects, weight loss, and improves nerve function.

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