Tamarind (TamarindusIndica) is a fruit that is indigenous to the tropical regions of Africa. It is sweet-tangy in taste and finds its use in a variety of dishes all across the globe. It has been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for a very long. It grows to a height of about 12-18 meters. It grows in the acidic, clayey, loamy, and sandy soil types, which have high resistance to drought. The leaves of the tamarind tree are bright green and less than 2 inches in length.
Tamarind has laxative properties, due to which it has proven to be good for digestion. It is also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, making it suitable to improve immunity and make it suitable to be used in the cold. It is also good for diabetic patients as it helps manage insulin and blood sugar levels. It decreases food craving and hence prevents overeating. Due to this property, it is also suitable to be used for weight loss.
Tamarind has antimicrobial activities. Applying a paste of the seed powder with honey on the affected area and skin helps heal wounds and prevent skin infections. Tamarind paste is advised to be used with mil, rose water, or honey as it can cause hypersensitivity in people who are allergic.
How did the 'Tamarind' word originate?
Tamarind comes from the Arabic language and is romanized as tamar in Hindi that translates to "Indian Date." It is called tamarindo throughout the lusosphere. A beverage of the same name is also popular in those countries. It is called sukaer in East Timor. Tamon is popularly used in the Caribbean. Tamarind is called sampalok or Sampaloc in Phillippines and as sambag in Cebuano.
Historical uses of Tamarind
Arab traders traded tamarind to India, and now, India is the largest producer of tamarind. During the 16th century, Mexico and Central America were introduced to Tamarind by their Portuguese and Spanish colonizers. They started using it in some of their dishes and beverages. In the Indian subcontinent, it was used to treat many ailments like constipation, fever, diarrhea, and peptic ulcers. The leaves and barks of the plant were used to treat and heal wounds.
Benefits of using Tamarind in Ayurvedic treatment
Tamarind has various medicinal benefits like protection against heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, and treatment of diarrhea, peptic ulcers, fever, and constipation. There are polyphenols in tamarind that gives the fruit its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The pulp extract of tamarind helps in weight loss, and the seed extract lowers the blood sugar level.
Treating diseases/health problems using Urad dal
Tamarind is rich in potassium, tartaric, and malic acid, which gives it its laxative property, and hence it can be consumed to manage constipation.
Tamarind has Rechana property, and hence it can be consumed for the treatment of constipation by both adults and children.
It has great medicinal values and is rich in antioxidant that makes it beneficial to manage stomach disorders such as indigestion.
Indigestion is caused when Deepan (appetizer) is disturbed, and tamarind helps balance it, thus managing and rectifying indigestion.
• Liver disease
Tamarind has hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties because it possesses beta-carotene and ascorbic acid that helps in managing jaundice. It helps in the regeneration of liver cells and protects the cells against the toxicity induced by drugs. It improves the functioning of the liver and reduces the level of liver enzymes.
Tamarind has a Deepan nature, which helps in improving liver function and assists in food digestion. It also has a Rasayana (rejuvenating) property that helps in the regeneration of liver cells.
• Common Cold
Tamarind has antioxidants and vitamins that improve the immunity of the human body and treats cold effectively. Due to its richness and effectiveness in boosting immunity, it also prevents the body from catching a cold in the future.
Tamarind has Ushna and Kapha properties that help in rectifying and managing nasal blockage. It removes sputum from the respiratory tract hence giving relief from blockage and cold.
• Worm infection
Tamarind has anthelmintic property because of tannins that tend to paralysis the worm and eventually kill it. Hence tamarind has been proven to be beneficial in rectifying the problem of worm infection.
It has Krimighna property that helps in controlling and rectifying the worms that tend to infect the intestine.
• Dry eyes
The polysaccharide present in Tamarind seed can be beneficial for dry eyes. The polysaccharide in the seed has pseudo-plastic and mucoadhesive properties that help keep the corneal surface of the eyes wet and protected.
Tamarind has Kashya and Ropan properties. The eye drops made from tamarind seed extract help reduce inflammation and irritation in the eyes and soothe it.
Nutritional Information for Tamarind
• Calcium: 9% of the RDI.
• Magnesium: 28% of the RDI.
• Vitamin B3 (niacin): 12% of the RDI.
• Potassium: 22% of the RDI
• Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 34% of the RDI.
• Iron: 19% of the RDI.
• Phosphorus: 14% of the RDI.
• Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 11% of the RDI.
• Small amount of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), folate, selenium, and copper.
Different forms of Tamarind
Tamarind is most commonly available in the form of sweetened syrup and candy. The pure fruit can be found in three main forms:
• Pressed block: The pulp is compressed into a block after removing the shell and seeds.
• Concentrate: The boiled down pulp with added preservatives is called tamarind concentrate.
• Raw pods: The least processed form of tamarind is intact, and can the pulp can be easily obtained by opening it.
Forms of Tamarind in Ayurveda and Recommended Dosage
The recommended dosage of tamarind is as follows:
• Tamarind Capsule - 1-2 capsule twice a day
• Tamarind Paste - ¼-½ teaspoon twice a day or as per your taste.
• Tamarind Powder - ¼-½ teaspoon twice a day.
• Tamarind Candy - As per your taste.
• Tamarind paste with water
½ teaspoon of tamarind paste has to be taken.
This paste has to be added to 1o glass of lukewarm water.
It can be consumed at night to manage constipation.
• Tamarind Chutney
½ a cup of Tamarind has to be soaked in 2 cups of water overnight.
The soaked tamarind has to be strained and mashed to be converted into a pulp.
The obtained pulp has to be boiled on low flame.
1 teaspoon of Ginger powder has to be added to the pulp½ cup Jaggery has to be added.
½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper is also supposed to be added.
It has to be boiled at low flame for 15 mins while continuously stirring it.
• Tamarind mouth wash
1-2 raw tamarind has to be soaked in about 1 glass of water overnight.
The soaked tamarind has to be mashed and strained to separate the seeds.
The newly obtained tamarind liquids can be used as a mouthwash.
This remedy can be used 1-2 times a day to treat mouth ulcers.
• Tamarind with rose water
¼-1/2 teaspoon of tamarind seed powder is supposed to be taken.
To this powder rose, water is to be added so that you obtain a smooth paste.
You can apply this mixture to the skin and wait for around 5-7 minutes.
Tap water or lukewarm water can be used to clean the mask from the face. This remedy can help eliminate eczema and itching when used 4-5 times a week.
• Tamarind leaves Kwath
8-10 leaves of Tamarind have to be taken.
In ½ cup of water, it is to be boiled till the time the quantity of water reduces to half.
This kwath can be used to wash the wounds for better healing.
Culinary uses of Tamarind
Tamarind tends to tenderize foods.
It is used to prepare tasty drinks and tangy sweet-sour chutneys.
It is used in pickles and curries for its tangy taste and accustomably flavor.
It is one of the most important food constituents in India's southern parts and is used in several dishes such as sambhar, chutney, and rasams.
If packed in a tight container, tamarind can be easily stored at room temperature for over several weeks.
Side effects of Tamarind
Tamarind is believed to react with allopathic medicines containing Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and anti-diabetic medicines, although not enough medical evidence supports this argument. The lead levels in tamarind candy are high, which can be very harmful to children and pregnant ladies as it damages the nervous system and kidneys. The candy is the least healthy form of tamarind.
Precautionary guide while using Tamarind?
Tamarind can increase the chances and risks of bleeding. It is advised to consult a doctor before consuming tamarind if you are also taking blood thinners. Tamarind also tends to act as a laxative, and hence it is recommended to the doctor before taking it.
For patients with diabetes, it may lower the blood sugar levels, so it is advised to monitor the consumption while taking anti-diabetic drugs.
FAQ's about Tamarind
1) What are the chemicals present in Tamarind?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind is rich in potassium, vitamin B, iron, phosphorous, calcium, carbohydrates, and volatile oils.
2) What is the nature of Tamarind, acidic, or basic?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind has an acidic nature since it contains both citric and tartaric acid.
3) Can Tamarind be consumed with prescription and nonprescription medicines?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW
Tamarind usually increases the absorption of Ibuprofen and Aspirin in the human body. Hence it is advised to consult the doctor before consuming it with medicines that have Ibuprofen and Aspirin content.
4) Can Tamarind be used to lower cholesterol levels?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind has active components in its leaves that control lipid levels. Tamarind reduces the serum cholesterol level because the Saponins present in it prevent the absorption of lipids from the intestine. In Tamarind, flavonoids help in quicker freedom of the LDL cholesterol by actuating the LDL receptors in the liver. Aside from this, epicatechin diminishes the degree of fatty oils and encourages the expulsion of free cholesterol through excrement. The flavonoid, polyphenol, and tannins themselves go about as cell reinforcements and build the degree of other cancer prevention agent compounds that further forestall lipid peroxidation.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: Tamarind has Ama reducing property, and because of this, it prevents the absorption of lipids from the intestine, thus controlling the high level of cholesterol by improving the liver function.
5) Can Tamarind prevent atherosclerosis?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind prevents lipid peroxidation due to the presence of polyphenol, Flavonoid, and tannins. It prevents the formation of atherogenic plaque because it has antioxidant properties.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: Tamarind has a Vata balancing property, which helps in the reduction of inflammation, swelling, and joint pain in arthritis.
6) Can Tamarind be used to manage arthritis?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind is used for managing arthritis by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for bone and cartilage damage. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Tamarind reduces the inflammation and damage associated with arthritis.
7) Does Tamarind (Imli) have a role in managing diabetes?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind manages diabetes because it contains polyphenolic compounds like procyanidin and epicatechin polymers that improve blood insulin as well as glucose levels. It has anti-inflammatory ad antioxidant property which prevents any complications that are associated with diabetes.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: Tamarind has Ama reduction property that helps in improving metabolism and prevents excessive absorption of carbohydrates, thus maintaining blood sugar levels.
8) Is Tamarind seed beneficial for health?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind seed comprises a constituent (TS-polysaccharide) that may be useful in the administration of entanglements like diabetes, persistent loose bowels, diarrhea, jaundice, ulcers, and snakebites. This is because of its calming, cancer prevention agent, and hostile to push properties. It may likewise help in weight the board by decreasing food needs because of the presence of certain dynamic mixes.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: Tamarind seed powder can be utilized to deal with the indications of stomach related issues like looseness of the bowels or the runs because of its Grahi (retentive) property. It assists in controlling the deficiency of water from the body. It additionally helps in fast recuperating of aggravated Ropan (mending) nature.
9) Is cooking with Tamarind oil beneficial for health?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind oil has essential nutrients like vitamins A and C that manage cholesterol and are good for the heart. Tamarind oil contains minerals like iron, B-vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium.
10) Is Tamarind bad for a sore throat?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Unlike the common belief, it is good for sore throat. If you gargle with tamarind soaked water, it might prove to be useful for sore throat.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: Tamarind has Kapha balancing property, and despite its sour taste, it helps in reducing the symptoms of sore throat.
11) Can Tamarind be consumed to detox fluoride?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Consumption of water and other similar sources is the reason behind excess fluoride in the body. This excess fluoride can cause major health problems like fluorosis, especially among children. To reduce the excess amount of fluorine, 10g of Tamarind can be consumed per day. Tamarind can increase urinary pH, and thus it can eliminate excess fluoride through the path of urine within 24 hours.
12) Can Tamarind treat cellulite naturally?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: The excess fat deposition gives a lumpy appearance to the skin, and this condition is called cellulite. It can be easily noticed on the buttocks, abdomen, thighs, hip, and upper arms. It is socially a little embarrassing, even though it isn't a serious medical condition. It hasn't yet been scientifically proven if tamarind helps indirectly burn the cellulite; however, it reduces the food craving that prevents one from overeating. It also gives the skin its firmness and elasticity.
13) Can tamarind be used as an antiseptic?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind has anti-bacterial properties because of the presence of phytochemicals, and hence it is beneficial in fighting against microorganisms and can be used as an effective antiseptic.
14) Does Tamarind aid in weight loss?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind helps to assists in weight loss because it has a trypsin inhibitor that reduces food craving, thus managing the weight.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: It has Deepan and Kapha balancing properties that help reduce Ama in the body and help improve metabolism proving to be a good remedy for weight controlling and loss.
15) Is it tamarind fit for consumption during pregnancy?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind provides relief from vomiting and nausea and is one of the highest craved food during pregnancy. Consumption of tamarind becomes dangerous and leads to spontaneous abortion if consumed in high quantity. It is advisable to seek the doctor's advice before consuming tamarind during pregnancy.
16) Can Tamarind be used for blood purification?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind has an antioxidant quality and also contains active compounds that can be beneficial for blood purification.
17) Can tamarind be used to cure mouth ulcers?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind has anti-inflammatory properties, due to which it has been proven to be useful in the treatment and prevention of mouth ulcers.
18) Can tamarind have any effect on skin aging?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind has amazing and profound antioxidant, antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory, and UV protection properties because it is a very rich source of Vitamin C. Tamarind synthesizes collagen, which improves the texture of the skin by keeping the fine lines and wrinkles in check and giving a young, radiant look as a result.
19) Is tamarind useful for healing wounds?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: Tamarind has antimicrobial properties that prevent infection and assist in healing the wounds. It can be applied to cuts, abscesses, and wounds.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: Tamarind has Ropan property, due to which it can quickly heal abscesses, wounds, and cuts.
20) Is tamarind effective against the prevention of acne?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEWTamarind has photoprotective and antimicrobial properties that help in getting clear skin since it moisturizes, keeps the melanin level at bay, improves elasticity, and controls the level of oil in the skin.
AYURVEDIC VIEW: Yes, Tamarind has Kashaya property, due to which it controls the excess production of oil when applied on the affected area and keeps the skin glow.
21) Is Tamarind beneficial for hair?
MODERN SCIENCE VIEW: There aren't many scientific proofs and pieces of evidence that tamarind is beneficial for hair.
22) Is tamarind candy suitable for kids in high quantity?
No, Tamarind candy has a high level of lead that is considered very unhealthy, especially for kids making it the unhealthiest for tamarind.