Tamarind fruit, seeds and juice health benefits and uses (imli)

Tamarind tree originated in the tropical regions of Africa, but can be found in several other countries as well. In Jamaica and Trinidad, tamarind is considered to be quite a refreshing snack. In India and Thailand, cooking and eating tamarind has been a long on-going tradition. Many people love using tamarind as an ingredient in sauces, chutneys, and salsas. In this article, we will talk about Tamarind health benefits and medicinal uses.

Tamarind tree health benefits, uses and side effects (Imli)

The fruit of the tamarind tree is a pod which is brittle and smooth by touch. The flesh in pasty in nature, tightly attached to dark-brown hardened seeds. It can grow quite easily in South Florida without much effort. Tamarind can adapt many types of ecological conditions, which is easily reflected in its wide geographical distribution.

Common Name

Some of the common names of tamarind tree are Kily tree, Indian Tamarind, and Tamarindo. The common name is derived from the Arabic language i.e. “tamari Hindi” meaning “fruit of India”. Some of the names used in other languages are:

Sanskrit: Amlika

German: Tamarindenbaum

French: Tamarinierd’Inde, Tamarin

Catalan: Tamarindi, Tamarinde

Spanish: Tamarindo de la India, Tamarindero

Hindi: Imli

Botanical Name and Family of Imli tree

The scientific name used for tamarind tree is Tamarindus indica L. It belongs to the family of Leguminosae or Fabaceae indigenous. It’s a monotypic species which indicates that it’s the only species belonging to the genus Tamarindus.

Geographical Location where Tamarind tree grows

It is a tropical plant which originated in Africa and spreads widely in the African continent. The wild species is found to be grown in Sudan. People believe that Arab traders were the one to introduce this species to Asia. The initial shipments of slaves to America from Africa is considered to be the reason how tamarind entered the American border.

Some of the African countries where tamarind originated from are Cameroon, Nigeria, and Sudan. In Arabia, it grows wild in places like Dhofar and Oman. It is distributed widely in the tropical belt comprising of China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and northern Australia. It was introduced to Mexico as well as South America by Portuguese and Spanish colonists.

The states where Imli trees are grown are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, and Bihar. India is one of the largest producers of tamarind in Asia and the only one when it comes to commercial purposes. India is often in competition with Thailand for exporting tamarind to countries in Europe, Western Asia, and the United States.

Tamarind fruit, seeds, leaves and flowers

Tamarind tree is adapted to the seasonally dry regions. But in humid and tropical climates, the tree is known to develop poorly without being able to bear fruits. It is drought resistant and sensitive to frost. It can grow up to 1,200 metres in altitudes.

Tamarind health benefits and Medicinal Uses

Tamarind is quite a popular herb which is used for several purposes which may be ornamental, medicinal, or culinary in nature. It is also used in the form of an economic dye. Many people prefer using tamarind in their daily diet as it has a lot of health benefits to offer which is considered to be great for improving the overall health and keeping a person healthy.

We are going to discuss some of the essential health benefits of tamarind further below.

  • Tamarind is considered to be having multiple benefits to the health. It is popular for its refrigent, febrifuge, cathartic, and antiseptic properties.
  • Tamarind is also a very useful ingredient in several Ayurvedic medications used for treating digestive problems, gastric problems, and cardio protective activity.
  • Imli also serves the purpose of a mild laxative. The pulp that the pods of the tree contain is used as a gentle laxative for improving general sluggishness occurring in bowel movements.
  • Many research studies have shown that this herb can be used for treating bilious disorders. As tamarind is acidic in nature, it has the ability to excite bile and other juices present in the body.
  • The leaves of tamarind tree can be used for preparing herbal tea. The herbal tea can be very useful for dealing with malaria fever.
  • Consuming Imli can help in lowering the cholesterol level of the body which is extremely useful for promoting a healthy heart.
  • If you are suffering from sore throat, you can try gargling with diluted tamarind pulp to ease the symptoms significantly.
  • Preparing a decoction with the help of tamarind leaves can be quite useful for the treatment of ulcers and jaundice.
  • Many children may have stomach worms affecting them their health negatively. By preparing a diluted version of a tamarind decoction, you will be able to destroy these stomach worms.
  • If you have been suffering from vitamin C deficiency, you will be greatly benefited by consuming tamarind as it is considered to be a rich source of vitamin C.
  • It can be quite useful in cases when you have inflammations occurring on the skin.
  • Dry eye syndrome can be a real problem for many people. To provide a solution to this, many pharmaceutical companies make use of tamarind seeds as an ingredient in eye drops to rectify dry eye syndrome.
  • Tamarind is an extremely rich source of antioxidants. Because of this, it can greatly help in fighting against cancer.
  • People who suffer from piles have to go through a great deal of problems every day. Extracting the juice from the flowers of tamarind tree can be quite helpful in rectifying this condition. Find natural remedies for piles cure.
  • It is also considered to be an efficient blood purifier.

Tamarind can be found in different forms in the market. Creating a tamarind paste will immensely benefit the health of any individual. Some of the conditions tamarind paste can help treat are:

  • Paralysis
  • Leprosy
  • Gingivitis
  • Indigestion
  • Fever
  • Diabetes
  • Conjunctivitis or pink eye
  • Cold
  • Colic
  • Boils
  • Skin infections
  • Bile disorders
  • Jaundice
  • Gall bladder disorder
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Sores
  • Urinary stones
  • General body pain
  • Sunstroke

Tamarind side effects

Hypersensitivity or allergy is the most common side effect of tamarind such as itching, scratches, vomiting, fainting, lightheadedness, stinging sensation, shortness of breath, and inflammation. You can have Acid Reflux problem after consuming thisTamarind is an acidic content in food and when it is consumed, the acid level goes up to the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the stomach.

You can have other issues like Bleeding, Gallstones, Vasoconstriction, Damage in Tooth Enamel, Hypoglycemia etc.

Other than these medicinal uses, it can be used as a cleaning agent as well. The pulp is also quite useful for preparing sweets, syrups, and jams. There are lot of health benefits of Tamarind tree which you can use to treat your body problems.

References:

http://herbs.ygoy.com/
http://www.fairchildgarden.org/
http://www.botanical-online.com/

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