What is tamarind?
What is tamarind?
Tamarind (tamarindus indica) is a long-lived tree indigenous to Africa, particularly Sudan. It is now widely cultivated in Africa, India, and countries in southern Asia and South America, where it has been established for centuries if not thousands of years. It grows up to 18m (60') high. The ripe fruit has a sweet and sour flavour, and I often use it in my cooking.
You can buy blocks of pressed tamarind fruit in most Asian stores. It stores well, and is not expensive. In Western cuisine, it is used in Worcestershire sauce and HP sauce. The biggest consumers of tamarind are in Asia and Mexico, where it is used to make chutney, soups, jams, syrups, as a snack, and in many drinks.
The fruit is high in acid, sugar, vitamin B and calcium.
- Antibiotic, antiseptic, antimicrobial (2).
- Blood tonic.
- Food preservative
- Anthelminthic (expels worms).
- Fluoride removal. Teas and strong tinctures made from the seeds, pulp, bark, and leaves of the tamarind tree have been shown to remove fluorides from mammals. (1) It promotes excretion of fluorides.
- Saliva production - promotes
- Skin cleanser.
Tamarind is an important remedy in Ayurvedic medicine. Traditional remedies are listed below.
- Cholesterol metabolism disorders
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Digestive/stomach/gastric disorders, including indigestion, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery
- Eyes - dry eyes, eye inflammation, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
- Gallbladder disorders
- Joints - swelling and pain
- Liver disorders
- Malaria using leaves as a herbal infusion. (2)
- Nausea and vomiting (pregnancy-related)
- Pain - general body pain
- Skin infections, bacterial (erysipelas)
- Sore throat
- Stones - kidney, gallbladder
- Wound healing
- Yellow fever
The dosage is flexible, depending on how you take it.
As a laxative, try 10-50 grams (half to two tablespoons) of paste or pressed fruit.
For fluoride removal, I suggest half a tablespoon of paste or pressed fruit for a month or more.
When using tamarind leaf extract, the dosage will be provided by the supplier.
1. A. L. Khandare, G. S. Rao and N. Lakshmaiah.
Effect of tamarind ingestion on fluoride excretion in humans.
National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, India. January 2002.
2. Doughari, J. H. Antimicrobial Activity of Tamarindus indica. December 2006. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 5 (2): 597-603.