Health Benefits Of Tamarind

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Old 26-Dec-2011
Health Benefits Of Tamarind

Tamarind is a long-bean like pod grown on a long-lived, medium-growth bushy tree, reaching a height of 12.1 to 18.3 meters. The name tamarind has been derived from the Arabic term ‘tamar’ which means a ‘dry date fruit’. The fruit is native to tropical Africa, especially Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria and Tanzania. Today, it is cultivated throughout the tropical belt, right from Africa to India and throughout South East Asia, Taiwan and China. The young fruit is green and turns sandy-brown or reddish-brown on maturity. Tamarind pulp tastes very sour when young and becomes sweeter, when it ripens. It is used to flavor a number of fish and curry dishes. Apart from culinary uses, it is consumed as a remedy for treating various ailments and problems. Read on further to know the nutritional value of tamarind and also explore the health and nutrition benefits of eating tamarind.

Nutrition Benefits Of Eating Tamarind
  • Tamarind helps in reducing the cholesterol levels in the body, thereby promoting a healthy heart.
  • Tamarind juice acts as a mild laxative.
  • The juice extracted from tamarind is effective in curing and treating bile disorder.
  • Consumption of tamarind assures smooth functioning of the digestive system of the body. The pulp of the ripe tamarind is very useful in treating the digestive problems and constipation problems.
  • Tamarind pulp is softened in water and consumed to improve the loss of appetite.
  • Tamarind is rich in vitamin C and therefore its pulp proves out to be valuable in preventing and curing scurvy conditions.
  • Tamarind pulp, leaves and flowers when applied on swollen and painful joints, in many combinations, promises instant relief.
  • The juice of the tamarind pulp helps in curing conjunctivitis. Eye drops, made out of tamarind seeds, are recommended to treat dry eye syndrome.
  • Tamarind leaves are extremely useful in treating burns. The soft tamarind leaves are kept in a pot, covered and then warmed over fire. The burnt leaves are then finely powdered and sieved to remove any gritty particles. This paste is then mixed to gingili oil and applied all over the burnt area. The mixture is very effective over the burnt areas and provides relief from the wound within few days. It is also very useful for the skin.
  • A poultice prepared out of the tamarind leaves crushed in water is quite helpful in healing inflamed parts of the joint and ankles. When applied to the joints, it helps in reducing the swelling and pain.
  • Tamarind has been used to cure sore throats since ages. Gargle of tamarind water is highly beneficial in treating a sore throat.
  • Tamarind is used as a water pill to cure bilious disorders, jaundice and catarrh.
  • The juice extracted out of the tamarind flowers is consumed for cutting bleeding piles.
  • Tamarind fights against cancer. It is an excellent source of antioxidants thereby preventing and curing cancer.
  • Tamarind is one of the most effective and easy ways of curing common cold. You can prepare a soup or rasam by boiling diluted tamarind water in a tsp of ghee. Sprinkle a little pepper to it and allow the concoction to boil for few minutes. Tamarind soup, thus prepared, would flush out all the toxins from the body, clearing any nasal and throat blockage.
  • Tamarind pulp is also a great healer of fever. You can consume 15g tamarind to reduce the temperature. You can even prepare a sherbet by boiling the tamarind pulp in ½ liter milk with some dates, cloves, sugar, cardamoms and little camphor. This infusion is very effective in fighting the virus that causes fever.
  • Tamarind milk that is prepared by boiling the pulp in the milk is also quite effective in curing dysentery problem. You can also consume finely-grained tamarind seeds with equal proportions of cumin and sugar 2-3 times a day for positive results.
  • Tamarind overall has a great healing power. The leaves have cooling effects on the body, while the bark helps in reducing fever and also acts as an astringent and a tonic. The pulp possesses digestive properties and its seeds act like an astringent.
Cooking Tips
  • Add a spoonful of unsweetened pulp to a mix of sautéed vegetables to get a refreshingly acidic finish.
  • You can even make a Mexican style aqua-fresh by adding 2 tbsp of sweetened tamarind nectar in 2 cups cold water and ice with a wedge of lemon.
  • Add tamarind to fresh orange juice with little sugar for that tangy tasty flavor.
  • Prepare a salad dressing out of tamarind, lemon juice, sugar and olive oil.

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