The tamarind is the fruit of a tall tree that grows in Asia and Africa. Its pods are about five inches long and contain seeds and a pulp that become extremely sour when dried. The pulp of the fruit is the main portion of tamarind used in food production. When still slightly unripe, it has a very sharp, sour taste with a high level of acidity.
As most ancient foods do, tamarind has a long history of medicinal uses. Many involve easing stomach discomfort, aiding digestion, and use as a laxative. Tamarind preparations are used for fevers, sore throat, rheumatism, inflammation, and sunstroke. Dried or boiled tamarind leaves and flowers are made into poultices for swollen joints, sprains, boils, hemorrhoids, and conjunctivitis.
- Tamarind juice is a mild laxative.
- Tamarind is used to treat bile disorders
- Tamarind lowers cholesterol
- Tamarind promotes a healthy heart
- The pulp, leaves and flowers, in various combinations, are applied on painful and swollen joints.
- Tamarind is use as a gargle for sore throats, and as a drink to bring relief from sunstroke.
- The heated juice is used to cure conjunctivitis. Eye drops made from tamarind seeds may be a treatment for dry eye syndrome.
- Tamarind seed polysaccharide is adhesive, enabling it to stick to the surface of the eye longer than other eye preparations.
- Tamarind is used as a diuretic remedy for bilious disorders, jaundice and catarrh.
- Tamarind is a good source of antioxidants that fight against cancer.
- Tamarind reduces fevers and provides protection against colds. Make an infusion by taking one ounce of pulp, pour one quart of boiling water over this and allow to steep for one hour. Strain and drink tepid with little honey to sweeten. This will bring down temperature by several degrees.
- Tamarind helps the body digest food
- Tamarind applied to the skin to heal inflammation
- The red outer covering of the seed is an effective remedy against diarrhea and dysentery.
- Juice extracted from the flowers is given internally for bleeding piles.