Everyone loves to sweet, sour and tangy tamarind. It is also called ‘imli’ in Hindi terms. A piece of tamarind with roasted spices or black salt tastes just wow! It is liked by all age groups. Mostly, tamarind is used to prepare tamarind candies. It is like; sour imli with the fusion of sugar with it; makes it much tastier.
Tamarind is a brown coloured elongated fruit which is enveloped into a pericarp which is also sandy brown in colour. Tamarind trees are quite tall which reaches to height of 30-35 ft. These provide dense shade and coolness that is why; these are grown along the roadsides. Leaves are dark green, elliptical, ovular and arranged in alternate. The best suited soil for tamarind cultivation is clayey, loamy or sandy soil. It needs proper sunlight for development. The fruits are fleshy, juicy and reddish-brown in colour.
Tamarind belongs to kingdom Plantae and ‘Fabaceae’ family. Its binomial name is “Tamarindus indica” which is Latin in origin. In Sanskrit, it is also called Tintadika, Amlika, Chinchika etc.
Properties of Tamarind:-
Tamarind is a sour and tangy fruit which is rich in citric acid and tartaric acid. It also contains potassium, malic acid, sugar,choline, Riboflavin, Thiamine, zinc, sodium, dietary fibres and several other insoluble components. While unripe, tamarind tastes bitter and heavy. The tree bears red-yellow coloured flowers; which matures into the fruit.
Uses of Tamarind:-
- Traditionally, tamarind is used as a condiment in food preparations in different cuisines. This pulpy fruit is used to prepare sour jams, candies etc. In South-Indian culture, tamarind is widely used as a condiment item in sambars etc.
- It is also used in the preparation of mouth-watering pani-puri, chat, chole, dahi-vada and many more. It gives them an exotic flavour which increases the taste.
- Tamarind wood is bold red in colour thus due to its durability and high density; tamarind wood is used in furnitures and wood flooring.
- This very tree is also used in horticulture as an ornamental plant or cash crop. Its Bonsai form is also used an indoor plant in temperate areas.
Medicinal usages of Tamarind:-
Every naturally grown substance has some medicinal benefits in it. Similarly, this plant is also rich in benefits and useful in certain health issues. Following are some of the medicinal benefits of tamarind-
In case of minor or severe headache, soak 5-10 gm of tamarind in a glass of water. As it becomes pulpy and soluble, crush and strain the solution. MIx with 2-4 teaspoons of sugar and give this to the patient twice a day.
Pharyngitis; also known as throat inflammation is a disorder of throat. For this, boil 5 gm of tamarind in 2 litre of water. Cook till the water is reduced to half; mix 10 ml of pure rose-water to it and strain the solution. Use this very solution to gargle; this cures swelling caused in the throat.
In case of diarrhoea, boil 10-15 tamarind leaves in 500 ml of water till water gets one-fourth. Give this to the patient; it relieves diarrhoea. Grind 15 gm peel of tamarind seeds with 6 gm of cumin seeds and a handful of jaggery. Mix well and give 1-1 teaspoon of this powder orally to the patient for twice or thrice a day. Take the bark of old tamarind tree and half amount of black pepper. Mix both o them in butter and make tablets of pea size. Give this thrice a day; this also cures old diarrhoea and indigestion.
If the fever raise very high, then soak 25 gm of tamarind in a glass of water for overnight. Next day strain the solution and mix with Isabgol powder in it. Give this solution to the patient for twice a day.
Heavy summers are going on and the chances of summer flu’s has increased to a great extent. Tamarind works very well in sun strokes. Grind the fruit in cold water and apply on the forehead. This cures faintness and sun strokes. Crush ripe tamarind in water and soak a piece of cloth in this water; now apply this to overall body. It reduces the impact of heat strokes.
For urinary disorders-
Soak 125 gm of tamarind seeds into 250 ml milk. After 3 days remove the peel and grind the solution. Give 6 gm of this solution twice a day with water or cow’s milk. It is very helpful to cure urinary disorders. In this way, we saw numerous benefits of tamarind, This is a common thing which is commonly used by all. Only few of us knows about its miraculous and healing potency. These small things are like small keys which unlocks heavy locks of our lives. Heath or Arogya is our birthright. This human body is the biggest gift from god; it depends on us how we care it. So, take care and live well!