Tamarind – the powerful antioxidant
Botanical name: Tamarindus indica
Botanical Family: Leguminosae
The tamarind tree grows to a height of 80 feet with dark brown strong trunk and pinnate compound leaves. Flowers are small and clustered seeds are brown curved pods which are irregular and bulbous. One fruit pod bears 1 to 12 seeds. The outer skin of the fruit becomes separate to the pulpy inner portion and brittle when dried. Removing the brittle skin is the fleshy pulp, brown in color and inside that is the seed which are flat, hard and dark brown in color.The fleshy tamarind contains a fibrous husk which can be removed by sieving, after making a pulp of tamarind with water. In south India especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu tamarind is preserved by removing the seeds from the pods and dried. The dried fruits are mixed with salt and crushed to mix uniformly and made ball like and preserved.
Tamarind is a fruiting tree native to Africa and widely planted throughout the world,particularly in Latin America and Asia.
This Indian Date has got its own name in the Hindu mythology connected with the wedding of Lord Sree Krishna.
Benefits of Tamarind
- The fleshy pulp in Tamarind is widely used in cooking.
- Tamarind is very excellent fro polishing the brass and copper. Fleshy part of the tamarind with salt when rubbed gives brand new brass and copper utensils.
- The fleshy portion of the fruit is used as a flavoring agent for sweet,sour and taste. The flavor is more authentic than vinegar or lemon. It is used in most of all vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes. It is a natural ingredient in jams,jellies, fruit drinks, and sauces. Roasted chutney with’the tender leaves of tamarind with fish or mushroom is very tasty and a special home dish in Kerala even for the laymen known as Puliyila chammenthy.
Benefits of Tamarind
- Medicinal uses of Tamarind:-Tamarind is medicinally used for treating bronchial disorders, sore throat etc. it is also known for the digestive and laxative qualities. Lean, thread like Tamarind leaf stalk cleaned is used against constipation by inserting it in the anus of children. It is antiseptic, used in eyebaths and treatment of ulcers. Tamarind has got sexual enhancing properties and refrigerant qualities.
- Action of Tamarind on our skin:- (1) The Vitamin C, A, and other antioxidants present in tamarind enables it to act as a natural cure for various inflammatory skin conditions, including pimples and acne. Just mix tamarind extract with turmeric powder and fresh yogurt. Apply this pack on your face and allow it to dry. Wash off with warm water .(2) Since,it has AHA ,Tamarind is known to act as a natural remedy for pigmentation.(3) You may have noticed that some women and men have dark shades on their neck, Tamarind can be used to treat or clear those black shades.This can be done by mixing Tamarind pulp with rose water and honey and applying it on neck and wash of after 20 mins.(4) Tamarind is packed with certain acids,anti-oxidants,fibers,vitamins etc….hence it is Anti-Aging agent.(5) It has got skin hydrating and toning properties.(6)It has got skin bleaching properties.
- Since Tamarind is a good anti-oxidizing agent it fights against cancer
- The red outer covering of the seed is an effective remedy against diarrhea and dysentery.
- The heated juice of Tamarind is used to cure conjunctivitis. Eye drops made from tamarind seeds may be a treatment for dry eye syndrome.
- In addition, dietary fibers in the Tamarind pulp bind to bile salt and decrease their re-absorption in the colon and thus it helps in reducing bad or LDL cholesterol levels.
- Tamarind is a very well known herb having many uses such as culinary, medicinal, ornamental uses and as an economic dye. Tamarind is included in daily diet as it has certain properties which keeps us healthy.
- Tamarind is very useful to treat bilious disorders. Being acidic it excites the bile and other juices in the body.