Tamarind is a long-lived, leguminous, medium-growth tree, which attains a maximum crown height of 12 to 18 metres (40 to 60 feet). The evergreen leaves are alternately arranged. The leaflets are bright green, elliptic-ovular, pinnately veined, and less than 5 centimetres (2 inches) in length. At night, the leaflets close up.The tamarind has red and yellow elongated flowers.The fruit is an indehiscent legume, sometimes called a pod, 12 to 15 cm in length, with a hard, brown shell.The fruit has a fleshy, juicy, acidic pulp. It is mature when the flesh is coloured brown or reddish brown. Each fruit pod containing 6 to 12 seeds and the taste of pulp can vary anywhere between slightly acidic to sweet depending on the season.
It’s botanical name is Tamarindus indica which belongs to Fabaceae family. In Hindi, it is known by that name Imli.
Nutritional Content –
Sweet tamarind pulp is a powerhouse of antioxidants, phytochemicals and other essential nutrients including Vitamin A, C, E, K, B6, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, negligible amounts of protein and zero cholesterol.
Parts Used –
Tamarind flower, seed, fruit and kshara(alkali) can be used for medicinal purposes.
• Powder – 1 to 3gm
• Decoction – 50 to 100 ml in divided doses
• Kshara – 500mg to 1gm
• Weight loss
Tamarind is loaded with hydroxycitric acid, which reduces your appetite by inhibiting amylase, an enzyme responsible for converting carbohydrate into fat.Tamarind is rich in fibre and has no fat content. Eating tamarind daily might actually help in weight reduction.
• Prevents peptic ulcers
Peptic ulcers can be very painful. These are basically sores that appear in the inner lining of the stomach and small intestine. Polyphenolic compounds found in tamarind fruit can prevent these ulcers.
Chewing on the pulp of this tangy-sugary fruit stimulate digestive juices for proper digestion. With 24 per cent dietary fibre, meethi imli serves as a natural laxative that can add bulk to the stool for its smooth passage through intestines. Patients suffering from various digestive disorders including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome should make it a habit of including sweet tamarind in regular diet.
The enzyme alpha-amylase which is proven to reduce blood sugar levels also be found in tamarind. Also it can reverse the damage of the pancreatic tissue in those suffering from diabetes.
• Healthy Heart
Tamarind is a very heart-friendly fruit. Flavonoids present in tamarind lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and raise HDL or “good” cholesterol levels, thus preventing the build-up of triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood. It also has high potassium content which can help keep your blood pressure in check.
• Asthma & Cough
It is an effective way to deal with allergic asthma and cough because of its antihistaminic properties. It’s also a rich source of vitamin C and can boost the immune system to prevent cold and cough.
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