Tamarind is one of the most common condiments used in the south Indian dishes. The Tamarind tree known by the scientific name Tamarindusindica is common across India and the tamarind fruit is popular for its sweet and tangy taste. The plant has some amazing medicinal qualities and the pulpy tamarind fruit itself which comes in the shape of pods covered within thin shells offers a number of health benefits that many of us even do not know of. This article intends to provide an in depth idea about the surprising medicinal properties of the tamarind.
[ Hindi version ]
Promotes digestion and eases constipation
One of the first medicinal uses of tamarind lies in its mildly laxative property. Tamarind has a good amount of dietary fibers that helps in increasing the bulk of bowel and promotes digestion. Moreover, it helps in formation of bowel and bowel movement giving relief from problems like constipation and bloating. The fiber of tamarind binds with the different toxins present in foods and protects the mucus membrane of the colon from the harmful effects of the chemicals.
Promotes cardiovascular health
Tamarind can be very effective to promote a better cardiovascular health. The constituents of tamarind has the ability to bring down the levels of Low Density Lipids or bad cholesterol in the blood, which automatically increases the percentage of High Density Lipid or LDL and promotes better cardiovascular health. The phenols and antioxidants present in tamarind work for lowering bad cholesterol which protects the cardiovascular system from lipid deposition. Tamarind also has a noticeable potassium content which is vital for the heart health and helps in keeping the blood pressure low.
Tamarind has a decent percentage of iron which is essential for the production of the red blood cells that carry oxygen in the body. Iron is also a vital co-factor for the enzymes of cytochrome oxidases. Anemia is a serious condition which can affect the quality of life in a serious way due to weakness and inability to focus. The iron content of tamarind can be helpful to treat anemia and to promote production of red blood cells in the body.
Promotes eye sight
Tamarind is rich in vitamin A content which can promote better eye sight and can provide protection from diseases like night blindness. Apart from Vitamin A, tamarind also includes a good percentage of phosphorous which also has positive effects on the eye sight. Including a good amount of tamarind in the daily diet can be ideal for children as it helps in promoting better nourishment and growth of vision.
Tamarind is rich in Vitamin C content which plays the role of a major vitamin in the body. Deficiency of vitamin C can give rise to several disorders including scurvy, gingivitis, connective tissue defects and many others. Vitamin C deficiency has also been linked with depression and fatigue. The high percentage of vitamin C available in tamarind not only provides protection from all these conditions but also helps in curing these conditions. So, if you think that your diet does not include sufficient vitamin C, using tamarind extract in your daily cooking can be the right way to fill in your daily vitamin C requirements.
Cures thyroid disorders
Tamarind is also known for its ability to treat thyroid disorder. Tamarind extract is used as a medicine to cure thyroid problems in Ayurveda. The constituents of tamarind along with its rich mineral content helps in stabilizing the secretion of the thyroid gland thus helping in curing the problems originated from over or under reactive thyroid gland.
Helps in diabetes management
Tamarind is also effective in controlling diabetes. The pulp of the fruit is used in traditional medicine for managing the sharp spike in the blood glucose rate after a meal. Including tamarind in your diet helps in controlling the blood glucose levels which is very important for patients with diabetes. A concoction made from tamarind paste and java plum or jamun is known for its high efficiency in controlling and managing the blood sugar levels.
A mixture of strong anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants not only provide protection to the internal organs from oxidative stress but also offer protection from cancer. Tamarind is high in a range of anti-oxidants and phytochemicals. It contains limonene, cinnamic acid as well as a number of alkaloids that work as effective and powerful anti-oxidants within the body promoting the healing and medicinal properties of tamarind. The fruit is also rich in phyto nutrients like Beta carotene which has strong anti-oxidant functions. The tartaric acid of tamarind also protects the body from the negative actions of the free radicals.
A rich source of vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and Minerals are vital for smooth functioning of the body as well as for an active immunity system. Tamarind has a composition that includes some of the most vital vitamins and minerals in decent amounts. It contains Vitamins like A, C, E, K along with thiamin, pyridoxine, niacin and folates. Amongst the minerals, apart from iron, it also contains calcium, copper, magnesium, selenium, phosphorous and zinc.
Helps in weight management
Tamarind has high fiber content which makes it ideal to fill appetite without adding much to your total calorie intake. When you are trying to lose weight it is vital to bank on a diet that is less in calorie but high in nutrients and fibers, and tamarind is a fruit that can meet with all these requirements. So, if you are trying to lose weight, taking a glass of fresh tamarind extract between your meals can be a good option.
[ Hindi version ]
Cures skin infections
Tamarind has natural antimicrobial properties and it also soothes the skin. In case of insect bites or a skin irritation like itching or reddening of the skin the pulp of tamarind can be effective to soothe the problem. Tamarind pulp mixed with turmeric can also be used for treating skin infections. Consumption of the tamarind juice also promotes better skin due to its high anti-oxidant and vitamin C content.