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All about tamarind: its beneficial effects, its contraindications and how to use it


Tamarind is the fruit of oriental medicine that benefits the gastrointestinal system. To be used with extreme caution: its effectiveness has not yet been scientifically tested.

Tamarind is an oriental fruit with numerous beneficial properties and is also called with the name of the date of India. Used mainly as a laxative , this fruit also has many antioxidant properties that give anti-aging effects. It can be found easily in herbal medicine; let’s not forget, however, to use it with caution .

It is a fruit that belongs to the legume family, similar to green beans, but larger and of a brownish color. Inside it is very pulpy and is used both in cooking and in cosmetics . Its pulp (very sticky) is rich in nutrients, mineral salts (especially magnesium and potassium), B vitamins and sugars.

What is tamarind: from plant to fruit

The plant of the same name (Tamarindus Indica) is a tropical evergreen tree large, and can reach even 30 meters high and 150 years old. Originally from Africa, its fruits are woody pods of about 10-12 centimeters , which contain the seeds, the edible part of the fruit!

The seeds of the tamarind pods can be contained in the 4 to 12, and are wrapped in a pulp dark brown color and taste sour.


The properties of tamarind and its benefits

The nutritional values ​​of tamarind are many. It is a fruit rich in water (more than 30% of its composition) while the remainder is divided into sugars (57%) and the remaining 5% is made up of fibers, proteins, fats and ashes .

Inside, then, we find various mineral salts, including potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, calcium and selenium, but also vitamins of groups A, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, K, and J. But it doesn’t end here! In this fruit there is also the presence of tartaric acid, a natural antioxidant and strong that fights free radicals.

Among its benefits we find its strong antibacterial and anti-infective action, thanks to the active ingredient of tamarindine , but also its purgative and useful properties for relieving ailments such as dysentery. Do not forget its hypoglycemic properties and its uses in case of digestive difficulties, but also its antidiabetic and toning power. Not only that, tamarind has purgative properties and not only that, it seems to aid digestion, especially the liquid part of the fruit.

Contraindications of tamarind

Its effectiveness has not been medically proven and should therefore be used with great caution and parsimony (also considering its laxative effects). Furthermore, tamarind would also act on the absorption of some medicines and cannot act as a substitute for drugs. Furthermore, being very acidic, if consumed excessively it could ruin the tooth enamel.

It is therefore necessary to pay attention to DIY and consult an expert before using it.

How to use tamarind: recipes and preparations

It can be found easily in herbal medicine and in most cases it is required for its natural laxative properties and is sold as jam or syrup . It can also be found dried in herbal teas and infusions, perhaps combined with other herbs such as rhubarb and fennel .

Tamarind-based infusions would bring numerous benefits to the gastrointestinal tract and liver.

In general, before using it you need to clean it and extract the seeds it contains, and then decide which recipe to prepare. Given its sour taste, it is certainly a suitable food for jams , sauces, syrups and so on! Think tamarind is an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce

In the East, it is widely used, especially for savory preparations such as soups, curries and broths and often its dark pulp is also accompanied with rice. This fruit is also used a lot in oriental medicine . In Africa, for example, it is used in cases of malarial fever and in Indian medicine to combat alcohol intoxication. In cosmetics, however, given its antioxidant properties, it can be found in numerous anti-aging creams .

Tamarind drink: the refreshing recipe

Tamarind drink
Tamarind drink

This exotic fruit, being still very little known throughout the boot, is used essentially to make drinks, infusions and decoctions, and that is why it is found above all in herbal medicine . Not only that, the Italians use it to make syrups to flavor sweets thanks to its acidulous but still sugary note.

If you want to try it you have to look for an oriental cuisine shop, or try the better-stocked supermarkets (which may have it in cans). If you can find the pulp, you can prepare a very refreshing drink in a few simple steps :

  • Take about 100 g of tamarind pulp and put it in a teapot of water (about 2.5 l).
  • Bring to the heat and let it boil for about 15 minutes .
  • Remove from heat and extract the pulp by squeezing it well so that it releases all the juices.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger, a little brown sugar and a few cloves.
  • Mix well and leave to infuse until the liquid has cooled completely.
  • Filter it and taste some, if it is too strong add a little water at room temperature, then bottle it and put it in the fridge to cool.

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