English/ Common name- Tamarind

Local name- ಹುಣಸೆ ಮರ

Botanical name- Tamarindus Indica

Appearance- evergreen tree of the pea family ( Fabaceae), The tree grows to about 24 meters tall and bears alternate, pinnately compound ( feather-forms) leaves with leaflets that are about 2 cm 0.75 inches long. The yellow flowers are borne in small clusters. The fruit is a brown pod-like legume, which contains a soft acidic pulp, and is sausage-shaped, curved, or straight, with rounded ends; the pulp is thick and blackish-brown in color and contains many hard-coated seeds.

Origin- The tamarind is native to the drier savannahs of East Africa and Madagascar. It may have been introduced in tropical Asia by Arabian traders (Ecoport, 2009). It is now widespread throughout the tropics. It is very common in Central America and the Caribbean and cultivated in Australia and Florida. It can withstand drought by shedding its leaves, as well as short occasional floodings and slight saline sprays (near the sea coasts). It is very sensitive to frost and does not grow well under 7°C.

Conditions required for growth- Tamarind prefers tropical and subtropical, dry, and windy climates. It can adapt even to the warm temperate climate, but there it'll not be very productive. Young plants can't withstand the cold, while the adults are resistant to temperature till 28 degrees Fahrenheit only. The best planting position is in full sun.

Uses- Tamarind fruit is an important condiment/ adjunct used as an acidic/flavoring agent in the Indian cookery. India produces about 2.5 lakh tonnes of Tamarind pulp annually. Tamarind contains ingredients that might have laxative effects and some activity against certain fungi and bacteria. Researchers are studying tamarind as a possible treatment for dry eyes because it contains a chemical that is similar to mucin found in the eye. Mucin helps protect and wet the surface of the cornea.

Common remedies-

  • For Liver detox (Part of the tree used -Fruit ) - Take the shell off of the tamarinds, bring water to a rapid boil, and add tamarind, clove, salt, and ginger to the boiling water. Cover the pot and let it sleep for at least 2 hours or overnight, strain the juice and serve.

Tamarind can raise the risks of bleeding and turn out to be extremely dangerous when taken with certain medications. These include some common drugs like: Aspirin. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) and Blood thinners or anticoagulants

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