What is a Tamarindus Indica? What are the Benefits, Uses and Side Effects of Tamarind Seed Powder?

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is a Tamarindus Indica? 
3. Nutritional Value
4. Tamarindus Seeds Morphology
5. Ayurvedic Properties of Tamarindus Indica Seed
6. Health Benefits of Tamarindus Indica Seed
7. Uses of Tamarindus Indica Seed
8. Side Effects of Imli Beej

1. Introduction

Tamarindus Indica, commonly known as tamarind, is a tropical tree that produces a pod-like fruit with a sweet and sour taste. Tamarindus Indica English name is Tamarind Seeds, some other common names are tamarind tree, imli, ambli, tamar. It is native to Africa and now it is distributed in the plains and sub-Himalayan tracts of India. The tamarind fruit is widely used in cooking and traditional medicine due to its numerous health benefits. In addition to the fruit, tamarind seeds also have potential health benefits and are used in various forms for medicinal purposes.

It is a large, handsome, symmetrical spreading tree and has small compound leaves, yellowish flowers with reddish streaks, and fleshy, brown fruits. the seeds are dark brown and shiny, and the fleshy fibrous pulp of the fruit is acidic.

Tamarindus leaves have the unique characteristic of folding at night. They usually come in the spring season. Tamarind leaves are a rich source of vitamin C, and they have iron, calcium, fiber, and potassium.

Tamarindus was an important item of the diet of sailors in the olden days, its acid and sugar content helped offset their starchy diet. The pulp contains tartaric and a few other acids, sugars like invert, a broken-up starch, and proteins, the protein present in the pulp is good quality.

The fruit of the plant is known as tamarind (Imli), it is a long seedpod. The pulp of the pods is tart and sweet. It is edible and used in Asian cooking for making chutneys, curry, candies, salsa, sauces, and flavored cocktails.

The seed of the plant is inside the fruit pods, they are black or dark brown in color. Seeds are used in Ayurveda for their medicinal health benefits.

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2. Nutritional Value

As per studies show tamarind pulp consists of moisture 20.9%, protein 3.1%, fat 0.1%, minerals 2.9%, fiber 5.6%, and carbohydrates 67.4%. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. Its calorific value is 283. 

3. Tamarindus Seeds Morphology

Tamarind seeds are black shiny in color and sometimes dark brown in color, they are extremely healthy and have various health benefits. In ancient times seeds are used to treat malaria and blood-related problems.

In Ayurveda they are used for various health benefits, roasted or skin-removed seeds are mainly used.

Tamarind seeds are a good source of energy and contain tannin as an anti-nutritional factor. They are used for skin, hair, and eye problems.

4. Ayurvedic Properties of Tamarindus Indica Seed

 1. Rasa (Taste): Tamarind seeds are considered to have astringent (Kashaya) and slightly sweet (Madhura) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): They are cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (Madhura Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Tamarind seeds primarily balance Pitta and Kapha doshas due to their cooling nature. However, in excess, they may increase Vata dosha.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Support: Tamarind seeds are used to promote healthy digestion. They have mild laxative properties and can help relieve constipation.

  2. Cooling Effect: Due to their cooling nature, tamarind seeds are beneficial in managing conditions associated with excess heat in the body, such as fever or burning sensations.

  3. Anti-inflammatory: The seeds possess anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to manage inflammation and related conditions.

  4. Antioxidant: Tamarind seeds are a good source of antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals and protect the body from oxidative stress.

  5. Skin Care: In Ayurveda, tamarind seeds are used in certain skincare preparations to soothe the skin and manage skin conditions like acne and rashes.

  6. Joint Health: Tamarind seeds can be used to support joint health and manage conditions like arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory effects.

5. What are the Health Benefits of Tamarind Seed?

Tamarind seeds have antioxidant, laxative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immune-boosting properties. The antiviral properties of tamarind seeds are extremely effective in preventing diseases such as mosquito-borne chikungunya. 

Tamarind seed benefits include regulating digestion, improving blood glucose levels, lowering blood pressure, managing blood circulation and blood sugar levels, boosting the immune system, and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. 

Here are some health benefits of Imli Beej

For Teeth

Tamarind seed powder is extremely beneficial in the cleaning of teeth, it helps to remove tartar and plaque and makes your teeth white, shiny, and strong. Rub the powder on the gums and teeth. 

For Eyes

Tamarind seed juice is beneficial for weak eyes and conjunctivitis. Try putting a drop of tamarind seed juice in your eyes to moisturize them.

For Digestion

Pulp of the ripe fruit is beneficial in the treatment of bilious vomiting, flatulence, and indigestion. It is also beneficial for constipation. It is rich in fiber and vitamin C which helps to improve digestion and bring down the cholesterol level.

An infusion of the pulp prepared by softening it in water is particularly useful for loss of appetite and lack of inclination for food intake. For better results, black peppers, cloves, cardamoms, and camphor may be added to taste after straining the infusion. 

The ash obtained by heating the bark with salt in an earthen vessel can also be given in 6 to 12-cm doses to treat colic and indigestion. 

For Infections

It has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which help to protect your skin and urinary tract from esophageal infections.

For Diabetes

Tamarind seeds are rich in Vitamin c which helps to improve digestion and maintain the insulin level, this helps to control diabetes.

For Heart and Hypertension

It contains a high amount of potassium, which is extremely beneficial and effective to cure heart problems and treat hypertension.

For Brain Health

Tamarind seeds are a good source of vitamin B which is especially necessary for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

For Bones

Tamarind seeds are a good source of magnesium and contain calcium, which is good for bone health.

For Tissue Health

Tamarind seeds contain the amino acid, which is necessary for building blocks of protein, and for the body to grow and repair tissues.

For Scurvy

Its pulp, being rich in vitamin C, is valuable in preventing and curing scurvy, it is significant that even after being dried tamarind does not lose antiscorbutic properties as most other fruits and vegetables do. 

For Burns

The tender leaves of the Tamarindus tree are a useful remedy for treating burns, they are put into a pot, covered, and warmed over the fire. The burnt leaves are finely powdered and sieved to remove any gritty particles. 

This powder is mixed in gingelly oil and applied over the burnt part, the wound is healed within a few days and its leaves prevent edema and help in the growth of healthy, normal skin. 

The oil keeps the affected part well protected against moisture and the entry of harmful germs. 

For Common Cold

Tamarind-pepper rasam, a clear soup, is considered an effective home remedy for colds in South India. It is prepared by boiling a very dilute tamarind water in a tsp of hot ghee and half a tsp of black pepper powder for a few minutes. 

This steaming hot rasam has a flushing effect, as one takes it the nose and eyes water, and the nasal blockage is cleared.

For Dysentery

The tamarind milk drink, as suggested for fevers, is very helpful in treating dysentery, taking pulverized seeds in doses of 6.25 decigrams with an equal quantity of cumin and sugar, twice or thrice a day. 

For Fever

The pulp of Tamarindus fruit is useful in treating fever, it is generally taken in 15 gm doses. A sherbet made by boiling 30 grams of the pulp in half a liter of milk with the addition of a few dates, cloves sugar, cardamoms, and a little camphor is effective in fevers. 

For Sore Throat

Gargling with a potion prepared by boiling tamarind in water is beneficial in the treatment of sore throat. An infusion of the bark or a powder of dry leaves is equally useful for this purpose. 

For Inflammation of Joints

Crushed with water and made into a poultice, the leaves are applied over inflamed joints and ankles to reduce swelling and pain. 

6. What are the uses of Tamarindus?

Dosage and uses are dependent upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 5-10 grams of Tamarind Seed twice a day.

 Here are some tips to use Tamarind Seed

  • Take 1 gram of tamarind seed powder and sub to teeth and gums, it makes your teeth shiny, strong, and white.
  • Take 2-3 tamarind seed and soak them overnight, grind it, and separate the juice from the pulp. Put a drop of this juice in your eyes.
  • Take 3-5 tamarind seed and soak them overnight, peel the skin, and chew it or take it with water. It helps to cure diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Take 3-5 tamarind seeds and soak overnight, take a grinder and add soaked seeds, ginger, and cinnamon, grind them all, and mix it in lukewarm water. Gargle with this water gives relief to tonsils, pharyngitis, cold, cough, and other throat infections.
  • Take 2 grams of tamarind seed powder daily, helps to keep away from bacterial diseases.
  • Take a pan and roast 5-6 tamarind seeds, or you can take roasted seed powder. Add the powder to your fruit smoothie, juice, yogurt, or other food, which helps to manage weight.
  • Take half tsp of roasted tamarind seed powder and mix it with a glass of water and drink it two times a day, helps to get relief from joint pain and arthritis, and increases lubrication.
  • Take 1 tsp of tamarind seed powder with water twice a day before a meal, helps to maintain diabetes and blood sugar levels.
  • Take 1 tsp of tamarind seed powder with water twice a day after meal, helps to control cholesterol and high blood pressure.

7. What are the Side Effects of Imli Beej?

  • It may cause allergic reactions for those who have sensitive skin.
  • Excessive use of tamarind seed may cause harmful effects on teeth, the enamel of your teeth is likely to get corroded by its acid component.
  • It may interact with antibiotics, avoid taking tamarind seed if you are on antibiotics.
  • If you are going for any medical surgery, then stop taking Tamarind Seed powder a week of surgery.
  • It is not safe for children and pregnant women.

Note: This post is about educating about the benefits and uses of Tamarind Seed, consult the Ayurvedic doctor before starting.

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