Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), also called Tamar or puli, is one of the common ingredients in Indian cuisine. It is also referred to as the ‘date of India’. Tamarind is native to Africa but also grows in India, Pakistan, and many other tropical regions. The fruit obtained from the tree is extensively used in Indian cooking for its unique flavor. The ripe tamarind fruit has a sweet-sour taste. Interestingly, tamarind is not only popular with its unique taste, but also for the numerous health benefits it packs with it.
Tamarind in Ayurveda:
Tamarind has played an important role in the traditional Ayurvedic system. According to Ayurveda, tamarind is used to balance kapha and vata dosha. The flower, stem bark, seed, and fruit of this plant are used for treating various diseases in the ancient Ayurvedic system. Tamarind contains various chemicals like pectin, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, and phlobatannins that are essential for the body.
Health benefits of Tamarind:
1. Maintains a healthy heart
To maintain a healthy heart, you need to maintain normal blood pressure. Tamarind is rich in potassium that is extremely helpful in the reduction of blood pressure. It also helps dissolve bad cholesterol from the veins and arteries. Also. Vitamin C in tamarind acts as an antioxidant and reduces the impact of free radicals on your heart.
2. Improves digestion
Tamarind is a rich source of dietary fibers and is used as a laxative in the Ayurvedic system. It improves the action of bile juice and helps in faster digestion of food. Consuming tamarind fruit after a meal increases the overall efficiency of your digestive system.
3. Controls diabetes
One of the main reasons for diabetes is your body’s inability to absorb carbohydrates in the body. This increases the glucose level in your body. The chemical components in tamarind help to stop the activity of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that interferes with the proper absorption of carbohydrates in the body.
4. Joint pains
Tamarind leaves are extremely useful in reducing the inflammation in joints. Applying the paste obtained from crushed tamarin leaves as a bandage on the inflamed part of the joint lessens the swelling and pain.
5. Improves blood circulation
Tamarind is a very good source of iron, magnesium, and potassium. The rich iron content of tamarind helps to maintain the proper red blood cells (RBC) count in the body. Proper RBC count is necessary for the proper supply of oxygen to different organs in the body. Thus, tamarind improves blood circulation and also helps reduce the symptoms of anaemia.
Although tamarind is used extensively in Indian Cuisine, not many people know about these amazing health benefits of tamarind. So, it is time we appreciate this ayurvedic herb and use it wisely for improving our health.