Who can resist the tangy taste of imli? Very few. After all, the delicious tamarind is an irresistible asset in spices, and condiments. Palate-pleasing, it adds a delicious flavor to the Indian dishes. But hey, tamarind is not only an indispensable kitchen staple; but it can rejuvenate your skin, hair and health. Let us find out how.
History of Tamarind
‘Imli’ or tamarind joins the list of highly prized natural foods in South Asia. Guess the source of the name? It is the Persian “tamar-I-hind,” which means “date of India”. Tamarind is said to be native to Africa. It grows on exceptionally long trees of the fabaceae family (such as peas, beans, and other legumes) in the warmer, dryer areas of Asia, Mexico, and India.
Tamarind Fun Facts –
Did you know what happens in the Bahamas? Large tamarind fruits are put to roast in coals till such time their skins burst open. The hot-n-sizzling pulp is dipped in wood ashes and eaten as a snack.
|Tamarind Nutrition Facts
|Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 gms), raw
|Amt. Per Serving
|% Daily Value*
|Calories from Fat
|*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Did you know a small bean of tamarind can do so much to restoring your beauty? Read on.
Acne ruins the beauty of a face. Tamarind is there to help you get rid of the acne, thanks to the vitamin A, C and antioxidants in it which make it a natural cure for pimples and acne.
Excessive exposure to dust, pollution, sun and UV rays darkens skin. Tamarind is a good remedy to lighten your skin. Soak tamarind pulp in hot water for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to the imli extract. Apply it on your face and wash it off after 15 minutes. This tamarind face pack is best for oily skin.
Why burn a hole in your pocket when you can do skin exfoliation for FREE? Tamarind fruit has alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), one of the key components found in exfoliating creams. Mix 1 tsp tamarind pulp, 1 tsp rock salt and 1 tbsp milk cream (or yogurt). Apply the mixture on your face and massage it for 5-7 minutes to get rid of dead skin cells.
Moisturizing And Toning
Scaly, patchy and dull skin – our cup of woes are never-ending. A bowl of boiled and cooled tamarind water acts as a natural skin toning and moisturizing agent.
Going natural is the best way to look ageless forever. And Tamarind can be your best friend in anti-ageing. It is packed with antioxidants, fiber, acids and vitamins which combat the free radicals responsible for causing premature aging.
Removes Dark Rings Around The Neck
Forget the bleaching agents for instant solution…go the time-tested way to get rid of dark circles on neck. That is Tamarind! Mix 1 tsp tamarind concentrate with 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp rose water. Apply this paste on the neck. After 20 min, wash it off with warm water.
Tamarind is an established anti-blemish agent which fights against pigmentation. You just need to apply freshly extracted tamarind juice on your face twice a week to reveal clear skin.
How to tackle cellulite build-up on body? Kudos to Tamarind. Mix 2 tsp tamarind extract, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Apply the paste on the skin and scrub it gently (with a brush preferably). This will lessen the appearance of cellulite. Before getting your skin waxed, go for this as it can otherwise lead to blisters.
Battling hair loss are you? Tamarind is there to strengthen your hair locks and prevent hair loss. Soak 15 gms of tamarind pulp in water, extract the liquid part and massage the pulp of tamarind over your scalp and hair. After some time, rinse off your hair with a good shampoo and follow it up with a conditioner.
Oily And Greasy Scalp:
Oily scalp can lead to dandruff and hair loss. Trust tamarind pulp to control the scalp’s sebum production to get you flaunt-worthy hair.
Whether it is cuts, burns or bruises, count on tamarind (give Burnol a break!) to set things right. Many of us won’t believe it but tamarind is a good antiseptic. It has strong medicinal and anti-microbial properties (due to tannins, terpenoids, and citric acid) which heal wounds and prevent infections from spreading in the body.
Losing a few pounds can be made easy by tamarind. Thanks to the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) in it which inhibits the storage of fat in our body. Eating imli also suppresses our appetite for a longer period, by increasing “serotonin” secretion (which is a neurotransmitter).
Nine months of pregnancy are not easy for would-be moms. Tamarind fruit is there to cure pregnancy-related issues for instances like morning sickness, nausea, upset tummy, and constipation.
Treats Bilious Disorders
What are Bilious disorders? They happen as a result of irregular and uncontrolled bile production in the liver. Being a ‘bilious’ substance, tamarind regulates bile production. This, in turn, helps in dissolving of food faster as well as promote gastric juices.
Trust Mother Nature to give us tamarind – a super-affordable and healthy option in controlling the cholesterol levels in the body. The dietary fibers in imli bind themselves to the bile salts formed by cholesterol and decrease its re-absorption. This gets bad cholesterol out of your body and in the process keeps your heart healthy.
Tamarind is not just the most welcomed recipe in kitchen, it is anti-viral and anti-pyretic too. Eat a small tamarind piece twice a day to keep malaria fever under control.
Count on tamarind for improving liver health, regulating levels of bilirubin and lessening the chances of jaundice.
Inflammation is a serious issue as it can affect the internal organs of the body. The anti-inflammatory action of Tamarind breaks down inflammatory chemicals. To avail this benefit, mix 1/2 tsp tamarind powder (roasted) and water. Have it twice a day to enable joint lubrication and reduce joint pain.
The word ‘cancer’ sounds scary. Being a good source of anti-oxidants, Tamarind stops the growth of cancerous cells in the body by preventing the growth of harmful free radicals.
Yucks! Battling constipation every morning can be such an annoying task. Forget the ‘churnas’. Instead, take tamarind pulp. Taking few tsp of the pulp acts as a mild laxative and improves bowel movements.
The pulp of tamarind is rich in anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. These get the bacteria and viruses out from our body. In fact, it is beneficial in treating dry eyes, due to the presence of a chemical which helps protect the cornea surface.
Truckload of pain it is. You can’t move and sit freely. But you can count on Tamarind Juice for treatment of piles, internal and external both.
Remedy for Piles – Mix 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind extract, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp pomegranate, 1 glass of fresh yogurt. Have this home-made concoction daily until the piles symptoms subside.
Tamarind – the pulpy fruit is packed with essential minerals, vitamin C and dietary fiber. All these ingredients help in blood purification. So make it a point to include tamarind daily in your meals.
The juicy and pulpy Tamarind controls levels of cholesterol by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and promoting HDL (the good cholesterol) with the help of antioxidants and phenols.
Also called canker sores, mouth ulcers under our lips and on mouth can be cured through the cooling effect of tamarind – which calms the burning sensation caused by the little boils.
Tamarind has abundant fiber which betters your digestive system, adds bulk to your stool, helping it pass easily from your stomach and intestines.
Tamarind – being a good source of iron – enables proper blood circulation in the body. So eat a lot of tamarinds, to keep anemia, fatigue, headaches at bay.
Did you know, a serving of tamarind provides 10% of the daily recommended qty. of iron? This, in turn, ups the red blood cell count in our blood.
The amazing tamarind is high in thiamine (vitamin B6). And what does this do? Improve our nerve function and memory.
Worried about fluctuations in blood sugar? Including Tamarind in your diet helps monitor and manage blood sugar.
Boosts Immune System:
Thanks to vitamin C, Tamarind along with other anti-oxidants guards your cells and organs from foreign body particles, thereby protecting you from several diseases. Since it has anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-viral properties, it further helps in boosting the immunity functions.
Side Effects of Tamarind
There are two sides to a coin. Same is the case with tamarind. It has certain risk factors which you need to know since it would be unwise to ignore them.
So what are the side effects of consuming tamarind?
- Reacts with certain drugs: Those of you who are on the following meds – aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, blood thinners or anti-coagulants need to AVOID TAMARIND completely as it increases the chance of bleeding.
- Increases hypoglycemia risk: Excessive intake of tamarind can lead to a significant drop in the blood glucose levels. This can cause hypoglycemia. So, as a policy, never have more than 10 grams of tamarind in a day.
- Can cause Allergy: Some people can get hyper-sensitive to tamarind. As a result of which, they are likely to experience body rashes, shortness of breath, itching, vomiting. Check out for these allergies before consuming this fruit in any form.
- Tooth enamel damage: Since tamarind is acidic in nature (in fact, highly acidic), it can end up damaging your teeth if taken in excess qty.
- Gallstone formation possible: Getting carried away by eating too much of tamarind can lead to gallstones.
- Acid reflux: If you often face frequent bouts of indigestion, then stay away from taking tamarind. More so, because it is acidic in nature and will only aggravate the problem.
With such a wide range of benefits and nutritional value that Tamarind has, I do hope you realize its potential and value. Do let us know your thoughts and comments on the benefits of Tamarind.
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