Tamarind
Overview
 
Tamarind (from , romanized tamar hind, "Indian date") is a tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 in the family Fabaceae
Fabaceae
The Fabaceae or Leguminosae, commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, is a large and economically important family of flowering plants. The group is the third largest land plant family, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species...

. The genus Tamarindus is monotypic (having only a single species).
Tamarindus indica is indigenous
Indigenous (ecology)
In biogeography, a species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native...

 to tropical Africa
Tropical Africa
Although tropical Africa is most familiar in the West as depicted by its rain forests, this region of Africa is far more diverse. While the tropics are thought of as regions with warm to hot moist climates caused by latitude and the tropical rain belt, the geology of areas, particularly mountain...

, particularly in Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, where it continues to grow wild; it is also cultivated in Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 and Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

. In Arabia, it is found growing wild in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, especially Dhofar
Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...

, where it grows on the sea-facing slopes of mountains.
Encyclopedia
Tamarind (from , romanized tamar hind, "Indian date") is a tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 in the family Fabaceae
Fabaceae
The Fabaceae or Leguminosae, commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, is a large and economically important family of flowering plants. The group is the third largest land plant family, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species...

. The genus Tamarindus is monotypic (having only a single species).

Origin

Tamarindus indica is indigenous
Indigenous (ecology)
In biogeography, a species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native...

 to tropical Africa
Tropical Africa
Although tropical Africa is most familiar in the West as depicted by its rain forests, this region of Africa is far more diverse. While the tropics are thought of as regions with warm to hot moist climates caused by latitude and the tropical rain belt, the geology of areas, particularly mountain...

, particularly in Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, where it continues to grow wild; it is also cultivated in Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 and Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

. In Arabia, it is found growing wild in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, especially Dhofar
Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...

, where it grows on the sea-facing slopes of mountains. It reached South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 likely through human transportation and cultivation several thousand years prior to the Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

.
It is widely distributed throughout the tropical belt, from Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 to South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, Northern Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, and throughout South East Asia, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

In the 16th century, it was heavily introduced to Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, as well as South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, by Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 and Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 colonists, to the degree that it became very commonly used.

Description

The tamarind is a long-lived, medium-growth, bushy
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 which attains a maximum crown
Crown (botany)
The crown of a plant refers to the totality of the plant's aboveground parts, including stems, leaves, and reproductive structures. A plant canopy consists of one or more plant crowns growing in a given area....

 height of 12.1 to 18.3 metres (40 to 60 feet). The crown has an irregular, vase
Vase
The vase is an open container, often used to hold cut flowers. It can be made from a number of materials including ceramics and glass. The vase is often decorated and thus used to extend the beauty of its contents....

-shaped outline of dense foliage. The tree grows well in full sun in clay
Clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

, loam
Loam
Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration . Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils...

, sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

y, and acidic soil
Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

 types, with a high drought and aerosol salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 (wind-borne salt as found in coastal area) resistance.

Leaves are evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

, bright green
Green
Green is a color, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 520–570 nanometres. In the subtractive color system, it is not a primary color, but is created out of a mixture of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; it is considered...

 in colour, elliptical ovular, arrangement is alternate, of the pinnately compound type, with pinnate venation and less than 5 cm (2 inches) in length. The branch
Branch
A branch or tree branch is a woody structural member connected to but not part of the central trunk of a tree...

es droop from a single, central trunk
Trunk (botany)
In botany, trunk refers to the main wooden axis of a tree that supports the branches and is supported by and directly attached to the roots. The trunk is covered by the bark, which is an important diagnostic feature in tree identification, and which often differs markedly from the bottom of the...

 as the tree matures and is often pruned in human agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 to optimize tree density and ease of fruit harvest
Harvest
Harvest is the process of gathering mature crops from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper...

. At night, the leaflets close up.

The tamarind does flower, though inconspicuously, with red and yellow elongated flowers. Flowers are 2.5 cm wide (one inch), five-petal
Petal
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They often are brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying...

led, borne in small raceme
Raceme
A raceme is a type of inflorescence that is unbranched and indeterminate and bears pedicellate flowers — flowers having short floral stalks called pedicels — along the axis. In botany, axis means a shoot, in this case one bearing the flowers. In a raceme, the oldest flowers are borne...

s, and yellow with orange or red streaks. Bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

s are pink as the four sepal
Sepal
A sepal is a part of the flower of angiosperms . Collectively the sepals form the calyx, which is the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower. Usually green, sepals have the typical function of protecting the petals when the flower is in bud...

s are pink and are lost when the flower bloom
Blossom
In botany, blossom is a term given to the flowers of stone fruit trees and of some other plants with a similar appearance that flower profusely for a period of time in spring...

s.

The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is an indehiscent
Dehiscence (botany)
Dehiscence is the opening, at maturity, in a pre-defined way, of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents. Sometimes this involves the complete detachment of a part. Structures that open in this way are said to be dehiscent...

 legume, sometimes called a pod, 12 to 15 cm (3 to 6 inches) in length, with a hard, brown shell.
The fruit has a fleshy, juicy, acidulous pulp. It is mature when the flesh is coloured brown or reddish-brown. The tamarinds of Asia have longer pods containing six to 12 seeds, whereas African and West Indian varieties have short pods containing one to six seeds. The seeds are somewhat flattened, and glossy brown.

The tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste, and is high in acid
Acid
An acid is a substance which reacts with a base. Commonly, acids can be identified as tasting sour, reacting with metals such as calcium, and bases like sodium carbonate. Aqueous acids have a pH of less than 7, where an acid of lower pH is typically stronger, and turn blue litmus paper red...

, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, B vitamins and, interestingly for a fruit, calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

.

As a tropical species, it is frost sensitive. The pinnate leaves with opposite leaflets give a billowing effect in the wind. Tamarind timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

 consists of hard, dark red heartwood and softer, yellowish sapwood.

Tamarind is harvested by pulling the pod from its stalk. A mature tree may be capable of producing up to 175 kg (350 lb) of fruit per year. Veneer grafting, shield (T or inverted T) budding
Shield budding
Shield budding is a technique of grafting to change varieties of fruit trees. Typically used in fruit tree propagation, it can also be used for many other kinds of nursery stock. An extremely sharp knife is necessary; specialty budding knives are on the market...

, and air layering may be used to propagate desirable selections. Such trees will usually fruit within three to four years if provided optimum growing conditions.

Alternative names

Globally, it is most numerous in South Asia, where it is widely distributed and has a long history of human cultivation. Many South Asian regional languages have their own unique name for the tamarind fruit. In Sanskrit, it is called tintidior "Aamlika". In Assamese
Assamese language
Assamese is the easternmost Indo-Aryan language. It is used mainly in the state of Assam in North-East India. It is also the official language of Assam. It is also spoken in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeast Indian states. Nagamese, an Assamese-based Creole language is widely used in...

, it is called teteli. It is called tetul (তেঁতুল) in Bangla. In Oriya, it is called tentuli, in Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 it is called imli; in Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

 the amli, and Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

 and Konkani
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

 the chinch; in Kannada it is called hunase (ಹುಣಸೆ), Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

 chintachettu (tree) and chintapandu (fruit extract), In Malayalam it is called vaalanpuli (വാളന്‍പുളി) and in Rajasthani
Rajasthani language
Rajasthani Rajasthani Rajasthani (Devanagari: , Perso-Arabic: is a language of the Indo-Aryan languages family. It is spoken by 50 million people in Rajasthan and other states of India and in some areas of Pakistan. The number of speakers may be up to 80 million worldwide...

 it is known as Aamli (आम्ली). In Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 in Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, it is known as imli. In Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 in Sinhala, it is called siyambala; and northern areas in Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 also as the puli (புளி). In the Cook Islands
Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand...

 in Cook Islands Maori
Cook Islands Maori
The Cook Islands Māori language, also called Māori Kūki 'Āirani or Rarotongan, is the official language of the Cook Islands. Most Cook Islanders also call it Te reo Ipukarea, literally "the language of the Ancestral Homeland"....

 Māori Kūki Āirani or Rarotonganis language Tamarindus is called tamarene. In Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 it is called má kăam (มะขาม).

In Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 and Malaysia, tamarind is known as the asam (or asem) Jawa (means Javanese asam), which in the Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 and Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 languages, translates as Javanese sour [sic: fruit] (though the literature may also refer to it as sambaya). In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, tamarind is referred to as sampaloc, which is occasionally rendered as sambalog in Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

 and sambag in Cebuano
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

.
The Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

 term is me. In Taiwan, it is called loan-tz. In Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, it is called magee-bin (tree) and magee-thee (fruit). The tamarind is the provincial tree of the Phetchabun province
Phetchabun Province
Phetchabun is one of the northern provinces of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are Loei, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Lopburi, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit and Phitsanulok.- Geography :...

 of Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 (in Thailand it is called ma-kham). In Laos it is called maak-kham. In Malagasy
Malagasy language
Malagasy is the national language of Madagascar, a member of the Austronesian family of languages. Most people in Madagascar speak it as a first language as do some people of Malagasy descent elsewhere.-History:...

 it is called voamadilo and kily.

In Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, it is called tamarindo. In the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, tamarind is sometimes called tamón. In Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, however, it is also called "tambran".

In Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, it is called dawadawa. In Malawi, it is called bwemba.
In Turkey, it is called "demir hindi". In Hausa ,it is called "Tsamiya"

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) should not be confused with "Manila tamarind" (Pithecellobium dulce
Pithecellobium dulce
Pithecellobium dulce is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. It is introduced and extensively naturalised in the Caribbean, Florida, Guam and Southeast Asia. It is considered an invasive species in Hawaii.It...

), which is a different plant, though also of Fabaceae
Fabaceae
The Fabaceae or Leguminosae, commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, is a large and economically important family of flowering plants. The group is the third largest land plant family, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species...

.

Cultivation

Seeds can be scarified
Scarification (botany)
Scarification in botany involves cutting the seed coat using abrasion, thermal stress, or chemicals to encourage germination.-In botany:Scarification is a natural process important for germination of many species' seeds. This process involves the breaching of the natural seed coating by mechanical,...

 or briefly boiled to enhance germination
Germination
Germination is the process in which a plant or fungus emerges from a seed or spore, respectively, and begins growth. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm. However the growth of a sporeling from a spore, for example the...

. They retain germination capability after several months if kept dry.

Although native to Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and tropical Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 are the largest consumers and commercial producers of tamarind.

The tamarind has also long been naturalized in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Malaysia, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, and the Pacific Islands
Pacific Islands
The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are also sometimes collectively called Oceania, although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago....

. Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 has the largest plantations of the ASEAN nations, followed by Indonesia, Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, and the Philippines. In India, extensive tamarind orchard
Orchard
An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit or nut-producing trees which are grown for commercial production. Orchards are also sometimes a feature of large gardens, where they serve an aesthetic as well as a productive...

s produce 275,500 tons (250,000 MT) annually. The pulp is marketed in northern Malaya
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

.
It is cultivated all over India, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, it is a large-scale commercial crop common (second in net production quantity to India) in the mainly Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 states due to tropical and semitropical climes, notably South Florida, and as a shade and fruit tree, along roadsides and in dooryards and parks.
There are large commercial plantations in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Mexico, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, and Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

.

Culinary uses

The fruit pulp is edible. The hard green pulp of a young fruit is considered by many to be too sour and acidic, but is often used as a component of savory dishes, as a pickling
Pickling
Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

 agent or as a means of making certain poisonous yam
Yam (vegetable)
Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea . These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania...

s in Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

 safe for human consumption
Eating
Eating is the ingestion of food to provide for all organisms their nutritional needs, particularly for energy and growth. Animals and other heterotrophs must eat in order to survive: carnivores eat other animals, herbivores eat plants, omnivores consume a mixture of both plant and animal matter,...

.

The ripened fruit is considered the more palatable, as it becomes sweeter and less sour (acidic) as it matures. It is used in desserts as a jam, blended into juices or sweetened drinks, sorbets, ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

s and all manner of snacks. It is also consumed as a natural laxative
Laxative
Laxatives are foods, compounds, or drugs taken to induce bowel movements or to loosen the stool, most often taken to treat constipation. Certain stimulant, lubricant, and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and/or bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under...

.

In Western cuisine, it is found in Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce , or Worcester sauce is a fermented liquid condiment; primarily used to flavour meat or fish dishes.First made at 60 Broad Street, Worcester, England, by two dispensing chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, the Lea & Perrins brand was commercialised in 1837 and...

, and HP sauce
HP Sauce
HP Sauce is a popular brown sauce originally produced by HP Foods in the UK, now produced by H.J. Heinz in the Netherlands.It is the best-known brand of brown sauce in the United Kingdom and Canada as well as the best selling, with 71% of the UK market....

.

Imli chutney
Chutney
Chutney is a a condiment used in South Asian cuisine that usually contains a spice and vegetable mix.Chutneys are wet or dry, having a coarse to fine texture. The Anglo-Indian loan word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. At least several...

 and pulusu use it. Along with tamarind, sugar and spices are added to (regional) taste for chutneys or a multitude of condiment
Condiment
A condiment is an edible substance, such as sauce or seasoning, added to food to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor, or in some cultures, to complement the dish. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving sachets , like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with...

s for a bitter-sweet flavor. The immature pods and flowers are also pickled and used as a side dish. In regional
Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine consists of thousands of regional cuisines which date back thousands of years. The dishes of India are characterised by the extensive use of various Indian spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit. Indian cuisine is also known for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society...

 cuisines, such as Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

(where it is called "Puli") and Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

, use it to make rasam
Rasam
Rasam is a South Indian soup. Traditional preparation involves tamarind juice as base in addition to tomato, chili pepper and other spices as seasonings. Steamed lentils are added by some along with any preferred vegetables. Nowadays all the seasonings required are combined and ground beforehand...

, sambhar, vatha kuzhambu and puliyogare
Puliyogare
Puliyogare is a South Indian rice preparation usually eaten as a snack. Puliyogare is also known as huḷianna in some parts of Karnataka, puḷihora in Andhra Pradesh, Puliyodarai,Puliyorai in Tamil and tamarind rice in English.It is traditionally made using steamed or boiled rice mixed with...

. In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, tender leaves of tamarind called chintha chiguru (ఛింత ఛిగురు) and puliyankozhunthu( புளியங்கொழுந்து) respectively, are used with lentils and making raw chutny and it is also dried and used in place of ripe tamarind for mild flavour. In southern parts of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, mostly along the coastal belt, it is added to fish curry, masalas and ground coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 for flavouring.

In Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is an archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is the first overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe...

, tamarind is known as tamarinier and is used in jams and syrup
Syrup
In cooking, a syrup is a thick, viscous liquid consisting primarily of a solution of sugar in water, containing a large amount of dissolved sugars but showing little tendency to deposit crystals...

s.

In Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, tamarind is rolled into balls (5 cm in diameter) with white granulated sugar and a blend of spices to create tambran balls.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, it is sold in various snack forms: dried and salted; or candied (see for example pulparindo
Pulparindo
Pulparindo is the trade name of a Mexican candy produced by de la Rosa. The candy is made from the pulp of the tamarind fruit, and is flavored with sugar, salt, and chili peppers, making it simultaneously tart, sweet, salty, and spicy...

or chamoy
Chamoy
Chamoy refers to a variety of savory sauces and condiments in Mexican cuisine made from pickled fruit. Chamoy may range from a liquid to a paste consistency, and typically its flavor is salty, sweet, sour and spiced with powdered chiles all at the same time....

snacks).

Agua fresca beverage, iced fruit bars and raspados all use it as the main ingredient. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Mexican
Mexican people
Mexican people refers to all persons from Mexico, a multiethnic country in North America, and/or who identify with the Mexican cultural and/or national identity....

 immigrants have fashioned the agua de tamarindo
Tamarindo (drink)
Agua de tamarindo is an agua fresca drink from Mexican cuisine. It is made with tamarind after it has been boiled in water, has had its seeds removed, and has been liquified and combined with sugar. It is typically sold at taquerías and typical cuisine restaurants in Mexico...

drink, the Jarritos
Jarritos
Jarritos is a popular brand of soft drink in Mexico. Jarritos was started by Don Francisco "El Güero" Hill in 1950. The Jarritos brand is currently owned by Novamex, a large independent-bottling conglomerate based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, property of the Hill & ac. Co...

 tamarind drink (the first introduced and second most popular flavour of the brand) and many other treats. Tamarind snacks, such as Mexico's Pelon Pelo Rico
Pelon Pelo Rico
Pelón Pelo Rico is a popular tamarind-flavored candy made under the Lorena brand by the Hershey Company in Jalisco, Mexico. It comes in regular, sour lime, and extra spicy flavors...

candies are available in specialty food stores worldwide.

A sour, chilled drink made from tamarind is served in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

A traditional food plant in Africa, tamarind has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.

In southern Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, the Swahili people
Swahili people
The Swahili people are a Bantu ethnic group and culture found in East Africa, mainly in the coastal regions and the islands of Kenya, Tanzania and north Mozambique. According to JoshuaProject, the Swahili number in at around 1,328,000. The name Swahili is derived from the Arabic word Sawahil,...

 use it to garnish legumes and also make juice
Juice
Juice is the liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue.Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree...

s. In Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 it is used to give rice some sour flavour.
In Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, its fruits and leaves are a well-known favorite of the ring-tailed lemur
Ring-tailed Lemur
The ring-tailed lemur is a large strepsirrhine primate and the most recognized lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to Lemuridae, one of five lemur families. It is the only member of the Lemur genus. Like all lemurs it is endemic to the island of Madagascar...

s, providing as much as 50% of their food resources during the year if available.
In northern Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, it is used with millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

 powder to prepare kunun tsamiya, a traditional pap mostly used as breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night's sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work...

, and usually eaten with bean cake.

In Turkey, it is called "Demirhindi" and is consumed as a sweetened cold drink. It is also available as a fruit but is not well known by the general population since it is not grown locally and is imported.

The Javanese
Javanese cuisine
Javanese cuisine is the cuisine of Javanese people. In wider sense, Javanese cuisine might also refer to the cuisine of the whole people of Java Island, Indonesia; which also include Sundanese in West Java, Betawi people in Jakarta and Madurese on Madura Island off East Java...

 dish gurame and more so ikan asem, also known as ikan asam (sweet and sour fish, commonly a carp or river fish) is served throughout Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

; Some dishes in Manado
Manado
Manado is the capital of the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia. Manado is located at the Bay of Manado, and is surrounded by a mountainous area. The city has about 405,715 inhabitants, making it the second-largest city in Sulawesi after Makassar...

, Sulawesi
Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

 and Maluku
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

 cuisines use Tamarind.

In Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, the Kazouza company sells a tamarind-flavoured carbonated beverage.

In Myanmar, young and tender leaves and flower buds are eaten as a vegetable. A salad dish of tamarind leaves, boiled beans, and crushed peanuts topped with crispy fried onions is served in rural Myanmar.

In the Philippines, tamarind is used in foods like sinigang
Sinigang
Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour flavor most often associated with tamarind .- Ingredients :Sinigang is traditionally tamarind based. Other versions of the dish derive their sourness from ingredients such as guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or raw mango among others...

soup, and also made into candies. The leaves are also used in sinampalukan soup.

In Thailand, a cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

 has been bred specifically to be eaten as a fresh fruit: it is particularly sweet and minimally sour. It is also sometimes eaten preserved in sugar with chili as a sweet-and-spicy candy.
Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Pad Thai or Phat Thai is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce , tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, plus any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime, the juice of which can be added along with Thai condiments Pad...

  often includes tamarind for its tart/sweet taste (with lime juice added for sourness and fish sauce added for saltiness and umami). A tamarind-based sweet-and-sour sauce is served over deep-fried fish in central Thailand.

Medicinal uses

Phytochemical
Phytochemical
Phytochemicals are biologically active chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants . Phytochemicals are the molecules responsible for the color and organoleptic properties . For example, the deep purple color of blueberries and the smell of garlic...

 studies have revealed the presence of tannin
Tannin
A tannin is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.The term tannin refers to the use of...

s, saponin
Saponin
Saponins are a class of chemical compounds, one of many secondary metabolites found in natural sources, with saponins found in particular abundance in various plant species...

s, sesquiterpene
Sesquiterpene
Sesquiterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of three isoprene units and have the molecular formula C15H24. Like monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes may be acyclic or contain rings, including many unique combinations...

s, alkaloid
Alkaloid
Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Also some synthetic compounds of similar structure are attributed to alkaloids...

s and phlobatamins and other extracts active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, at temperatures of 4–30 °C (39.2–86 F). Studies on the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of the extracts on the test organisms showed the lowest MIC and the MBC were demonstrated against Salmonella
Salmonella
Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which grade in all directions . They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction...

 paratyphi
, Bacillus subtilis and Salmonella typhi and the highest MIC and MBC were exhibited against Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus is a facultative anaerobic Gram-positive coccal bacterium. It is frequently found as part of the normal skin flora on the skin and nasal passages. It is estimated that 20% of the human population are long-term carriers of S. aureus. S. aureus is the most common species of...

.

In northern Nigeria, fresh stem bark and fresh leaves are used as decoction
Decoction
Decoction is a method of extraction, by boiling, of dissolved chemicals, or herbal or plant material, which may include stems, roots, bark and rhizomes. Decoction involves first mashing, and then boiling in water to extract oils, volatile organic compounds, and other chemical substances...

 mixed with potash for the treatment of stomach disorders, general body pain, jaundice, yellow fever and as blood tonic and skin cleanser. In Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and Javanese traditional medicine, asem leaves are used as a herbal infusion
Infusion
An infusion is the outcome of steeping plants with desired chemical compounds or flavors in water or oil.-History:The first recorded use of essential oils was in the 10th or 11th century by the Persian polymath Avicenna, possibly in The Canon of Medicine.-Preparation techniques:An infusion is very...

 for malarial fever, the fruit juice as an antiseptic, and for scurvy
Scurvy
Scurvy is a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of collagen in humans. The chemical name for vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is derived from the Latin name of scurvy, scorbutus, which also provides the adjective scorbutic...

 and even cough cure. Throughout Southeast Asia fruit of the tamarind as used a poultice
Poultice
A poultice, also called cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth over the skin to treat an aching, inflamed, or painful part of the body. It can be used on wounds such as cuts...

 applied to foreheads of fever sufferers.

Tamarind is used as in Indian Ayurvedic medicine
Ayurveda
Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, words , meaning "longevity", and , meaning "knowledge" or "science". The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India,...

 for gastric and/or digestion problems, and in cardioprotective activity.

In animal studies, tamarind has been found to lower serum cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Due to a lack of available human clinical trials, there is insufficient evidence to recommend tamarind for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia
Hypercholesterolemia
Hypercholesterolemia is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is not a disease but a metabolic derangement that can be caused by many diseases, notably cardiovascular disease...

 or diabetes.

Based on human study, tamarind intake may delay the progression of skeletal fluorosis
Skeletal fluorosis
Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease caused by excessive consumption of fluoride. In advanced cases, skeletal fluorosis causes pain and damage to bones and joints.-Forms:...

 by enhancing excretion of fluoride. However, additional research is needed to confirm these results.

Excess consumption has been noted as a traditional laxative
Laxative
Laxatives are foods, compounds, or drugs taken to induce bowel movements or to loosen the stool, most often taken to treat constipation. Certain stimulant, lubricant, and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and/or bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under...

.

Other medicinal uses include:
Anthelminthic (expels worms), antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, asthma, astringent, bacterial skin infections (erysipelas), boils, chest pain, cholesterol metabolism disorders, colds, colic, conjunctivitis (pink eye), constipation (chronic or acute), diabetes, diarrhea (chronic), dry eyes, dysentery (severe diarrhea), eye inflammation, fever, food preservative, food uses (coloring), gallbladder disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, indigestion, insecticide, jaundice, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), leprosy, liver disorders, nausea and vomiting (pregnancy-related), paralysis, poisoning (Datura plant), rash, rheumatism, saliva production, skin disinfectant/sterilization, sore throat, sores, sprains, sunscreen, sunstroke, swelling (joints), urinary stones, wound healing (corneal epithelium).

Carpentry uses

In temples, especially in Buddhist Asian countries, the fruit pulp is used to polish brass shrine furniture, removing dulling and the greenish patina that forms.

The wood is a bold red color. Due to its density and durability, tamarind heartwood can be used in making furniture
Furniture
Furniture is the mass noun for the movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping in beds, to hold objects at a convenient height for work using horizontal surfaces above the ground, or to store things...

 and wood flooring. A tamarind switch
Switch (rod)
A switch is a flexible rod, typically used for corporal punishment of the birching type, called switching after it, especially when using a single branch: multiple branches are rather called a rod, a less flexible single rod is rather called a cane, an inflexible one a stick; a paddle is broader...

 is sometimes used as an implement for corporal punishment
Physical punishment
Physical punishment is any form of penalty in a judicial, educational or domestic setting that takes a physical form, by the infliction on the offender of pain, injury, discomfort or humiliation...

.

Horticultural uses

Throughout Asia and the tropical world, Tamarind trees are used as ornamental, garden and cash crop plantings. Commonly used as a Bonsai species in many Asian countries, it is also grown as an indoor bonsai in temperate parts of the world.

External links

  • Tamarindus indica in Brunken, U., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Janssen, T., Thiombiano, A. & Zizka, G. 2008. West African plants – A Photo Guide. www.westafricanplants.senckenberg.de.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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