Tamarind or imli (in Hindi) belongs to the Fabaceae family, and its botanical name is Tamarindus indica. This plant is native to tropical regions of Africa, but now it can be found in various parts of the world. It is widely used in culinary for preparing chutneys, churnas, jam, jelly’s, dishes and lots of other foods and beverages. Apart from its culinary uses, tamarind is used for medicinal purposes as well. It is blessed with inflammation reducing, healing, immune boosting, carminative, digestive, anti-pyretic, laxative, anodyne, anti-oxidant, vermifuge, tonic and anti-microbial properties. These medicinal values make imli an effective tool for wide range of health problems. Given Below is some health friendly goodness of this wonder ingredient.
Tamarind Health Benefits and Uses
Effective Cure for Digestive Problems
You can achieve better digestive health with this spice because imli is fraught with digestion boosting properties and that’s why it is widely used to prepare digestive stuff like churnas, candies and chutneys. It has digestion boosting, laxative, carminative and other beneficial properties and hence it is helpful in curing various gastro-intestinal problems like lack of appetite, upset stomach, constipation, stomach bloating, gas in stomach, vomiting, diarrhea and other issues.
Laxative properties and high fiber content of tamarind helps stave off and cure constipation. It is also beneficial in treating diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal worms, inflammation etc. It helps cleanse the gastrointestinal tract by maintaining regular bowel movements. It is also effective in treating bile disorders. It aid digestion by stimulating the secretion of gastric juices.
Remedies for common Stomach Problems
Chutney for digestive disorders
You can prevent various digestive problems like poor appetite, indigestion and so forth, by preparing homemade chutney. All you have to do is to sauté some curry leaves ( curry patta), one dried cayenne (lal mirchi), little quantity of imli and little kala namak (black salt). Add some water and grind the ingredients together. Eat this chutney with hot rice. This will cure most of your stomach problems easily.
A drink can be prepared by combining imli pulp with water. Add little quantity of cardamom, black pepper and clove powder. This is an excellent remedy for those who are facing a problem of loss of appetite.
- Make a soup of tamarind by boiling its pulp with water. Add a pinch of heeng (asafetida), black salt and little honey or sugar. Drink quarter cup twice daily.
- Soak tamarind and supari on two cups of water overnight. In the morning, crush them and strain the liquid. Put heeng, jeera powder, black salt and sugar in it and have it.
Grind three leaf buds of shikakai with quarter teaspoon of imli pulp to make a paste. Now, add two teaspoon each of pudina (mint) and dhania(coriander) leaves paste. Finally, add a pinch of heeng, black pepper and black salt. Eat this paste with boiled rice.
Mix one teaspoon of senna and one tablespoon of imli pulp and one tablespoon of gulukand can be used to make an effective remedy for constipation. Senna is a good laxative as it helps increase gastric fluid secretion and bowel movements.
Mash leaves of imli in rice water. Have quarter cup of this once a day.
Beauty Benefits of Tamarind
Skin Care and Hair Care
Imli is immensely beneficial for the skin, as it helps treat various skin problems. Alpha hydroxy acids present in this spice helps diminish the appearance of pigmentation marks like dark spots, age spots, freckles, scars due to pimples and so on. Its skin bleaching effects can help you achieve fair and bright skin complexion. Application of tamarind juice can help you get rid of facial blemishes. It also has anti-aging properties that helps prevent premature aging problems like fine lines and wrinkles. In short, it can make your skin fair, clear and youthful. It can promote hair growth and stop hair loss. It is useful in treating various scalp problems like oily scalp, inflammation, scalp buildup etc.
Moreover, you can get great and problem free skin by maintaining regular bowel movements. Here imli can help you a lot. Consume it to get rid of toxins induced problems like acne, boils and pimples.
Tamarind seeds are also useful in skin care. These seeds are loaded with hydraluronic acid that helps stave off aging problems like fine lines and wrinkles. These seeds are also useful in preparing facial masks, scrubs, and moisturizers. Given below are some uses of tamarind for skin and hair care.
Tamarind Skin Lightening/Whitening Mask
This tangy ingredient is a good skin lightener/whitener. You can use it to fade your skin tone. Make a lightening mask by combining one teaspoon of imli pulp with one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice. Apply it on your cleansed facial skin. Wait for 25 minutes and then wash with cold water. Doing this twice every week will lighten your complexion.
Effective Exfoliating Face Mask
Imli is loaded with AHAs that help remove dead skin cells, dirt and impurities. Combine one tablespoon of pulp with half to one teaspoon of sea salt. Now, add plain yogurt ( curd) if you have oily skin or else add milk cream if you have dry skin type. Apply and massage it on your face for a minute. Keep it on for some time and then wash off. Do this once every week to have clear and clean skin.
Get Immediate Glow on Face
If you want to have an immediate glow on your skin then combine one teaspoon of imli pulp, two teaspoons of besan (gram flour), one teaspoon of honey and little rose water to make a paste. Slather this mask over your face and let it stay on for 25 minutes. Finally, wash off with water.
Make another skin brightening mask by mixing one teaspoon of pulp, two teaspoons of yogurt, one teaspoon each of chandan powder (sandalwood) and multani mitti (Fuller’s earth). Add some rose water. Apply the resultant paste evenly on your face. Allow it to sit on for half an hour and then rinse off.
You can make body scrub recipe to get clear and clean skin all over. Simple combine two teaspoons of imli pulp, one teaspoon of lemon juice, half teaspoon of baking soda and one spoon of sugar. Use this mixture to scrub your back, elbows, hands, neck, knuckles and other part of your body that are not sensitive. Avoid it on waxed and shaved skin.
Tamarind Skin Toner- Best toner ever!
Boil imli pulp with water and strain the liquid. Now, boil tea in water and strain it. Combine both liquid in equal quantities. Add some rose water. Your toner is ready. Use cotton ball to apply it over your face.
Tamarind (Imli) Hair Mask for Hair loss
Here we are going to prepare a hair loss treatment with imli and other natural ingredients. For this, gather the ingredients listed below
Aloe vera – for nourishment
Celery leaves – for strong hair
How to Make
Simply mix all ingredients to form a paste. Apply it on your scalp and hair.Allow it to stand for 20 to 25 minutes and then wash.
Good Immune System
Tamarind is fraught with immune system friendly nutrients and antioxidants that help boost the body’s self defense mechanism. A healthy immune system means that you will less likely to get any type of disease and infection. This spice is loaded with anti microbial and anti-septic properties that helps prevent variety of infections. Consuming tamarind juice daily can help you get strong immunity. Make an immunity boosting drink by soaking tamarind in water overnight. Remove pulp and seeds. Add jaggery and drink this liquid daily.
Cold, Flu and Fever
Anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting and anti- pyretic properties make imli an effective remedy for cold, flu and mild fever.
You can get relief from fever by making a drink and to make this drink, simply boil tamarind, dried dates ( chuara), sugar, elaichi, laung (clove) with milk. Add a pinch of turmeric powder as well. Drink it before going to bed.
When dealing with common cold, make a remedy by boiling tamarind pulp with water. Add black pepper, salt and clove powder. Strain the liquid and drink it hot. This will clear your nasal passage and also detoxify your body.
Symptoms of cold and flu such as sore throat, itchy throat and irritation can be treated by gargling with salt water mixed with dried and powdered imli leaves or bark.
Imli is good for heart health because it helps lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. Potassium present in imli is helpful in lowering the blood pressure and it is also beneficial for maintaining health heart beats. Its cleansing properties help remove plaque from the arteries. Taking ripe imli with misri (sugar candy) helps treat various heart diseases.
Eating high carb, oily foods, fast food and sweet items may result in high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Tamarind controls diabetes by deactivating alpha-amylase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the absorption of carbohydrates. So, if you are dealing with diabestes then look towards your diet and include blood sugar lowering ingredients like imli, jamun seeds, methi, neem and so forth to your diet list
The hydroxycitric acid or HCA present in imli is thought to deactivate an enzyme that helps in fat buildup in the body. Moreover, tamarind helps suppress the appetite and boost up the metabolism. The more the metabolism you have, the more the fat you’ll burn. You can enjoy weight loss effects of tamarind by simply drinking its juice on a regular basis.
Imli is also beneficial in treating various eye problems such as dry eyes, pink eyes, infection and inflammation. Juice of tamarind is said to be helpful in dealing with conjunctivitis. Seeds of this spice can be used to prepare eye drops for dry eyes syndrome. You should always consult with your ophthalmologist before using this natural ingredient.
Piles or Hemorrhoids
Tamarind is said to be helpful in curing bloody piles. Drinking imli leaf juice can help you get rid of your problem.
Ulcers and Jaundice
Boil tamrind with water and have it. It will bring some relief from jaundice. Leaf extract of imli is helpful in curing ulcers.
Have you been facing a problem of leg numbness, pins or needles like sensation on your skin, muscles tenderness? This could be due to deficiency of thiamine vitamin. Deficiency of this nutrient may result in pain and prickly sensation. You can consume tamrind to get an adequate dose of this vitamin. Proper dose of this vitamin will help enhance the nerve function. It is also good for muscle development.
Strong and Healthy Bones
Tamarind is a good source of bone friendly minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. These nutrients are helpful in improving bone density and preventing bone related problems like osteoporosis.
Anti-Inflammatory Effect- No More Pain and Swelling!
Inflammation reducing and pain killing properties of tamarind helps treat swelling, pain and inflammation very effectively. It can be consumed or applied topically to treat various type of pains and aches including joint pain and swelling, headache, sprain. People with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout can use this wonder spice to get rid of swollen and painful joints. A poultice made by imli pulp, flowers and leaves is very effective in dealing with swollen joints. Similarly, A warm mixture of sunhemp, tamarind, jequirity and salt is very beneficial for sprain.
Works as Pain Killer/inflammation and swelling
When the mixture of pulp, leaves, flowers are utilized over swollen or painful joints, it offers immediate comfort. Tamarind leaves smash in water can be used to deal with swollen part.
Leucorrhoea or white discharge cab be cured by taking tamarind seed powder with sugar candy (misri).
Imli Churan Recipe
Imli churan is widely used as a digestive aid in India. You can easily make your own homemade churan recipe at home by using some kitchen based stuff.
Things you’ll need
One to one and a half teaspoon of imli and jaggery (gur)
Half teaspoon each of jeera (cumin) and ajwain (carom) powder
One teaspoon of anardana powder (dried pomegranate seeds)
A pinch of black salt
Quarter teaspoon of hing powder
Lal mirchi (optional)
Simply mix all ingredients together and then make small balls out of it. Have it after your meal.
Imli Heeng or hing (Asafrotida) Churan Goli Recipe
There is no need to buy unhygienic stuff from the market. Prepare your own churan candies at home.
One tablespoon of tamarind pulp
Two tablespoons of gur
One teasoon each of roasted jeera powder, red chilli powder and salt
Quarter teaspoon of hing powder
One tablespoon of powdered sugar (for coating)
How to Make Churan Goli
Mix all ingredients and knead nicely to get dough like consistency. Make small balls out of it and coat them with powdered sugar. Store them in an air tight container.
Tamarind Juice Recipe and Benefits
Tamarind juice is an excellent remedy for sunstroke or heat stroke during summer. It also has digestion boosting effects. Regular intake of this juice helps lower cholesterol and treats bile disorders. Moreover, it is also a good source of essential minerals. Here is simple recipe for you.
Ingredients you’ll need
Two cups of tamarind pods
Two classes of water
Sugar and honey to taste
Little black salt
Boil seedless tamarind with water on low heat settings for 10 minutes. This will give you a thick dark brown liquid.
Strain the liquid.
Add sugar syrup and honey to taste.
Put ice cubes and enjoy!:)
Side Effects of Tamarind
Tamarind has many health benefits however; excessive intake of imli may cause some side effects especially in those who are suffering for any health related problem like bleeding problem. Avoid imli if you are taking blood thinning medicines. Eating too much imli may cause tamarind allergy. Symptoms of this allergy may include stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, itching, dizziness and fainting. It can also cause acidity or heart burn in some people.
But, how much is too much?
Consuming 10 grams of imli daily is considered to be more. So, try not to eat too much in order to keep yourself on the safer side. Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid the use of tamarind.