The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Tamarind

Scientific Names

Tamarind

  • Tamarindus indica L.
  • Caesalpinia family

Common Names

  • Au-mi-lo (Chinese name)

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Parts Usually Used

Fruit, leaves
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Tamarind

Tamarind is an evergreen tree; it grows up to 80 feet high; its trunk, covered with shaggy, brownish-gray bark, may reach 25 feet in diameter. The alternate, even-pinnate leaves have from 2- to 40 small, opposite, oblong leaflets. The pale yellow flowers have petals with red veins and grow in racemes at the ends of the branches. Flowering time in the northern hemisphere is during April and May. The fruit is a cinnamon-colored oblong pod, from 3 to 8 inches long, with a thin, brittle shell enclosing a soft, brownish, acidulous pulp.
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Where Found

Found in tropical climates.
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Medicinal Properties

Anthelmintic, laxative, refrigerant
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Tamarind

Tamarind is a tropical tree of India bearing pods with a sweetish sour soft brown pulp. This pulp contains considerable proportion of tartaric acid and invert sugar.

In the Orient a brine is made of the pulp for pickling fish, and an acid jelly made to serve with fish and cold meats. Rice cooked with Tamarind pulp is also eaten with fish or meats.
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Uses

The fruit is a mild laxative. In the tropics, it is commonly eaten as a food and made into cooling beverages. It makes a refreshing drink for those ill with a fever. The natives of the tropics use the leaves externally in a form of poultice or fomentation. A small amount of the pulp of the fruit, mixed with Cassia fistula and the powder of Rhubarb is a refreshing drink and an appetite stimulant. As a laxative, Tamarind pulp is usually used with Senna to modify the action of the latter.
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Formulas or Dosages

Tamarind Whey: mix 1 oz. pulp of the fruit with 1 pint of milk, strain it and add a little sugar to the whey.

Tamarind Beverage: boil 3 pints of water with a teacup of tamarinds, a few currants and raisins until it has evaporated 1/3. Strain and cool.

Tamarind Marmalade: 1 qt. shelled tamarind nuts, water, sugar. Boil tamarinds in plenty of water until soft. Put through sieve to remove seeds and fibers. Measure equal parts of sugar and pulp and simmer slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat a silver spoon. Pour into sterilized jelly glasses and seal with wax.
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Bibliography

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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