Benefits of Tamarind
Ayurvedic medicine uses tamarind as an herbal medicine. Ask your ayurvedic practitioner for advice on uses of tamarind for the health.
Tamarind paste is an incredibly versatile cooking commodity to have in your kitchen. Using tamarind paste in your cooking is very healthy, as it helps to promote good digestion, and encourages effective elimination. This might be partly due to the fact that the Vitamin C content of the tamarind fruit, even when the fruit is dried and made into a paste, is exceptionally high.
Tamarind paste is an important ingredient of Indian cooking, and in the cooking of South East Asia. Tamarind gives a curry that slight acid or tart flavour which imitates lemon juice, and which enhances the other flavours of the curry.
Using Tamarind Paste as a Laxative: You can use tamarind paste as a medicine to help detoxify the bowels. However, tamarind contains oxalic acid, which tends to draw calcium from the body if your calcium intake is not particularly high. This means that tamarind should not be used on its own for people with calcium disturbances, such as osteoporosis, or osteomalacia, or arthritis, or even gout. This does not mean tamarind should be put into the ‘dodgy’ list at all – silver beet, spinach, and beetroot are all quite high in oxalic acid, and are still regarded as healthy foods for some people.
However, tamarind works best, without disturbing calcium absorption too much, when it is used in a curry, especially with coconut milk, meat, or nuts and vegetables, as these all help to balance out the effect of oxalic acid in tamarind, and provide the calcium needed both for your own body metabolism and for the action of the oxalic acid.
Tamarind on its own should be used as an emergency measure, and by people whose constitution is fairly robust. Do not use it if you are on any medications. Ask your doctor before you try this if you are in doubt or have any health problem, including constipation.
If tamarind paste used as a laxative, then take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
The recipe for Tamarind Tea is:
- One teaspoon of tamarind paste
- The juice of one lemon
- One cup of hot, but not boiling, water.
- A large pinch of ginger powder.
Mix the tamarind paste into the hot water. Add the lemon juice and the ginger. Stir well, and take the whole cup of tamarind tea.
- Wait for ten to fifteen minutes, then drink a full glass of whole milk. Do not use thin milk which is fat free, unless you have been advised by your physician or health practitioner to use fat free milk: in this case, you should certainly check with this health professional before using tamarind as a laxative. You need the whole milk to balance out any negative effects from the oxlic acid.
- Nut Milk: If you do not have dairy milk, or cannot digest this, then make up some nut milk. You can use cashews, or almonds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds, or a combination of any of these. Use between a quarter to half a cup of nuts or seeds, and blend these up in about a cup or so of warm water. Take a cup of this nut milk
- Next – eat breakfast just as normal.