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Tamarind Seed
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Tamarind Seeds

Botanically known as Tamarindus Indica, the tamarind plant invariably grows in the tropical regions and is highly appreciated for its ornamental qualities. Belonging to the vast plant family Caesalpiniacae, Tamarind plant has marked a distinct identity of its own due to its numerous uses in food, medicine and other arenas. Though it is for the luscious pulp of the ripened pod, that tamarind has gained immense popularity, however the plant is also cultivated for its useful bark and seeds.

Historical Preview
A native to tropical Africa, tamarind is abundantly spread in the wild regions of Sudan. In India as well, evidences show that tamarind has been growing since ages. "Tamar hindi", was the name that the

Arabs had designated this plant with. It seems that all the names that are associated with tamarind today have been derived from this name only. Ever since the 4th Century B.C., ancient Egyptians and Greeks had relevant knowledge about the tamarind plant and its numerous uses.

Today, as a commercial plant, tamarind is grown on a large scale in different parts of the world like tropical America, Bermuda, the Bahamas, South Florida, India and many more. In India, there are special tamarind orchards producing 275,500 tons of tamarind annually. In many parts of the world, it is also grown as a shade and fruit tree.


Researches on Tamarind seeds
T. P. Ghose and S. Krishna, two well known Indian scientists have lately discovered that the tamarind seed kernels contain a gel forming substance. a kernel comprises of about 46 to 48% gel forming substance in it. This gel has astonished many scientists as it has been proved superior to fruit pectin used in the manufacture of jellies, jams, and marmalades, etc.

Not only this, this gel like substance can be used as a fruit preservative and also a stabilizing agent in ice creams, mayonnaise and cheese, etc.


Uses of Tamarind Seeds
The seeds work wonders as an emergency appetizer. They are roasted, and soaked to remove the seedcoat and thereafter boiled and fried or in a simplified manner simply grounded as flour. These roasted seeds can be used as a substitute for coffee. And these are often used to adulterate coffee as well.

Tamarind kernels are powdered and are used in the Indian textile industry as starch. this proves to be a very cost effective deal as the tamarind seed powder is 300% more efficient than corn starch and is extremely economical. The techniocal advantages of using kernel powder in the sizing and finishing cotton, jute and spun viscose are effectively high.

The tamarind seed powder is also used in various other industrial purposes such as
color printing of textiles, paper sizing, leather treating, manufacture of a structural plastic, a glue for wood, a stabilizer in bricks, a binder in sawdust briquettes, and a thickener in some explosives, etc.

The amber oil extracted from tamarind seeds is also used as an illuminant and varnishing agent. The culinary oil is highly palatable and thus finds a wide range of utilities.
The Leaves, flowers, seeds and fruits of tamarind plant provide good animal fodder, but can also be used for various foods.

The tannin-rich seedcoat of the seeds is used as an adhesive for plywoods and in dyeing and tanning, though it is of inferior quality and gives a red hue to leather.


Medicinal uses

  • The powdered tamarind seeds are transformed into a paste for drawing boils and are prescribed for chronic diarrhea and dysentery. The seedcoat also beiong an astringent is specified for the latter disorders.
  • The tamarind kernels are used as an ingredient in various medicines. These prove very effective in curing fever, intestinal diseases and diarrhoea.
  • The powdered seeds are used against dysentery, colic and digestive disorders.