The medicinal parts are the fruit pulp and the dried seeds.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers form a terminal raceme and have 3 petals that are 1 cm in length, initially whitish, then yellowish with light-red stripes. They have a calyx with a narrow, top-shaped base, and 4 thickly covered segments. The stamens are fused in a sheath, which is open at the top. The fruit is a 20-cm long by 3-cm wide, matte-brown, slightly compressed, indehiscent, beanlike pod. The fruit has 3 to 12 seeds that are very hard and glossy brown. The seeds are 14 mm long and have an irregular, roundish-quadrangular shape. The mesocarp is odorless, mushy, and sweet.
The plant is indigenous to tropical Africa and is naturalized in North and South America from Florida to Brazil. It is cultivated in subtropical China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, the Phillippines, Java, and Spain.
Tamarind paste is derived from the fruit of Tamarindus indica. The fruit is fermented for a long time in the sun. The initially red-brown fruit attains a black or black-brown hue and becomes more aromatic and sour. The paste is boiled to a glutinous mass, which is the finished product.
Actions & Pharmacology
Fruit acids: tartaric acid (3-10%); including among others, malic acid, citric acid, lactic acid
Invert sugar (25-30%)
Pyrazines and thiazols (aromatic substances)
The drug, which contains organic acids and pectine, is said to be laxative; however, the mode of action has not been documented. Various extracts have shown inflammation-inhibiting effects in animals. Antimicrobial and immunomodulating effects have also been seen, as have wound-healing properties.
Indications & Usage
The drug is used for chronic or acute constipation and liver and gallbladder ailments.
The drug is used for bilious vomiting, alcohol intoxication, fever, pharyngitis, stomatitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
Tamarindus indica is used for stomachaches.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.
Mode of Administration
Tamarind is taken orally and is usually used in combination with other laxatives, such as figs.
To make a clean paste, soften the raw tamarind paste in hot water, strain through a sieve, and steam to a soft consistency in a water bath; mix the paste with sugar.
10 to 50 g of cleaned tamarind paste, pure or with other purgatives, is taken in fruit cubes.
5 drops, 1 tablet, or 10 globules, every 30 to 60 minutes (acute) or 1 to 3 times daily (chronic); parenterally: 1 to 2 mL sc, acute: 3 times daily; chronic: once a day (HAB34).
Store in a tightly sealed container.