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It is believed that Tamarind was originated in East Africa – especially in Madagascar. But with time, the plant was started to grow extensively in India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and West Indies due to the popularity it had as a fruit and a spice.

Tamarind trees usually grow for about 25 meters in height. Its fruit comes as brownish pods with a couple seeds inside which were soaked in a thick – dark colored paste.

People tend to eat tamarind as a fruit when it’s fully ripe. But, in countries like Sri Lanka, tamarind is often considered as a spice, which is made by drying the fruit with the seeds. When the spice is prepared, it tastes sweet and sour with a delicious flavor which is unique to itself.

For centuries, tamarind has been used to make medicines as well in ayurveda and traditional Sinhala medicine due to healing properties in contains.

So, tamarind is not only a flavoring ingredient, but also an herb.

Ingredients and benefits of tamarind

Tamarind contains carbohydrates, essential dietary fiber, protein, sugar, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Research suggests that tamarind is rich in antioxidants as well.

So, with the help of those nutrients, tamarind can bring health benefits as follows:

  • Improves blood cholesterol levels
  • Improves heart health
  • Improves bone health
  • Protects the liver
  • Helps to maintain a fair skin
  • Treats respiratory syndromes such as dry cough and asthma
  • Protects against cancer