The Many Uses and Health Benefits of Sampalok (Tamarind)

Sampalok or Tamarind is not considered as high value crop. In fact I rarely see someone selling it. Most of the tamarind fruits are just falling and rotting on the ground unnoticed.

After reading this file of sampalok uses and health health benefits, this crop should be considered as one of Philippine high value crops.

All uses and health benefits are compile by Bureau of Plant and Industry.

1) The young leaves, flowers, and young pods are used by Filipinos for seasoning food like “sinigang”

2) The seeds, surrounded by the brownish pulp locally called “tamarindo” are often made into balls of less than fist-size and sold in the markets.

3) Jam, sweets, and drinks such as sherbet are made from them.

4) The seeds are eaten after the outer skin has been removed by roasting or soaking; they are boiled or fried.

5) An ink is made in Java by burning the bark.

6) In Mexico the wood is found to be valuable for boiling purposes and furnished excellent charcoal for the manufacture of gunpowder.

7) The leaves are used in dyeing

8) A decoction of the leaves is used as a bath in fevers, puerperism, and convalescence.

9) The pulp is used as a mild laxative because of the presence of potassium bitartrate.

10) The pulp is also administered, dissolved in sweetened water, to calm the thirst in fevers.

11) The “malasebo” is considered by the Filipinos as useful in constipation.

12) Kamel reports the use of tamarind in bilious vomiting and against cholera.

13) The bark is astringent and tonic.

14) The ash of the bark is given internally as a digestive.

15) The bark, fried with common salt in an earthen pot till it makes white ash, and powdered, is a remedy for colic and indigestion in one- to two-grain doses.

16) A gargle of the ash and water is used for sore throat and to heal aphthous sores.

17)The bark, in lotions and in poultices relieves sores, ulcers, boils, and caterpillar rash.

18) In Mauritius a decoction of the bark is prescribed for asthma, and in Madagascar it is likewise employed, also being used foe amenorrhoea.

19) In East Sudan the bark is used as a tonic and febrifuge.

20) The young leaves are used in fomentations for rheumatism, and are applied to sores and wounds.

21) A decoction of the leaves may be administered for fevers in Malaya.

22) A poultice of the leaves is recommended for inflammatory swellings, to relieve pain.

23) The leaves, crushed with water and expressed, yield and acid fluid useful in bilious fever and in scalding of the urine.

24) The leaves when crushed with water and made into poultice, are applied to inflammations of the ankles, joints, etc so as to reduce swelling and to relieve pain.

25) A decoction of the leaves used as a wash for indolent ulcers promotes healthy action.

26) The juice of the leaves, warmed by dipping a hot-red iron into it, is given in dysentery.

27) The Cambodians drop the filtered hot juice of the young leaves into the eyes for conjunctivitis.

28)A decoction of the leaves is used in the West Indies to destroy worms in children, and is useful for jaundice.

29) Hindu physicians used pounded leaves for applications to parts affected by erysipelas.

30) A poultice of the flowers is said to be helpful in inflammatory affection of the conjunctiva. The juice expressed from them is given internally for bleeding piles.

31) The pulp is used as an acrid refrigerant and as a gentle laxative.

32) Pereira says that the pulp allays thirst, is nutritive and refrigerant, and, in full doses, is a cooling, laxative. An infusion of tamarinds forms a very pleasant, cooling drink.

34) Nadkarni adds that it is digestive and carminative, and a valuable antiscorbutic and antibilious medicine.

35) The pulp of the ripe fruit is applied to inflammatory swellings to relieve pain. He continuous that the Hakims considered the pulp useful for checking bilious vomiting, for purging the system of bile, and for adjusting humours.

36) A gargle of tamarind water is useful in healing aphthous sores and sore throat. Heyne states that the “liquid” which oozes out when the pulp is allowed to stand during storage is regarded in Java as a good cure for complaints of the mucous membrane of the mouth.

37)  Waring states that the tamarind pulp may be given with great advantage in scurvy, both as a preventive and as a curative, but it must be discontinued if it causes griping and diarrhea; otherwise, it is valuable antiscorbutic, and as such may be taken on board ship, or form a portion of daily rations in jails, etc.

38) Grieve mentions that the Creoles in Mauritius mix salt with the pulp and use it is a liniment for rheumatism.

39) Nadkarni states that the seeds are astringent. The testa is a mild astringent. The powdered seeds are given in dysentery and used as a poultice for boils after being deducted boiled.

40) Macmillan says that the seeds are used in chronic diarrhea.

Source: Food Recap

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