Most of us know that the tangy tamarind fruit is packed with health benefits. But did you know that even its seed is rich in proteins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and minerals?Tamarind seeds act as a home remedy for indigestion, throat infections, arthritis, and cancer, to name just a few of their benefits. Stay tuned for some of the most common health benefits and ways to use tamarind seeds for better health.
1. Beneficial for teeth
It’s said that rubbing tamarind seed powder on your gums and teeth may have beneficial effects, especially for people who smoke a lot. Excessive consumption of soft drinks and smoking can lead to the deposition of tartar and plaque. Tamarind seeds come to your rescue by cleaning your teeth properly.
2. Helps in Promoting Digestion
Tamarind seed juice is known to be a natural remedy for curing indigestion and increasing bile production. Not only that, but it’s rich in dietary fibre, which further helps to naturally reduce cholesterol. Fibre also helps to improve your digestive system.
You can treat indigestion naturally by making your own tamarind seed juice. Additionally, the red outer coat of tamarind contains xyloglucan, which acts as a substitute for fruit pectin, making it a good treatment for diarrhoea.
3. May prevent infections
Thanks to their antibacterial properties, tamarind seeds may be able to help protect your skin and body from infections. Studies suggest that the seeds can protect the body from intestinal and urinary tract infections, though more research is needed on the subject.
4. Helps manage diabetes
Tamarind seeds can protect the pancreas, helping it to maintain a good level of insulin-producing cells. Drinking tamarind seed water is thought to help manage blood sugar levels naturally.
Tamarind seeds can also lower blood glucose levels by lowering the pressure on the pancreas. For diabetic people struggling with their weight, tamarind seeds can assist in weight loss while improving insulin resistance at the same time.
It’s worth knowing, though, that tamarind might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control, so if you have diabetes and you want to start using tamarind seeds in your diet, make sure to monitor your blood sugar levels closely. You may also need to make the appropriate dosing adjustments for your diabetes medications.
Tamarind seeds contain potassium, which can be useful for patients suffering from hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. They are also rich in unsaturated fats, which play a key role in keeping your cholesterol in control.
The linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid found in tamarind seeds, prevents cardiovascular disorders such as atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, along with preventing high blood pressure.
You can use tamarind seeds alongside medications to stay heart healthy. It’s best to consult a doctor before using the seeds for managing any health condition, and they’re certainly not miracle-workers, so don’t consider using them alone without your essential medication.
6. Treats Sore Throat
Tamarind seed juice can be used as a natural mouthwash, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds, which help to fight sore throats and throat infections.
There are many stories on the internet from people who claim that tamarind seed juice, made by adding a pinch of tamarind seed powder in a glass of warm water, has worked wonders for their sore throat in just minutes – but other research argues that tamarind seed powder should be avoided by people with sore throats, so this one’s up for debate! It’s still worth a try if you’re dealing with a scratchy throat – just gargle with the solution to hopefully experience soothing relief.
7. Promotes Immunity
Packed with immune-boosting properties, tamarind seed aids in the production of haemoglobin, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The seeds also showed an increase in the level of immune cells, CD4+, and CD8+ cells, in research. These offer protection against a wide range of infections and diseases.
Tamarind is a rich source of vitamin C and has antiseptic properties to help the body to heal from a wide range of infections. Consuming tamarind seeds on a daily basis is a great way to stay virus and infection-free.
8. Treats Arthritis
Emerging studies have found that tamarind seeds can ease joint pain and provide relief from symptoms of arthritis. This is largely down to their anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to balance the body’s natural inflammation levels and prevent flare-ups.
To reap the benefits of the seeds, add half a teaspoon of roasted tamarind seed powder to a glass of water and drink this solution twice a day. This is thought to be enough to improve joint lubrication and ease joint pain.
9. Anti-Cancer Properties
The anti-cancer properties of tamarind seeds are not yet widely known or understood. The seed extract of tamarind has shown promise in studies to not only treat colon cancer but also prevent the emergence of cancer in the first place.
It may also be effective in delaying renal cell carcinoma and decreasing oxidative stress, which can increase free radical production and put you at a higher risk of cancer.
10. Treats Dry Eyes
If you suffer from dry eyes, a new natural remedy may be worth trying out – tamarind seed extract. Early research shows that eye drops containing tamarind seed extract might improve symptoms of dry eye. The research found that tamarind seeds can work just as well as hyaluronic acid, a popular ingredient in eye drops, at treating the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
11. Offers Constipation Relief
Eating the seeds of the ripe tamarind fruit is one of the simplest methods of treating constipation. The most effective way to use tamarind seeds for treating this issue is to mix a teaspoon of ground seeds with an infusion of senna, which provides natural relief.
Just soak the senna leaves in boiling water like you’re making a cup of tea, then remove the leaves and add the tamarind seeds. Let the liquid stand for 10 minutes to cool before drinking. The recommended dosage is 2 to 3 cups served cold every day.
12. Soothes Colds and Fever
Tamarind can be particularly useful in warding off flu and colds. The seeds of the tamarind are significantly effective for reducing fevers. Research has also found that tamarind seeds can also ease stomach pain that may be associated with some bouts of the flu.
If you’re taking tamarind to cure a cold—and especially if you’re trying to clear your nasal passages—the method most often recommended by health experts is to prepare a glass of hot tamarind rasam, which is a spicy soup with Indian origins. For a simpler and equally soothing solution, just add ground tamarind seeds to hot water with some honey and lemon.
13. Reduces Liver Problems
Research has found that tamarind seeds offer liver protective qualities. These seeds have been shown to decongest the liver and gallbladder, and can also provide antioxidant protection from free radical damage to the liver.
Studies show that the liver retained normal function with fewer areas of damage in participants who took tamarind seed extracts, which is most likely related to the free radical killing effects.
Tamarind has also been shown to reduce fat accumulation in the liver and help the liver to metabolize lipids. Just make sure to speak to your doctor before consuming tamarind seeds alongside liver medication.
14. Reduces Ageing and Dark Spots
Excessive exposure to dust, pollution, sun, and UV rays can often lead to dark patches on the skin. Tamarind is an effective natural skin-lightener that’s worth trying out before spending your money on expensive commercial products. It’s packed with antioxidants, fibre, acids, and vitamins that combat the free radicals responsible for causing premature aging.
Just soak tamarind seeds in hot water for 10 minutes, then add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and stir it all together. Gently dab the mixture onto your face and wash it off after 15 minutes. Your skin will particularly enjoy this formula if it’s prone to excessive oil.
15. Promotes healthy skin
Tamarind seeds contain a compound called xyloglycans that is used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products to topically treat minor rashes on the skin. The seeds also contain hyaluronic acid – the same ingredient that is used in eye drops – which helps to keep the skin moisturised and nourished.
If that wasn’t enough, the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of tamarind make it a good solution for preventing skin diseases such as eczema. Essentially, using tamarind seeds either topically or orally is a great way to keep your skin looking and feeling at peak health.
16. Helps with Weight Management
The weight-loss benefits of tamarind seeds have been demonstrated in a number of studies. One study found that people who consumed a small number of tamarind seeds per day for 10 weeks experienced a decrease in fat production and noticeable weight loss.
Tamarind seeds also decreased levels of fat in the liver and reduced levels of liver enzymes, and increased levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the good form of cholesterol. All of these benefits contribute to weight loss and good health.
As with all natural health foods, tamarind seeds come with a few possible side effects that are worth knowing about. The main potential issue with tamarind seeds is that they have been found in some cases to lower blood sugar levels.
This isn’t usually anything to worry about, but if you’re scheduled for surgery, it’s best to avoid consuming or using them at least two weeks beforehand. Over-eating tamarind seeds may also cause digestive upset, like diarrhea.
How to eat tamarind seeds
Roasted peeled tamarind seeds were a popular snack amongst certain tribes back in the day, but they’re less popular these days, and many people probably don’t know much about how to cook with them. Tamarind seeds are actually quite delicious – they taste a little like roasted peanuts.
To prepare the seeds for eating yourself, dry roast them in your oven until they turn darker in colour. Then remove from the heat and gently crush the seeds so that their tough outer coating cracks. Peel off the seed coat and discard. Transfer the peeled seeds to a bowl.
Soak the seeds in a bowl of buttermilk and a sprinkling of salt overnight. Then divide the seeds and the soaking buttermilk into small bowls. Any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.
If you’ve never tried tamarind seeds before, now’s your chance to give them a go! They taste delicious on their own or in curries, soups, and even salads. They’re not normally popular enough to be sold in supermarkets, but you should be able to find them in your local continental market or online.
You can also grow your own tamarind plant and take the seeds directly from the fruit. Even simpler, tamarind seed oils and powders are widely available online, and you can even buy tamarind products specifically designed for cosmetic use.