TamarindPosted 8 years ago under Uncategorized
With almost every part of the tree able to be used, the tamarind is a versatile fruit. While the pulp inside the fruit is the most widely used part of the plant, other parts are used as well. The leaves and flowers are used in teas and tinctures for medicinal purposes. 1 The fruit is found to be useful in detoxing from fluoride and keeping the body from getting rid of too much zinc and magnesium. 2 These fruits are high in nutrition and should be added to anyone’s diet.
Tamarind grows on the Tamarindus indica tree.
Kingdom (Plantae) → Angiosperms → Eudicots → Rosids → Order (Fabales) → Family (Fabaceae) → Subfamily (Caesalpinioideae) → Tribe (Detarieae) → Genus (Tamarindus) → Species (Tamarindus indica)
Tamarinds grow on trees that can reach heights of 80 to 100 feet and have a circumference of the trunk of up to 25 feet. These trees are long-lived. The leaves are bright green and 3 to 6 inches in length. Though the tree is considered to be an evergreen, it will shed its leaves during drought-like conditions. The flowers are only an inch in diameter and are yellow with streaks of red or orange on the petals. The fruits are pods that are 2 to 7 inches in length and brown in color. Once ripe, the inside pulp turns to brown or reddish-brown in color and becomes very paste-like in consistency. Each pod can contain up to 12 seeds on average. 3
Though the tamarind tree originated in Africa, it spread to India centuries ago where it is so widely cultivated that its name in different languages reflects the Indian influence. Now, it grows in tropical environments around the world including Hawaii, Central and South America, and the Bahamas. The fruit does not tolerate extremely wet weather for long and requires dry periods for fruit development. It tolerates a variety of soil types. 4
Tamarind is an extremely rich source of nutrition, including dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is high in B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is high in tartaric acid, a powerful antioxidant, as well as phytochemicals such as limonene, safrole, cinnamic acid, and pyrazine. 5
Tamarind is grown from seed, cuttings, or graftings. A tree can produce between 330 and 500 lbs of tamarind fruit a year. 4 They take 6-8 years on average to produce fruit which can be harvested from late spring through the fall. 6 India is the world’s largest producer of tamarind. 1
Diseases, Pests, Predators
The tamarind tree is rarely affected by diseases or pests except when the fruit is fully ripe. At that point, beetles and fungi can become a serious problem. 6 Other possible diseases include scales and possible pests include mealybugs and borers. 7