Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Tamarind | Imli Medicinal Uses & Benefits: Sore Muscle Relief Pain Balm


This tamarind/ imli pain balm is one of the best natural sore muscle pain relievers. The thought of ripe tamarind brings back fond childhood memories. I used to love eating it. In our house, there is not a single day, that we have not used tamarind in our cooking. Every summer, we collect fresh ripe tamarind from the trees in our farm. Remove the outer shell, seeds and store it in huge earthen pots along with little salt. Other than culinary uses, tamarind  has medicinal uses too. Before the store bought pain balm became famous, tamarind paste was the first choice for sore muscles, minor sprains and swollen joints. It helps to reduce the pain and swelling without any burning sensation that usually accompanies a store bought pain balm. It is so gentle on the skin too. To make this pain balm, remove the shell and the inner seeds of ripe tamarind. Soak the flesh in water for 2 to 3 hours. Make a smooth paste out of it in the blender. Add a little salt and turmeric powder to it and boil the paste till it reaches a thick creamy consistency. Apply the paste on the affected area, when it is still warm! 

1. Take fresh, ripe tamarind. Remove the outer shell. Take the flesh and remove the seeds from it.

2. Soak the flesh in water for at least 2 to 3 hours. Blend to a smooth puree in a mixer.

3. Take the puree in a pan along with little bit of salt and turmeric powder.

4. Boil till thick. Wait for it cool a bit and apply it while it is still warm.

  • Blend to smooth puree, else the balm will have lumps.
  • Use organic or homemade turmeric powder.
  • If you don't get fresh tamarind, use store bought tamarind. 
  • This balm is only for very minor sprains and soreness.


  1. i have done this whenever my husband feels swelling in his leg! did too amma too ! :D
    lovely one ! Even i ate so much of tamarind esp fresh one with tangy ! i mix with sugar and salt ! did u try that ?

  2. How to make the tumeric powder?
    Do you use kal uppu, rock salt from sea or indhuppu, salt from the mountains?

  3. If we cook with fresh tamarind, how many pods should we use or what is equal to a lime size ball everyone says to use?

  4. Hi,
    Use 3 big ripe tamarinds. To make turmeric powder, break dried turmeric(fat variety) into small pieces, sun dry and powder it in a mixer.

    1. So three pods equal one lime size ball?
      If the fat one is dried already why it needs to be dried again? How much to use each time we cook like a curry?

  5. Hi,
    I can't precisely say how many pods is "Lime sized" as it depends on the size and variety of your tamarind. For the amount to use in curry, we use according to the quantity and the type curry we make. As for the turmeric powder, You have to break and dry it again, as the insides won't be dried completely. If you don't dry the turmeric properly before powdering, it will spoil soon.

  6. Lower back pain remedy and prevention for physical work?


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