We use a tamarind almost daily in our home. We generally make tamarind juice to use in cooking but we also make tamarind juice to drink during Ramanavami, it is sweet and sour and is wonderful to drink. Many of us do not know the health benefits and medicinal uses of tamarind, from reducing inflammation to healing wounds and aiding weight loss, it does have many medicinal uses.
What is Tamarind Juice?
Tamarind juice is the the pulp of tamarind fruit mixed along with water. Yearly once, we collect ripe tamarind fruits remove the outer skin and the inner seeds and store it along with salt in huge ceramic jars. When we want to use it we take the required amount of the preserved tamarind fruits in a cup and add water to let it soften. Once it turns soft and mushy we smash it with our hands to a paste and extract the pulp. We usually strain the juice using our hands.
Tamarind Juice Health Benefits
Tamarind juice has anti cancer, anti-microbial, protective effect (on liver lungs and kidneys), heals wounds, has anti venom properties, helps expel parasites, reduces inflammation and pain and it also aids in weight loss. Due to its antimicrobial properties it is also widely used as a preservative.
Tamarind Juice Side Effects:
Though tamarind juice is wonderful to drink, we should be cautious of the amount we consume. It is because consuming too much of tamarind causes acidity and stomach burn especially if we consume the juice in empty stomach. Consuming tamarind in our traditional diet like how our elders did will not cause any problems but if you are consuming large doses of tamarind juice at a time, it will cause acidity.
Taking large doses of tamarind at a time also might interfere with certain medications and will have an impact on blood sugar levels. Since tamarind fruit is highly acidic, drinking too much tamarind juice will affect our tooth enamel too. It is always best to use tamarind in moderation (our elders always insisted on this) and in my opinion never in large doses.
3 Ways To Make Tamarind Juice
1. Tamarind Juice For Cooking
Take the required amount of the preserved tamarind in a cup. Add in water and let it soak for an hour. After an hour, smash it with your hands to extract the juice. We use this juice in gravies and also for making rasam. You can store the leftover juice in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days.
2. Tamarind Drink:
To make the drink, take half a cup of powdered jaggery in a cup along with two cups of water and boil till the jaggery dissolves. Once dissolved, strain to remove any impurities. To the strained liquid, add in a pinch of edible camphor, a pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp of dry ginger powder, 1/8 tsp of cardamom powder and 2 tsps tamarind pulp. Finally add in few fresh tulsi (holy basil) leaves and mix well. Strain before serving.
3. Tamarind Juice For Reducing Inflammation:
Before the store bought pain balm became famous, tamarind juice was the first choice for sore muscles, minor sprains and swollen joints. It helps 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 juice out of it in the blender. Add a little salt and turmeric powder to it and boil the juice till it reaches a thick creamy consistency. Apply the paste on the affected area when it is still warm!