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That Healthy Chica Blog


Do You Know What Tamarind Is & Why You Should Consider Getting To Know This Powerful Fruit?

judy finelli

photo, Judy Finelli, "El Tamarindo"

photo, Judy Finelli, "El Tamarindo"

During the earlier years of my childhood, I walked through my maternal grandparents’ farm in the caribbean like it was a magical place I couldn’t get enough own personal secret garden in which I roamed freely with my cousins and brothers.  There was always something new to discover and doing so in such an innocent yet educational way was such a treat.  I climbed trees and tasted every edible piece of nature there was.. it was truly heavenly.

One such edible piece of nature that I remember grabbing was tamarind that had fallen off its tree.  It was this long curvy and slightly bumpy brown pod, with a outer shell that required a bit more finesse than my five year old hands could manage, but that I remember cracking open with accomplishment.  As long ago as this was, I recall my grandmother telling me not to swallow the seeds and that the pulp would make me sleepy.  I remember these words as if I had heard them yesterday.  

Fast forward over thirty years later and I have a picky, sugar loving, daughter and an infant son who seems to think stopping his body’s natural bowel rhythm is an everyday ‘thing” he refuses to transition out of.. ugh..  


In researching this ancient food, I find that it could be helpful for clients who experience bloating or constipation and seek natural ways to get relief.  Because I can’t do a traditional cleanse on a six year old or keep inserting glycerin suppositories in my little man’s bottom, I’m continuing my holistic traditions by arming myself with as much credible information as possible to create remedies that work for my family and our way of life. I recently asked my Mom to help me find a great batch of tamarind I could use for medicinal purposes.  Sure enough, she delivered.  After all, the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree as they say.  

I soaked about three unshelled pods in filtered water until the pulp softened and was easy enough to strain and ultimately make juice.  It was great and my daughter liked it’s sweet and sour taste.. at least she tried it which was more than I could have asked for.  I’m refraining from introducing the juice to my son until he’s a about a year old and I do further research.  

I will say that the juice did help Valentina initially and it's definitely something that I'll consider doing for her when I see that she's had too many sugary snacks or her appetite is a bit off.  I mean, there's only so much prune juice you can give a kid, right?! But I do believe that it's important to cleanse the body properly to be able to receive and digest good nutrition.  With this belief comes the responsibility of doing so accordingly being mindful of various factors.  I touch upon this here simply because I've struggled with getting my daughter to eat real food and to help her with not so healthy cravings.  The reality is that children will be picky from time to time and we have to do the wisest thing possible to get them back on track without traumatizing them to later result in negative body image and/or poor self-esteem.

photo: Judy Finelli, "El Tamarindo, fruta divina"

photo: Judy Finelli, "El Tamarindo, fruta divina"

During my chats with women and men, alike, I find that the issue of digestion is one that is quite common and that is one not freely discussed.  Some folks say their digestive systems are slow while others are just continuously suffering in silence while popping antacid meds in between meals hoping that the recurrence won't be as badly as before. If this is you, read below to find out what this awesome fruit can help relieve. Such include, among countless others:

  1.  Stomach discomfort

  2. Indigestion

  3.  Constipation and bloating

  4. Fevers

  5. Sore throat

  6. Rheumatism

  7.  Inflammation

  8. *  The dried or boiled tamarind leaves and flowers have other medicinal uses that I am currently researching such as swollen joints, and sprains which as a runner, I'm very interested in knowing more about.


To get your hands on this fruit, do research on Latin American markets near you or grocers that cater to Asian or Indian cooking.  Chances are you'll discover more uses by simply asking.  I'm so fascinated by this ancient fruit that I'll likely be posting recipes and more information as I continue my journey.

Has this article been helpful to you?  I hope so.  Please let me know in the comments section below what is something you are currently dealing with that this fruit could possibly help you relieve? 

As always, lots of love.



Disclaimer: This article has been written for educational purposes only with a personalized tone from the author. It is not meant to cure or treat any illness or disease you may suffer from.  Please  consult your doctor and/or specialist for specific medical concerns.