Tamarind is a tree. Its partially dried fruit is used to make medicine.
People take tamarind for constipation, liver and gallbladder problems, and stomach disorders. It is also used to treat colds and fever. Women sometimes use tamarind to treat pregnancy-related nausea. It is given to children to treat intestinal worms.
Sometimes a thick paste of tamarind seeds is used as a cast for broken bones.
An extract of tamarind seeds is used in eye drops for dry eyes.
In foods and beverages, tamarind is used as flavoring. It is also widely used in Asian cooking for chutneys and curries.
How it works
Tamarind contains ingredients that might have laxative effects and some activity against certain fungi and bacteria.
Researchers are studying tamarind as a possible treatment for dry eyes because it contains a chemical that is similar to mucin found in the eye. Mucin helps protect and wet the surface of the cornea.
Not ProvenDry eyes
Early research shows that eye drops containing tamarind seed extract might improve symptoms of dry eye.
Tamarind is safe LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. There isn't enough information available to know if tamarind is safe for use as a medicine.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking tamarind if you arepregnantorbreast feeding. Using in amounts greater than those found in foods should be avoided until more is known.Are there any interactions with medications?
Diabetes: Tamarind might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control. If you have diabetes and use tamarind, monitor your blood sugar levels closely. Dosing adjustments for diabetes medications might be needed.
Surgery: Tamarind might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using tamarind at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Taking tamarind with aspirin might increase how much aspirin the body absorbs. This could increase the amount of aspirin in the body and might increase the chance of aspirin side effects.Ibuprofen
Taking tamarind with ibuprofen might increase how much ibuprofen the body absorbs. This could increase the amount of ibuprofen in the body and might increase the chance of ibuprofen side effects.Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Tamarind might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking tamarind with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.