Tamarind

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What other names is Tamarind known by?

Imlee, Imli, Tamarin, Tamarindo, Tamarindus indica, Tamarinier, Tamarinier d'Inde, Tintiri.

What is Tamarind?

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.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Dry eyes. Early research shows that eye drops containing tamarind seed extract might improve symptoms of dry eye.
  • Constipation.
  • Colds.
  • Fever.
  • Liver and gallbladder problems.
  • Stomach disorders.
  • Pregnancy-related nausea.
  • Intestinal worms.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tamarind for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Tamarind work?

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.

Are there safety concerns?

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.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking tamarind if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Using in amounts greater than those found in foods should be avoided until more is known.

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.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Aspirin
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

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
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

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)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

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.

Dosing considerations for Tamarind.

The appropriate dose of tamarind depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tamarind. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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