Tamarind

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.

SLIDESHOW

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

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.

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?


AspirinInteraction 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.


IbuprofenInteraction 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.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

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).

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 9/17/2019
References

De, M., Krishna, De A., and Banerjee, A. B. Antimicrobial screening of some Indian spices. Phytother.Res. 1999;13(7):616-618. View abstract.

Izzo, A. A., Di Carlo, G., Borrelli, F., and Ernst, E. Cardiovascular pharmacotherapy and herbal medicines: the risk of drug interaction. Int J Cardiol. 2005;98(1):1-14. View abstract.

Mastromarino, P., Petruzziello, R., Macchia, S., Rieti, S., Nicoletti, R., and Orsi, N. Antiviral activity of natural and semisynthetic polysaccharides on the early steps of rubella virus infection. J Antimicrob.Chemother. 1997;39(3):339-345. View abstract.

Sambaiah, K. and Srinivasan, K. Effect of cumin, cinnamon, ginger, mustard and tamarind in induced hypercholesterolemic rats. Nahrung 1991;35(1):47-51. View abstract.

Sambaiah, K. and Srinivasan, K. Influence of spices and spice principles on hepatic mixed function oxygenase system in rats. Indian J Biochem Biophys 1989;26(4):254-258. View abstract.

Abebe W. Herbal medication: potential for adverse interactions with analgesic drugs. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2002;27:391-401. View abstract.

Amano, Y., Shiroishi, M., Nisizawa, K., Hoshino, E., and Kanda, T. Fine substrate specificities of four exo-type cellulases produced by Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma reesei, and Irpex lacteus on (1-->3), (1-->4)-beta-D-glucans and xyloglucan. J Biochem.(Tokyo) 1996;120(6):1123-1129. View abstract.

Araujo, C. L., Bezerra, I. W., Oliveira, A. S., Moura, F. T., Macedo, L. L., Gomes, C. E., Barbosa, A. E., Macedo, F. P., Souza, T. M., Franco, O. L., Bloch, J., and Sales, M. P. In vivo bioinsecticidal activity toward Ceratitis capitata (fruit fly) and Callosobruchus maculatus (cowpea weevil) and in vitro bioinsecticidal activity toward different orders of insect pests of a trypsin inhibitor purified from tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) seeds. J Agric.Food Chem 6-1-2005;53(11):4381-4387. View abstract.

Burgalassi, S., Panichi, L., Chetoni, P., Saettone, M. F., and Boldrini, E. Development of a simple dry eye model in the albino rabbit and evaluation of some tear substitutes. Ophthalmic Res 1999;31(3):229-235. View abstract.

Burgalassi, S., Raimondi, L., Pirisino, R., Banchelli, G., Boldrini, E., and Saettone, M. F. Effect of xyloglucan (tamarind seed polysaccharide) on conjunctival cell adhesion to laminin and on corneal epithelium wound healing. Eur.J.Ophthalmol. 2000;10(1):71-76. View abstract.

Childhood lead poisoning associated with tamarind candy and folk remedies--California, 1999-2000. MMWR Morb.Mortal.Wkly.Rep. 8-9-2002;51(31):684-686. View abstract.

Chowdhury, S. R., Sarker, D. K., Chowdhury, S. D., Smith, T. K., Roy, P. K., and Wahid, M. A. Effects of dietary tamarind on cholesterol metabolism in laying hens. Poult.Sci 2005;84(1):56-60. View abstract.

Coutino-Rodriguez, R., Hernandez-Cruz, P., and Giles-Rios, H. Lectins in fruits having gastrointestinal activity: their participation in the hemagglutinating property of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Arch Med Res 2001;32(4):251-257. View abstract.

Dini, E., De Abreu, J., and Lopez, E. [Osmolality of frequently consumed beverages]. Invest Clin 2004;45(4):323-335. View abstract.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182

Fook, J. M., Macedo, L. L., Moura, G. E., Teixeira, F. M., Oliveira, A. S., Queiroz, A. F., and Sales, M. P. A serine proteinase inhibitor isolated from Tamarindus indica seeds and its effects on the release of human neutrophil elastase. Life Sci 5-6-2005;76(25):2881-2891. View abstract.

Garba M, Yakasai IA, Bakare MT, Munir HY. Effect of Tamarindus indica. L on the bioavailability of ibuprofen in healthy human volunteers. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 2003;28:179-84. View abstract.

Gautami, S., Rao, R. N., Raghuram, T. C., Rajagopalan, S., and Bhat, R. V. Accidental acute fatal sodium nitrite poisoning. J Toxicol.Clin Toxicol. 1995;33(2):131-133. View abstract.

Ghelardi, E., Tavanti, A., Celandroni, F., Lupetti, A., Blandizzi, C., Boldrini, E., Campa, M., and Senesi, S. Effect of a novel mucoadhesive polysaccharide obtained from tamarind seeds on the intraocular penetration of gentamicin and ofloxacin in rabbits. J Antimicrob.Chemother. 2000;46(5):831-834. View abstract.

Ghelardi, E., Tavanti, A., Davini, P., Celandroni, F., Salvetti, S., Parisio, E., Boldrini, E., Senesi, S., and Campa, M. A mucoadhesive polymer extracted from tamarind seed improves the intraocular penetration and efficacy of rufloxacin in topical treatment of experimental bacterial keratitis. Antimicrob.Agents Chemother. 2004;48(9):3396-3401. View abstract.

Kan, S. K., Singh, N., and Chan, M. K. Oliva vidua fulminans, a marine mollusc, responsible for five fatal cases of neurotoxic food poisoning in Sabah, Malaysia. Trans.R.Soc.Trop.Med Hyg. 1986;80(1):64-65. View abstract.

Kawasaki, N., Ohkura, R., Miyazaki, S., Uno, Y., Sugimoto, S., and Attwood, D. Thermally reversible xyloglucan gels as vehicles for oral drug delivery. Int J Pharm 4-30-1999;181(2):227-234. View abstract.

Khandare, A. L., Kumar, P. U., Shanker, R. G., Venkaiah, K., and Lakshmaiah, N. Additional beneficial effect of tamarind ingestion over defluoridated water supply to adolescent boys in a fluorotic area. Nutrition 2004;20(5):433-436. View abstract.

Khandare, A. L., Rao, G. S., and Lakshmaiah, N. Effect of tamarind ingestion on fluoride excretion in humans. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr. 2002;56(1):82-85. View abstract.

Komutarin, T., Azadi, S., Butterworth, L., Keil, D., Chitsomboon, B., Suttajit, M., and Meade, B. J. Extract of the seed coat of Tamarindus indica inhibits nitric oxide production by murine macrophages in vitro and in vivo. Food Chem Toxicol. 2004;42(4):649-658. View abstract.

Lynch, R. A., Boatright, D. T., and Moss, S. K. Lead-contaminated imported tamarind candy and children's blood lead levels. Public Health Rep. 2000;115(6):537-543. View abstract.

Maiti, R., Jana, D., Das, U. K., and Ghosh, D. Antidiabetic effect of aqueous extract of seed of Tamarindus indica in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;92(1):85-91. View abstract.

Mendoza, S., Montemayor, L., Boscan, L. A., and Barreiro, J. A. [Microflora in pasteurized fruit juices in Venezuela]. Arch Latinoam.Nutr 1982;32(3):617-629. View abstract.

Miyazaki, S., Suisha, F., Kawasaki, N., Shirakawa, M., Yamatoya, K., and Attwood, D. Thermally reversible xyloglucan gels as vehicles for rectal drug delivery. J Control Release 12-4-1998;56(1-3):75-83. View abstract.

Murray, R., Dingwall-Fordyce, I., and Lane, R. E. An outbreak of weaver's cough associated with tamarind seed powder. Br J Ind.Med 1957;14(2):105-110. View abstract.

Mustapha A, Yakasai IA, Abdu Aguye I. Effect of Tamarindus indica L. on the bioavailability of aspirin in healthy human volunteers. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 1996;21:223-6. View abstract.

Nassereddin, R. A. and Yamani, M. I. Microbiological quality of sous and tamarind, traditional drinks consumed in Jordan. J Food Prot. 2005;68(4):773-777. View abstract.

Rolando M, Valente C. Establishing the tolerability and performance of tamarind seed polysaccharide (TSP) in treating dry eye syndrome: results of a clinical study. BMC Ophthalmol 2007;7:5. View abstract.

Shivshankar, P. and Devi, S. C. Screening of stimulatory effects of dietary risk factors on mouse intestinal cell kinetics. World J Gastroenterol. 1-14-2005;11(2):242-248. View abstract.

Shivshankar, P. and Shyamala Devi, C. S. Evaluation of co-stimulatory effects of Tamarindus indica L. on MNU-induced colonic cell proliferation. Food Chem Toxicol. 2004;42(8):1237-1244. View abstract.

Sone, Y., Makino, C., and Misaki, A. Inhibitory effect of oligosaccharides derived from plant xyloglucan on intestinal glucose absorption in rat. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol.(Tokyo) 1992;38(4):391-395. View abstract.

Steger, A., Radon, K., Pethran, A., and Nowak, D. Sensitization and lung function in workers occupationally exposed to natural thickening products. Allergy 2000;55(4):376-381. View abstract.

Strickland, F. M., Darvill, A., Albersheim, P., Eberhard, S., Pauly, M., and Pelley, R. P. Inhibition of UV-induced immune suppression and interleukin-10 production by plant oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Photochem.Photobiol. 1999;69(2):141-147. View abstract.

Strickland, F. M., Kuchel, J. M., and Halliday, G. M. Natural products as aids for protecting the skin's immune system against UV damage. Cutis 2004;74(5 Suppl):24-28. View abstract.

Strickland, F. M., Sun, Y., Darvill, A., Eberhard, S., Pauly, M., and Albersheim, P. Preservation of the delayed-type hypersensitivity response to alloantigen by xyloglucans or oligogalacturonide does not correlate with the capacity to reject ultraviolet-induced skin tumors in mice. J Invest Dermatol. 2001;116(1):62-68. View abstract.

Thadhani, V. M., Jansz, E. R., and Peiris, H. Effect of exogenous histidine and Garcinia cambogia on histamine formation in skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) homogenates. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2002;53(1):29-34. View abstract.

Tuffnell, P. G. and Dingwall-Fordyce, I. An investigation into the acute respiratory reaction to the inhalation of tamarind seed preparations. Br J Ind.Med 1957;14(4):250-252. View abstract.

Useh, N. M., Nok, A. J., Ambali, S. F., and Esievo, K. A. The inhibition of Clostridium chauvoei (jakari strain) neuraminidase activity by methanolic extracts of the stem barks of Tamarindus indicus and Combretum fragrans. J Enzyme Inhib.Med Chem 2004;19(4):339-342. View abstract.