Tamarind

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Carbohydrates and Derived Products

Tamarind consists of dried ripe fruits (freed from the brittle epicarp) of Tamarindus indica Linn., belonging to family Leguminosae.


TAMARIND

 

 

Synonyms

 

West Indian Tamarind, Imli.

 

Botanical Source

 

Tamarind consists of dried ripe fruits (freed from the brittle epicarp) of Tamarindus indica Linn., belonging to family Leguminosae.

 

Geographical Source

 

West Indies (Barbados), India.

 


 

Collection

 

Tamarind is a superior indehiscent legume 5–20 cm long and 2 cm in width. Epicarps of the legumes are brittle, rough, brownish and hard. Mesocarp is the pulp and is acidic in nature with fibres which are vascular strands. Endocarp is leathery and encloses three to six seeds.

 

Dried ripe fruits are collected, epicarp is removed and hot boiling syrup is poured over it for the purpose of preservation. Rarely sugar is also sprinkled in addition to syrup.

 

In India fruits are collected and epicarp is removed either partially or fully, and 10% salts added as a preservative. Some fermentation takes place and the drug obtains a black colour.

 

Morphology

 


 

Chemical Constituents

 

The pulp contains 10% fruit acids, mainly tartaric acid and maleic acid, also about 8% sodium potassium tartarate and about 25–40% invert sugar along with pectin. The acidity ranges from 11 to 16%.

 

H    C    COOH              HO CH COOH

 

H    C    COOH              HO CH COOH

 

Maleic acid                     Tataric acid

 

Uses

 

It acts as a gentle laxative due to osmosis and is also used as present acid refrigerant.

 

Marketed Product

 

Tamarindus indica is employed as a laxative in Laxa Tea manufactured by Himalaya Drug Company.

 

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