चिक्रिका - Tamarindus indica


Name - तिन्तिडी

Botanical name - Tamarindus indica

Description - A handsome evergreen tree, with dark-grey rough bark and a large spreading crown. It has a short, strong trunk. The bark is covered with longitudinal fissures and horizontal cracks. Leaves are compound with 10-20 pairs of small leaflets. Flowers are in racemes at the ends of the branches and are lateral sprays. They are inconspicuous, about half an inch long, variegated fellow and red, appearing in April-June. Fruit pods are filled with dark-brown fibrous, acidic pulp, containing 3-12 smooth shining seeds. They ripen in November-December. There is a variety with sweet pulp, and another with a reddish pulp which is considered to be the best.

Chemical Constituents- Plant contains volatile flavone compounds, furfural, furfunone, phenylacetaldehyde, methylfurfural. Leaves, bark and flowers contain Hordenine. Bark contains tannin. Kernels contain polysaccharide. Pulp contains tartaric acid. The fruit contains traces of oxalic acid, 10% free tartaric acid, 8% acid potassium tartarae, 25 to 45% invert sugar and some tannin. Its acidity varies from 11 to 16 percent.

Use - Tamarind pulp has laxative properties; its infusion in water is a very refreshing drink; it is useful in fevers. As a laxative it is taken singly or in mixture with other purgative drugs. When mixed with other purgative drugs it reduces their laxative property.

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

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