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Op-Ed

Tamarindus Indica L Tree from the Fruit I Ate

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By EMN Updated: Jun 05, 2019 11:02 pm
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By Dr. K S Nakhuru

Tamarindus indica L. tree under flowering stage

I stopped by a roadside shop at Jharnapani, Medziphema while I was travelling through National Highway 39 that leads to Assam. It was a bunch of Tamarindus indica L. (family Fabaceae) fruits, commonly known as tamarind, that I picked. It was looking full of life and vibrant through a crack of fruit pod though the colour of the pulp and coat was not so colourful. This is the fruit which cause salivation in mouth and so was mine. Coat was removed carefully. I relished the fruits which made me so refreshed while the seed was still in my mouth. I made sure to carry those seeds with me to my destination. Fast replenishment of my depleted energy made me think that if less fruits could made me feel so good why not I burry the seeds in the soil. It surely will bring forth vibrant life and much fruits for 20 to 25 years to come. So the same were burried in the ground and the same came alive in due season. One sampling was carefully transplanted to a designated place. The plant was pruned beautifully and care for 10 years. I am thrilled to see my plant covered with yellow flowers striped with pink associated with lovely fragrance attracting many pollinators this year. Much fruiting is expected from the tree this year than the previous.

Tamarind is a moderate in size and semi-evergreen and multiple-purpose tree. Wood is used as fuel. It has strong-rough-brownish trunk with dense well spread huge crown of feathery – like arranged foliage. Lower branches of the tree can be trimmed to suit our requirement to sit under its shade. These attributes afford this tree to be planted as an avenue or ornamental garden tree or even along the roadsides for aesthetic purpose.

The plant bears much fruits, the pulp of which is well accepted as condiments. Recipes of juice, candies etc. are prepared from the pulp. Fruit pulp is rich source of protein or amino acids (especially essential amino acids), minerals, vitamins, etc and therefore could be used to alleviate malnutrition related problems in children. Pulp being rich in nutrition could help maintaining health, wellness and suppleness of both young and old. Seed is edible after soaking and boiling in water. Leaf is rich source of vitamin C and beta carotene. Leaf and inflorescence are taken as vegetables.

Tamarind is one of the most important ethnomedicinal plants. Every part of the tree is used as medicine either alone or in combination or with others. Few of the Literature reports are mentioned in this short write up for education purpose. Pulp is used as laxative, carminative, hypotensive and an aphrodisiac for man, leaf is used to treat cough, mump, leaf and /or bark used for wound healing, cuts, swellings, joint pain, etc, leaf/bark of stem used to treat diarrhoea, bark is used to treat gingivitis, asthma, open sores and caterpillar rashes, root bark used for dysentery.

Tamarindus indica L. is one of the most potential plants for rural economic upliftment as it is well accepted commodity in the market for uses mentioned apart from saving our mother planet and beating air pollution. Let us plant trees today and make our mother earth more loveable.

Grandfather plant trees under the shade of which he has no plan to sit but his for his grandchildren.

Dr. K S Nakhuru is a scientist. She can be contacted at nakhuru12@gmail.com

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By EMN Updated: Jun 05, 2019 11:02:17 pm