Most people know about Tamarind fruit in some form, in Tamarind juice, in Indian chutney or curry or in good ol’ BBQ sauce… Tamarind fruit pulp is the base for what most of us know as Tamarind. The pulp which is rich in vitamins and minerals boasts a whole list of health benefits by itself, helping to regulate digestion, improving blood glucose levels, blood circulation and cholesterol. But did you know that hidden inside that tangy-sticky fruit pulp of a whole Tamarind are seeds (3-12 per pod) packed with proteins, amino acids, essential fatty acids and minerals? These little morsels of nutrition have surprising health benefits on their own!
For the Body: Joint Relief & Other Benefits
Tamarind Seed holds great anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial benefits (1) when ingested. Amongst its traditional uses is the treatment for joint pain and arthritis by ingesting roasted Tamarind Seed Powder. Early research suggests that Tamarind Seed does indeed reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in joints, helping with pain and protecting bone and cartilage (2).
For Skin: The Skin Hydration Optimizer
When applied to skin, Tamarind Seed Extract helps draw and bind vital hydration to the skin by feeding the skin’s natural moisturizing factor in the skin’s surface, similar to how Hyaluronic Acid works. The genius lies in the molecular structure of Tamarind Seed Extract, which is able to penetrate the skin surface more deeply, resulting in deeper and more long-lasting hydration. We use Tamarind Seed Extract in our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, where it is combined with Hyaluronic Acid, Green, White & Black Tea and Rice Bran Extract to draw and bind vital hydration to the skin and feed the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF).
Make your own Tamarind Seed Powder!
While fresh whole Tamarind is now available in many Asian and Latin grocery stores in the US, Tamarind Seeds alone or Tamarind Seed Powder are not. Fortunately, you can make your own Tamarind Seed Powder quite easily!
- Buy fresh whole Tamarind and save the seeds after eating the pulp as a snack or using it for cooking. Wash and dry the seeds with a paper towel.
- Roast the seeds in the oven at 300 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Alternatively you can also roast them in a frying pain on low heat for about 5. Let cool.
- Wrap the roasted seeds in a dish towel, place them on a thick wooden cutting board and roughly crush with a hammer. The kernels are very hard so you will need to use quite a bit of force. When the Tamarind Seed cracks, the dark brown seed skin will come off, exposing the inner white seed. Keep the brown skin. It has nutrients as well!
- Grind the crushed kernels and seed skin in a coffee grinder until it is a fine powder. You will notice a nice, nutty aroma.
- Store in an airtight container. Keep cool and dry.
Add 1 teaspoon of Tamarind Powder to your smoothie, juice or yogurt. The powder does not actually dissolve in water, so I have found it easier to consume when it was suspended in a thicker medium like a smoothie or yogurt.