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Table 2 Uses of Tamarindus indica, parts used and mode of use

From: Knowledge, attitudes and practices in tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) use and conservation in Eastern Uganda

Uses Part used Mode of preparation and use
Food Fruit Mature ripe fruit of the sweet variety eaten as a snack.
Immature green pods are eaten fresh or boiled with porridge to give it a sour taste.
Pulp of mature ripe fruit added during preparation of porridge and millet bread to give it a sharp taste. Pulp concentrate is boiled to make a thick paste eaten as sauce especially during drought.
Tender leaves cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
Beverage Fruit Husks are removed from mature ripe fruit which is then soaked in cold water. Seeds and fibres are then separated from the pulp to make a concentrate which is diluted to make a cold beverage popular with all ages. Sugar or honey may be added to enhance taste.
Spice/seasoning Fruit Pulp of ripe fruit boiled with dried potato chips ‘amukeke’(At.) adds flavor and preserves consistency.
Pulp concentrate added to sauces such as meat to enhance taste.
Preservative Fruit Pulp added during preparation of millet bread preserves it for several weeks.
Pulp added to sauces such as meat keeps it fresh for a longer period.
Income Tree Entire tree sold especially to limestone kiln operators to earn income.
Fruit  Fruit sold to earn income.
Fuel Trunk Trunk and large branches used to make charcoal.
Makes excellent fuelwood for firing bricks and limestone kilns.
Branches Small branches lopped off during pruning or complete harvest are used for firewood.
mulch Leaves Leaves spread in gardens as mulch
construction Branches Straight portions are used in house construction
Tools and utensils Trunk and branches Small stems and branches are used to make clubs and tool handles for hoes, axes and pangas
Trunk is chiseled to make utensils such as mortars, pestles
Aesthetic and recreation Seeds Seeds are used as counters in traditional board games such as ‘omweso’ (lus)
Tree Trees add beauty to homes and provide shade in homesteads and other
compounds thus improving the ambience
Socio-cultural Tree Due to the cool shade and lack of parasites, large tamarind trees are favourite venues for village meetings, markets and places of worship. Large tamarind trees are used as polling stations during elections.
Due to their longevity, tamarind trees serve as key landmarks and are often used as reference points and boundary markers during land demarcation between neighbours.
Education Seeds Seeds are used as learning aids during arithmetic lessons for beginners
Personal hygiene branches Ends of small branches are cut and the ends chewed to make durable toothbrushes
Ethnoveterinary uses Leaves Freshly picked mature leaves are crushed in water and decoction used to treat livestock diseases such as ‘kawali’(dhop.)
Ethnomedicine for humans Leaves Freshly picked mature leaves crushed in water then filtrate mixed in porridge to treat ‘kawali’(dhop.) (smallpox)
Leaves crushed in water and drunk to treat abdominal upsets.
Decoction of stem bark used to treat abdominal upsets in humans.
Fruit Pulp diluted to make a cold beverage given especially to those undergoing stress such as pregnant women, convalescents and those returning from war.
Fruit pulp concentrate used to treat constipation
Shade Tree Provides shade for livestock, in homesteads, on compounds and for travellers along roads
Windbreak Tree Windbreak for houses and crops
Support Tree Trees used to support climbing plants including passion fruit, yams and oyster nuts locally known kulekula[lus] or Onjwege [dhop.]
Straight portions of branches used to support banana stems
Feed Leaves Fresh leaves are fed to domestic animals such as goats.
  1. dialects: at = ateso, dhop = dhopadhola, lus = lusoga, lug = luganda