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Table 5 Previous research findings on Tamarindus indica L uses and functions

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

Uses Reference notes
food Ripe fruit eaten as snack [8]. Unripe fruits (swells) are roasted on coals and eaten with wood ashes in the Bahamas [8]. Fruit pulp is an important ingredient in chutneys, sauces and confectionaries [7, 8, 31]. Seeds are peeled then roasted or boiled and eaten [11].
Leaves and flowers eaten as vegetables or prepared in a variety of dishes. Pulp and leaves are used to make curries, salads, stews and soups in India and Zimbabwe [7, 8, 11, 12, 31].
Spice/seasoning Tamarind juice is an important ingredient of barbecue sauces such as Worcestershire sauce [8]. The tender, immature, very sour pods are cooked as seasoning with rice, fish and meats in India [7]. The fruit pulp is used to give a sour taste to sorghum or millet porridge and bread in Uganda and the Sahel [11].
Beverage Tamarind fruit pulp is sometimes combined with guava, papaya, banana or made into wine [31]. Sweetened drinks made from tamarind fruit pulp are popular in the tropics and are bottled in carbonated form in Guatemala, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Formulas for the commercial production of spiced tamarind beverages have been developed by technologists in India [7].
Environmental amelioration Tamarindus indica can be planted as a shade. Suitable for wind and firebreak [9, 12]. Used in Nigeria in antidesertification programs. Very suitable for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere due to its longevity [11]. Tamarindus indica can withstand harsh environmental conditions such as prolonged drought. Tamarindus indica can be used to reclaim poor soils, degraded land, rocky terrain and recently salinized soils [7, 9].
medicinal Tamarindus indica fruit pulp used in the treatment of a number of ailments including fevers, rheumatism, throat infections as well as possessing anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Seeds are a valuable remedy in diarrhea and dysentery [31]. Fruit, bark and leaves are used to treat diarrhea and as a laxative in East and West Africa [27].
Dietary antioxidants can be extracted from T. indica fruit pulp and seed. Pulp and seed can also serve as alternative source of nutrients to alleviate malnutrition [30].
Fluorosis caused by water containing Fluorine can be effectively prevented by dietary inclusion of tamarind pulp [36, 37].
Industrial uses Tamarind fruit shells carbon is a promising adsorbent for removing fluoride from groundwater [38].
Dyes are obtained from the leaves and flowers [8].
Tamarind seed is the key raw material for the manufacture of tamarind seed kernel powder (TKP), polysaccharide (jellose), adhesive and tannin. TKP is an important sizing material in textile, paper and jute industries [8]. Tamarind seed pectin can form gels over a wide pH range [31]. Ten percent TKP is used as binder in making sawdust fuel briquettes [38].
Tamarind seed is a good source of protein and oil and steadily gaining importance as an alternative source of protein as it is rich in certain essential amino acids [8, 30, 32].
Tamarind fruit pulp is an important natural source of tartaric acid [8]. Tartaric acid is added to other foods to give a sour taste, used as an antioxidant and in the preparation of copper (I) oxide [8].
Animal feed Seeds are used to make livestock feed [38, 39].
Cosmetics Tamarindus indica seeds are used as a base in cosmetics [38].
Aesthetic Tamarindus indica is planted to beautify compounds and avenues [9].
Furniture and utencils The very hard and durable wood is reported to be excellent for poles, timber, boat-building, toys, tool handles, turnery products, furniture, decorative panelling and general construction work [7, 9].
Fuel Tamarindus indica wood gives off an intense heat approaching ≈5000 cal per kg thus valued for firing brick kilns [7].
Socio-cultural Tamarindus indica is very suitable for resting and meetings due to the evergreen habit and the extending crown thus provides shade for both people and livestock [9]. Over-ripe fruits and roots mixed with sea salt are used to clean and brighten silver, copper and brass in India [8].
Religious Tamarindus indica is believed to be sacred in some African and Indian tribes [7, 12]. Used to cleanse a new house in India by marrying T. indica to a mango tree [8].