Health benefit of black velvet tamarind – Awin – Below are the five core health benefits of velvet tamarind.
Black velvet tamarind which is also known as “icheku” in Ibo and “awin” in Yoruba is a woody plant that occurs in the rain forest region of West Africa. Different parts of velvet tamarind have been scientifically proven to offer a wide range of health benefits. It is rich in vitamin C, iron, sodium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, thiamine, folic acid, calcium, copper, niacin and riboflavin. It is a great source of nutrients for human food and animal feeds. It is also rich in tartaric acid. Tartaric acid is a powerful antioxidant, thereby protecting the human body from harmful free radicals. Much of these vitamins contained in this fruit play antioxidant as well as co-factor functions for enzyme metabolism inside the body.
Black velvet tamarind sticky pulp is a rich source of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) or dietary fibre such as gums, hemicelluloses, mucilage, pectin and tannins. NSP or dietary fibre in this fruit increases its bulk and augments bowel movements thereby help prevent constipation. The fibre also binds to toxins in the food thereby helping to protect the colon mucus membrane from cancer-causing chemicals. The fruit contains many volatile phytochemicals such as limonene, geranoil, safrole, cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate, pyrazine and alkyl thiazoles. Together these compounds account for the medicinal properties of black velvet tamarind.
Health benefit of black velvet tamarind – Awin
- Boost the immune system: The vitamin C and other antioxidant present in this fruit help boost the immune system and ensure long term health from microbial and fungal infections.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: The stem bark extract has significant analgesic property. It can be used to reduce menstrual pain. It also has the ability to reduce inflammation in bronchial tubes that arises due to bronchitis. It is effective in reducing pain associated in pile.
- Lowers cholesterol level: The sticky pulp of velvet tamarind is rich in dietary fibre such as gums, hemicellulose, mucilage, pectin and tannins. These fibre reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.
- Regulates cell function: Black velvet tamarind contains potassium which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. It ensures a good cardiovascular health.
- Manages diabetes: Velvet tamarind can be used in the treatment of diabetes. It regulates blood sugar levels by reducing the sugar levels and intensifies insulin sensitivity.
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- Antioxidant properties: Black velvet tamarind contains tartaric acid which is a powerful antioxidant that protects the human body from harmful free radicals. Tartaric acid also gives sour taste to food. There are also many vitamins present in this fruit which act as antioxidants as well as co-factor for enzyme metabolism in the body.
- Prevents constipation: This fruit helps prevent constipation because of the presence of dietary fibre. The dietary fibre in the fruit increases its bulk and augments bowel movements. The fibre also binds to toxins in the fruit thereby help protect the colon mucosa from cancer causing chemicals.
- Treats ulcers and prevents hypertension: The leaves extract of velvet tamarind has the ability to increase gastric mucus secretion. Therefore, a decoction of the leaves can be a remedy for gastric ulcer. The leaves are also highly diuretic, thereby promoting the production of urine, making it easier for the heart to pump blood hence, reducing the risk of hypertension.
- Improves oral hygiene: The stem which is used as chewing stick contains saponin which adds cleaning effect to the teeth and at the same time removes plaques and caries on the teeth. The stem bark decoction is also used to treat toothache.
While this fruit help keep you healthy, it does not stop the need to see your doctor.