The use of Tamarind in Gulu
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sour fruits

This plant is said to have been in this region for several centuries. There are long time fables and tales of this plant being grown by a man-eating semi-human being known as obibi . There were several obibis and each held a status in their obibi community. But all of them had this plant in his compound. He used the sour fruits of this tree to agg atste to his porridge. People. mainly girls of age , would secretly move to this compound to steal cwaa, as both the fruit and the treet are called.
From these old time stories, I think the plant might have existed in the land for a long time now. It is also likely that the variety grown here is native. The ripe fruits are brown. They have a sour taste and pleasant smell. The traditional use of the fruit was for making porridge; but children ate fthe fruits too. Some adults too enjoy the sour taste of the brown fruits. These days people still use it the same way except that they know it a good source of vitamin C.

Recently, that is about two decades ago, the local people discovered the the split seed if this plant can be successfully used to suck poison like venom or any poison from bites and sting of animals. The seed is split into two, some cut with a razor-blade are made on the affected part. When blood comes from the cuts, the split seed is placed there and it sticks there as if glued. Several of them can be placed at once. When they all fall away, they will ahve dine a great job of sucking the poison.

Jessica's Research on Tamarind

Family: Leguminosae
http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/tamarind.html
Name: Tamarindus indica
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tamarind.html#Description

The fruit of the Tamarind tree is high in acid, sugar, vitamin B and calcium. Dry weather is the best for fruit growth in these trees. Tamarind trees grow slow but they live a long time. They are a type of evergreen. Under the best conditions this tree can grow up to 80 feet with a spread of 20 to 35 feet. It’s native in eastern Africa and Asia. The best weather conditions for the Tamarind are a semiarid tropical climate but it does fairly well in humid tropical climates with high rainfall, too. http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/tamarind.html
I thought this tree was an interesting point of research because I found different experiments done on the leaves and seeds of the Tamarind. One experiment was the about the leaves and how they might be a repellent to microorganisms. The data of this experiment showed that it could repel B. subtilis cultures but not much else. This experiment said the Tamarind leaves had good antimicrobial properties but only in its purest form. In short one cannot prepare something to repel microorganisms from the leaves of the Tamarind. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20931087.
Another study that I encountered was a study of the effects an aqueous extract of the Tamarind seeds had on pancreatic islets in streptozotocin (STZ, which causes diabetes) induced rats. The results of this experiment suggested that the aqueous solution of the Tamarind seeds could partially heal pancreatic beta cells and repair STZ damages in the rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20884458.

Uses: All the parts of the Tamarindus indica can be put to good use.
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tamarind.html
  • The fruit pulp can mixed with sea water cleans silver, copper, and brass.
  • The leaves can be boiled to get the buri palm which is used for hat making.
  • Tamarind seeds yield amber oil mostly used as an illuminant and is also great for painting with like on dolls and idols.
  • The sapwood of this the tamarind is durable and insect-repellent so it’s used for furniture, paneling, wheels, axles, gears, ploughs, planking, wells, mallets, knife and tool handles, rice pounders, mortars and pestles. This wood is very rare to get in huge planks but it’s highly valued for fuel mostly in brick kilns since it gives of an immense amount of heat. Stems and roots of the tree are made into walking sticks.
  • Some medicinal uses of the tamarind are numerous. In native practice, the pulp is applied on inflammations, is used in a gargle for sore throat. It is, further, administered to alleviate sunstroke, Datura poisoning, and alcoholic intoxication. In Colombia, an ointment made of tamarind pulp, butter, and other ingredients is used to rid domestic animals of vermin. Tamarind leaves and flowers, dried or boiled, are used as poultices for swollen joints, sprains and boils.