Camachile is a native of Southern Mexico, South America and Central America. In India, it is known as Manila tamarind fruit. Manila tamarind has no relation to well-known molasses-coloured tamarind. It is an acrid organic fruit with a novel taste and has a broad spectrum of health benefits. The natives used Manila tamarind in various traditional medicines ranging from bronchitis, diarrhoea, haemorrhage, sores, and liver problem. 

Manila Tamarind

Manila Tamarind, scientifically termed as Pithecellobium dulce and also called Camachile, Monkey Pods, Sweet Inga, Madras Thorn, is consumed as such or incorporated into foods, for its sweet and tart pulp from fruits, in the form of seed pods. The ripe fruit can be eaten just as such, added to salads, fruit juices, lemonades and cooked as a curry with vegetables, made into a tangy chutney to be eaten alongside staple Indian dishes of rice, dal, roti. Not only does the manila tamarind infuse a delectable sweet-sour flavour to numerous dishes like soups, juices, salads, but it is also loaded with myriad nutritional components, that augment overall wellbeing.

Nutrition Content In Manila Tamarind:

Although the Camachile seed pods are quite small in size, they possess immense amounts of essential nutrients and therapeutic biochemicals, that offer remarkable health merits.

The tart-tasting pulp of the manila tamarind seed pod provides sufficient calories and carbohydrates, for instant energy to carry out external physical tasks and internal biochemical reactions in the body. It is also high in dietary fibers, proteins and water content, to regulate appetite, promote weight loss and enhance digestion processes. Imbued with vitamin C, Camachile boosts immunity and helps fight seasonal illnesses like cough, colds, fevers, flu and other infections.

The abundance of vitamins B1, B2 elevate metabolism while ample vitamin B6 content ensures optimal functioning of the brain, bolstering memory, mood and concentration. These tiny seed pods are also laden with calcium, phosphorous, two vital minerals that fortify bones, joints, besides comprising iron, for healthy red blood cell synthesis and smooth blood circulation in the system.

Moreover, manila tamarind encompasses a treasure trove of phytonutrients that hold antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial and hepatoprotective characteristics. These bioactive compounds include polyphenols, tannins, glycosides like quercetin and kaempferol, which protect the liver from disease, keep diabetes in check and enrich skin and hair health.

Health Benefits Of Manila Tamarind:

  •  Manages toothaches, sore gums and mouth ulcers. 
  •  Works as an antiseptic
  • The abundance of vitamin C in Manila tamarinds, boost the immune system and reduces phlegm.
  • The bark extract is used to cure dysentery and chronic diarrhoea.
  • Its high thiamine content, promote the body to convert sugars into energy, which impacts the mood and helps stabilize stress levels.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Manila tamarind fruit exhibited strong anti-ulcer activity comparable to the standard drug, omeprazole.
  • A study published in the Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that fruit extracts protected the liver from oxidative
  • Treats oily scalp and prevents hair loss.
  • Slow down the ageing - lightens the skin, removes dark spots, and cures acne.

Ways To Add Manila Tamarind In The Diet:

The pod is a sweet and sour pulp used as a base for juices with sugar and water in Mexico and eaten raw as an accompaniment to various meat dishes. It is used in curries, chutney and usili in traditional Indian dishes.

Traditional Home Remedies

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Brew a few fresh barks of manila tamarind in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink this tea once a day to ease symptoms of IBS.

Indigestion: Boil a few Manila tamarind leaves in 150 ml of water for 5 minutes, add salt and drink this concoction for alleviating indigestion issues and improving the digestion process.

Toothache: Make an infusion by boiling Manila tamarind leaves in a cup of water and boil well. Strain it and gargle regularly to fight against toothache and dental cavities.

Fever: Drink Manila tamarind bark decoction daily to alleviate fever.

Culinary Uses

The flesh around the seeds can be consumed raw, cooked, or made into refreshing beverages

Seed pods contain a sweet and tangy pulp which is used in making various meat dishes and as a base for drinks.

Seeds are used as an ingredient in making curries or can also be eaten raw.

Candy, pastries, and desserts are also made with manila tamarind.