We all know the tamarind, the wonderful fruit with the sweet and tangy taste. Tamarind sauce makes just about anything taste better; it’s found all throughout South East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Not only does it taste delicious, but it is also a standard ingredient in Ayurvedic medicinal practices. That is because tamarind has been used to treat all manner of diseases and ailments like, dysentery, abdominal pain, diarrhea, parasitic infestations, constipation, inflammation, and wounds.
It also provides your body with a lot of nutrients and minerals like vitamin C, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, zinc, niacin, riboflavin, and iron among others. All of these elements work to strengthen the systems in the body like the immune system, digestive system, and even cardio pulmonary system. And now new studies have shown that tamarind also has antiviral properties that make tamarind an even more powerful medicinal agent than before.
Researchers have discovered that the seeds of the tamarind plant actually contain antiviral capabilities and are now attempting to use them to treat alphaviruses like chikungunya. Antivirals work to block alphaviruses by binding to the virus’s surface and preventing it from entering the host cells. Right now, research is focused on the chikungunya virus which is spread by mosquitoes and popular in South East Asia, but researchers theorize that in the future it might be able to treat other viral diseases like HIV and HPV. Not only does the antiviral capabilities of the tamarind plant have the ability to reduce infection, it even has been shown to reduce the virus’s ability to reproduce. So next time you have a seedy tamarind sauce, be sure to scarf it all down.