Imli, or Tamarindus [Tamarindus indica L. (T. indica)], belongs to the family Leguminosae (Fabaceae). Commonly known as Tamarind tree, it is one of the fruit tree species that is used in various food recipes and also as traditional medicine.
There are many references to the tamarind tree in Hindu mythology. Some legends connect the tree to Usha, the daughter of Goddess Parvati. In South India, the tree is associated with night spirits and is generally grown in the precincts of the temples dedicated to the Devi, who is believed to battle the evil spirits during night.
The tree is associated with Lord Krishna in the northern parts of the country. ‘Imli-tala’ is a sacred tamarind tree located in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. It is believed to date back to Lord Krishna’s time. Legend has it that the tree was cursed by Radhrani. One day when she was walking to meet Krishna, she stepped on the thick bark of a ripe tamarind fruit and it cut her foot. This made her late for her meeting with Lord Krishna. She therefore cursed the tree that its fruits would never ripen. Even today, the fruits of this tree fall down before getting fully ripened. The 15th century saint Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would also sit under the Imli-tala and meditate upon Lord Krishna.
Legends also associate the tree with Lord Rama. It is believed that the tamarind leaf was split by an arrow shot by Lakshmana, brother of Lord Rama.
The tree is best known for its fruits. The brown, sticky and tangy pulp is used in a variety of delicacies. The ripe fruit, leaves, roots and seeds are well recognized for their medicinal properties. The fruit is said to cure fever and also been used as a mild laxative. The seeds have been traditionally used to cure diabetes and intestinal ailments.
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Note: We advise that natural products be consumed in their pristine form, without any preservatives or processing chemicals added, unless a preparation is advised by an Ayurvedic doctor.
It gives maximum health benefits and keeps costs low (compared to the huge medical costs due to modern diseases.)
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