Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Tamarind

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), a large leguminous tree, native of eastern tropical Africa and Australia, long cultivated in India (its name meaning in Arabic "Indian date"), and now grown also in the West Indies. In India it is valued as timber, its pinnate leaves yield yellow and red dyes, and its seeds are used as an astringent; but its most useful part is the pulpy interior of its pods, which contains citrate and tartrate of potash and sugar and has a mildly laxative action. The Black Tamarind of the East Indies has long pods containing six to twelve seeds, and is imported in a dried pressed state, chiefly for the manufacture of sauces. The Brown or Red variety of the West Indies has short pods with one to four seeds, and is imported in syrup. Our imports have diminished. Twenty years ago we imported 4,000,000 lbs. annually, Jamaica exporting some 15,000 lbs. as against a third of that amount at present. The finest guality is shipped from Barbadoes, that from St. Kitt's being inferior.