KHARTOUM (Sudanow) – Hamza, a car driver in a government department, says he one day contracted malaria that forced him to stay in bed. His mother procured some aradaib fruits, boiled them until the seeds were separated from the fruit, added some sugar and custard and put down the pot to cool. Then Hamza took the aradaib thus prepared with a spoon. Very soon sweat started to run down from his body and he got up from bed in good health.
Aradaib, or Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) as it is known worldwide, is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae, indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon (having only a single species).
The Aradaib is a huge beautiful and evergreen tree with heights around 10 meters, though in some cases it may grow up to 30 meters. The aradaib tree can continue to live up to about 200 years.
The tree has most probably originated in East Africa’s equatorial zones and then introduced into India a long time ago. Because it was cultivated and flourished in India, it is thought to have originated there. India is now seen as the biggest producer of tamarind (or aradaib) in the World.
The aradaib tree yields 200 kilograms of fruit per-annum. Its fruits are disorderly pods, 17 centimeters long and 2.3 centimeters wide. Inside lie brown, tough seeds with a smooth skin coated by the pulp.
Aradaib as a cure for malaria has been confirmed by a study in which a Sudanese researcher compared the effectiveness of chloroquine tablets with that of a mixture of aradaib, hibiscus and lemon. The researcher has found that the aradaib concoction was not less effective than the chloroquine tablets.
The aradaib fruit as a medical herb is licensed by many of the World’s pharmacopoeias, including those of Britain and the United States of America.
The aradaib fruit has been confirmed as an antidote to scurvy, as a laxative and as a diuretic.
In the Sudan aradaib trees grow in the southern parts of the country all through a belt extending from the East to the West. They also grow in what is now the Republic of Southern Sudan.
Aradaib is available in the Sudanese markets all the year round. The fruit’s extract is used as a soft drink and as a proven treatment of malaria as mentioned above.
As a food, the aradaib fruit has a high content of protein(30%), carbohydrates(60%-70%), and fats(12%). Every gram of aradaib fruits gives 270 calories while every 100 grams of aradaib pulp contains 108 milligrams of phosphorus, 54 milligrams of calcium as well as 1 milligram of iron. The aradaib fruit is a mine of B vitamins.
The edible pulp of the aradaib pod-like fruit is taken raw or as a drink in Sudan and is used in cuisines around the world besides the traditional medicine.
It has now become an important component of some famous food products like the Worcestershire sauce, barbecues and in the preparation of jams, jellies and soda drinks. It is also used in the making of glue powder.
Aradaib’s fresh leaves are consumed as a salad.
A Sudanese study has proved that aradaib can be manufactured into a beverage with a six-months longevity. It contains antibiotics with a strong ability to destroy harmful bacteria. It is an antidote to stomach acidity, flatulence and indigestion and has a proven antipyretic ability. Because of those characteristics some drug manufacturers add some of the aradaib properties to children medicines.
Aradaib is an appetizer and is prescribed in cases of nausea and vomiting particularly in case of pregnancy. It helps the body get rid of poisons. All in all, the aradaib is not associated with any health warnings: It is a natural healthy drink.
The wood can be used for woodworking, and the oil can be extracted from the seeds. Because of aradaib’s (tamarind's) many uses, it is cultivated around the world in tropical and subtropical zones.
The aradaib pods are classified among the World’s sweet fruits despite their relatively sour taste. Aradaib’s most noteworthy citrus is the (tartaric acid), which is also contained in grapes, grapefruits and the avocado.
The aradaib tree is grown as an Equatorial ornamental and shade tree in gardens. Its timber, that has resistance to bacteria and rotting, is used to produce furniture, in making equipment handles, in lathing works, boatbuilding and the making of oil mills. The timber is also used as a fuel and is burned into charcoal. Its bark and fibers are used in some other carpentry works.
Despite all these proven benefits, the aradaib is still marketed locally and a lot of work is needed to market it abroad in the form of soft drinks and in a compressed form like in the case of fig that sells very well on the international market.
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