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Tamarind Seed Extract

(Tamarindus indica L.)



The tamarind tree grows widely across southern Europe, the middle east and parts of Asia, and is grown as a garden plant in more northerly latitudes. The seeds contain a polysaccharide (complex sugar) called xyloglucan instead of the more usual starch found in many other seeds. Glucans are digestible by certain intestinal bacteria but not by yeasts and so are sometimes used to encourage the growth of ‘healthy bacteria’ in the gut.

An extract sometimes called Tamarind Seed Polysaccharide or Polyose (TSP) has been found useful in treating ‘dry eye syndrome’ and is being researched as a ‘carrier’ for topically-applied antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. Eye drops containing TSP are still difficult to find, but as interest grows they are likely to become more widely available.

Research indicates that the polysaccharide xyloglucan is completely non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.



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