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Tamarind Helps Rid Your Body of Toxic Fluoride -- Plus Other Benefits

More than 207 million Americans live in areas with fluoridated drinking water. If you're among them, you might want to try tamarind for a fluoride detox

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), an evergreen tree native to tropical Africa, is widely cultivated for its sweet-sour fruit.[i] The brown flesh of the pod-like fruits is a staple in Indian cuisine for marinades and chutneys, but even the unripe fruit is valued for pickling while a dehydrated powder from the fruit is added to beverages and snacks for extra tartness.[ii]

But like most natural foods, tamarind also has medicinal properties and a long history of use in traditional healing. Tamarind leaves have anti-inflammatory properties,[iii] for instance, while the seeds contain fatty acids, phenolic antioxidants and other biological compounds. Extracts from the leaves also contain potent flavonoids like epicatechin and apigenin along with beta-carotene and vitamin C.[iv]

At our tamarind research database, you can find dozens of studies on tamarind's beneficial health effects. Tamarind seed polysaccharides deserve special mention for their role in detoxification, even for pernicious toxins like fluoride, which is added to 73% of U.S. drinking water supplies.[v]

Tamarind Accelerates Fluoride Excretion From Your Body

If you live in the U.S., there's a good chance you're among the more than 207 million Americans who receive fluoridated water from their tap.[vi] Fluoride, a neurotoxin, can harm your health in numerous ways and has been linked to cognitive dysfunction, low and impaired IQ, cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, endocrine disruption, thyroid disease, heart disease and fluoride toxicity.[vii]

The best way to protect yourself from fluoride is to keep your exposure as low as possible, using a reverse osmosis or other filter[viii] that removes this toxin from your drinking water.

However, to help rid your body of fluoride you've already ingested, try tamarind. In a study of 20 boys in India who consumed 10 grams of tamarind daily with their lunch for 18 days, a significant increase in fluoride excretion was noted.[ix]

The boys eating tamarind excreted about 4.8 milligrams (mg) of tamarind in their urine each day, compared to 3.5 mg per day for the boys not eating the tropical fruit. In India, excessive intake of fluoride from food and water commonly leads to dental fluorosis in children and adolescents.

The condition causes discoloration and mottling of teeth, and may increase the risk of cavities[x] as well as signal other systemic problems. Children with fluorosis are more likely to have impaired cognitive abilities than children without it, for instance.[xi] In India, fluorosis due to high fluoride intake is considered a significant public health problem,[xii] but even in the U.S., 65% of children have dental fluorosis.[xiii]

Tamarind may help, however. The study found, "Tamarind intake is likely to help in delaying progression of fluorosis by enhancing urinary excretion of fluoride."[xiv]

Tamarind Even Gets Fluoride Out of Your Bones

Tamarind may even be useful to remove fluoride from drinking water before it's consumed. When researchers added tamarind seed polysaccharides to water, it effectively removed fluoride, reducing levels by 60%.[xv] According to the study, published in Chemosphere:[xvi]

"The findings from the study demonstrated the use of T. indica L. seed polysaccharides as an effective natural coagulant for removing fluoride from potable water … Tamarindus polysaccharides might be used as an alternative to chemical agent used for fluoride removal in order to preserve the environment and human welfare."

Additional research also demonstrated tamarind's ability to mobilize deposited fluoride from bone. When children consumed tamarind for three weeks, they had a significant increase in fluoride excretion in their urine, suggesting it helped get the toxin out of bones and the body.[xvii] Tamarind in combination with spirulina also reduced fluoride toxicity in mice.[xviii]

Tamarind Is Beneficial for Pain, Metabolic Health and More

Tamarind has a wealth of benefits beyond its fluoride-detoxing potential. In an animal study, a supplement containing tamarind seeds and turmeric effectively relieved joint pain, inflammation and cartilage degradation, suggesting it may be useful for osteoarthritis.[xix]

The tamarind polysaccharides xyloglucan oligosaccharides (TXOS) also act as beneficial prebiotics and significantly increased gut microbiota diversity in obese mice.[xx] This suggests they may help improve a number of obesity-related effects, including improving liver fat metabolism and helping control body weight.

Tamarind extract also has antimicrobial and antiviral effects,[xxi] along with offering anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.[xxii] Additional research suggests tamarind offers cardioprotective effects,[xxiii] antidiabetic actions[xxiv] and may even ward off weight gain by reducing food consumption.[xxv] For more tamarind details, including its 18 pharmacological actions, be sure to read through's tamarind research database.

Regarding fluoride toxicity, if you live in an area with fluoridated water, you may want to consider tamarind to help your body detox. We've previously covered additional ways to detox from fluoride as well, including the strategic use of iodine and curcumin.


[iv] Antibiotics (Basel). 2023 Mar; 12(3): 464.

[v] U.S. CDC, Water Fluoridation Data & Statistics

[vi] U.S. CDC, 2018 Fluoridation Statistics

[vii] Fluoride Action Network, Health Effects

[viii] Fluoride Action Network, FAQs

[xiii] JDR Clin Trans Res. 2019 Oct;4(4):298-308. doi: 10.1177/2380084419830957. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

[xv] Chemosphere. 2023 May 26;335:138931. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138931. Online ahead of print.

[xvi] Chemosphere. 2023 May 26;335:138931. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138931. Online ahead of print.

[xix] J Am Nutr Assoc. 2023 May 24;1-11. doi: 10.1080/27697061.2023.2209880. Online ahead of print.


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