Tamarind

(Tamarindus indicus) This tree folds its leaflets at night and in overcast weather, an ideal abode of the rain god in Burmese thought (Menninger). Indians have a prejudice against sleeping under a tamarind, probably because of the dampness in the tree, which certainly affects the canvas of tents pitched near it (Leyel. 1937). When an Oraian (India) woman is in difficult labour, a man goes to find a tamarind tree that has been singed by lightning, stands by it, and strips off a piece of bark where it touches his waist. He takes the bark back to the door of the delivery room, and pushes the piece of bark through a hole in the door, and stands holding his end of the bark. The woman has to fix her gaze on this bark to facilitate delivery. As soon as it takes place the man takes out the bark, otherwise inversion of the uterus is believed to occur. Another belief of the same people is that a child born after three sisters or three brothers will bring misfortune to its siblings or parents. To neutralize the ill effect the father of the newborn child has to go to a tamarind tree and make three strokes on it with some weapon (Gupta). A medicinal use is reported from Guyana, where a decoction of the fruit is taken as a measles remedy (Laguerre).

Tamarindus indicus > TAMARIND

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