A tropical fruit native to Africa, the sweet tamarind comes from the evergreen tamarind tree, scientifically known as Tamarindus indica L. from the Fabaceae family of plants. The tamarind tree produces long, curved brown pods that resemble large over-mature green beans. The polyphenols in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These can protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The seed extract may also help lower blood sugar, while the pulp extract may help you lose body weight and reverse fatty liver disease.