Scientifically known as the Terminalia Catappa and belonging to the lead wood family, the tree grows in tropical regions. The growth of the flowers is classified into male and female, while the tree is categorised under monoecious. The leaves are rather inconspicuous and both male and female flowers are produced on the same tree. They are white to greenish in colour and about 0.39 in. in diameter. With 20+ vernacular names it can also be consumed when it is fully ripe.
The tree is commonly found throughout SE Asia and can be grown either wild or cultivated. This deciduous tree sheds its leaves twice a year. The colours of the leaves turn gold, copper and red in the month of Autumn. The branches reach out to at least 30 m and the fruits are shaped by the almond. The edible nut is surrounded by a fibrous shell.
The seed is known for its high protein content of about 38% and is high in fat at about 165%. Besides, it also contains essential vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, other than vitamins A, C and E. The mineral concentrates are calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, manganese and zinc. The seed is also rich in electrolytes sodium and potassium and other phytonutrients such as carotene and lutein. The Indian almond is edible and can be consumed raw. It displays anti-bacterial activity, has anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties and even consumed as an aphrodisiac. It can inhibit the action of free radicals in the body and display marked anti-microbial activity. In other words, the almond has the capacity to lower your cholesterol levels, prevent cancer and boost your brain power.
The seed contains olein glyceride linoleic acid, which is a brilliant moisturiser. Extremely useful for the skin, the almond also provides essential vitamin E and acts as a disinfectant for your skin. Containing hair-friendly nutrients, when administered, these penetrate into the hair, making it healthy and beautiful. Its high magnesium content promotes hair growth while its antibacterial properties help ward off dandruff.