The source of the many health benefits of pomegranates is found inside the
juicy arils, in a small white seed that contains punicic acid. The punicic
acid found in pomegranates is an especially powerful form of CLA, which has
been shown to be beneficial in the fight against cancer, obesity, diabetes
and heart disease. 4 Ongoing studies of action and the use of pomegranate seem promising enough to suggest that men who add pomegranate juice to their daily diet may lower their risk of BPH, and prostate cancer.
all the healthy benefits of pomegranates, it is no wonder that health food
marketers have gotten in trouble
with the FDA for making some rather extravagant claims about the benefits
of pomegranate products. 5 In addition to being
very pricey, these products also contain added sugar, and other "natural flavors",
and so are not pure, 100% pomegranate juice. Still, with all the FDA needs
to be concerning themselves with, you would think the consumption of a healthy
fruit drink would be at the bottom of the list of things to protect the public
from. There seems to be no downside other than cost in adding
pomegranate juice to your daily diet.
Pomegranate seed oil is a valued ingredient in skin
care oils, and is especially good for dry, devitalized skin. Pomegranate
oil aids in moisturizing skin, preventing and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Those
with skin conditions including dry skin, eczema, psoriasis will benefit from
using pomegranate oil. Using pomegranate oil for skin may well have extended
benefits beyond it's moisturizing and anti-aging properties. The tannin in
the oil can also help decrease the chances of skin cancer according to some
Preparation Methods & Dosage :You can juice pomegranate seeds (use only the seeds, not the whole fruit), if you live in an area where they are abundant like the California coast. Pomegranate seed oil is also available as a cosmetic and medicinal oil. Pomegranate oil can be used alone, but I like to stretch this rather pricey oil by combining it with other skin care oils like almond oil.
In the Kitchen: Pomegranate seeds can be juiced, or eaten fresh. The pips also make a colorful garnish. Pomegranate seed are also made into a cordial, grenadine, which is used for cocktails, and a flavoring for sorbets and desserts. Seeds are boiled to make a pomegranate syrup, popular in Iran and the Middle East.
Pomegranate Side Effects:
Pomegranate root bark is used to treat intestinal parasites, and is very effective against tapeworm. The alkaloids in the bark, known as pelletierines, paralyze the tapeworms, loosing their grip on the intestinal wall so are easily expelled. Pomegranate bark extracts are subject to legal restrictions, and are very toxic. Do not use these extracts for self-treatment.
Etymology: From the Latin Latin pomum - apple, and granatus -seeded.
Flowers/Fruit/Seeds:Round, red fruits, with a bitter pith with contains apx 600 seeds that are surrounded by juicy pips -the aril — ranging in color from white to deep red or purple.
Parts used: Fruits, seeds, bark
Leaves:Opposite, glossy leaves
Distribution: Native to Persia and the Himalayas in Northern India. It has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times, the drier parts of southeast Asia, the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, and tropical Africa. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is now cultivated in parts of California and Arizona
Pomegranate trees grow best in the southern states and west coast (zones 7-10) where there is a long growing season and plenty of sun. Drought resistant and fast growing trees are self pollinating so a single tree can bear fruit. Can be grown in a container and brought in for the winter in the north.
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History and Traditions & Folklore
Pomegranates are an ancient food and medicine, P. granatum was first mentioned as a cure for tapeworms in the Egyptian Ebers papyri (c. 1500 BC). The Chinese recorded its use as a medicinal herb around 470 A.D..
Pomegranates are an ancient symbol of fertility and were one of the sacred plants of Hera/Juno, the Greek goddess of marriage, wife of Zeus. The fruit was eaten by childless women in hopes of conceiving a child. 3
Kroeger N, Belldegrun AS, Pantuck AJ . Review of the Research on Pomegranate Use for Male Urologic Health , Alternat Med. 2013;2013:701434. doi: 10.1155/2013/701434., (2013): Pomegranate has been shown to curb inflammation, increase nitric oxide (NO) production, reduce oxidative stress, and increase blood flow. Inflammation has been implicated in the development of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and BPH.,
Julie Gabriel . The Green Beauty Guide , HCI, (208): Studies have shown that pomegranate extract, both taken internally and applied topically, can greatly reduced photoaging and prevent formation of UV-induced skin cancer.,
By Robert A. Newman, Ephraim P. Lansky, Melissa Lynn Block . Pomegranate: The Most Medicinal Fruit , Basic Health Publications, Inc, (2007): Antioxidant polyphenols in pomegranate juice, peels and seed oil protect against obesity by helping to restore balance in insulin-resistant people. ,
. FDA Warning , FDA. Gov, (): ,
Deni Brown. "Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses" Dorling Kindersley, (1995)
** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **