Pomegranate Punica granatum

Punica granatum
  • Common Names
  • Pomegranate
  • Botanical Name
  • Punica granatum
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Pomegranate

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Folklore

How to Use: Pomegranate

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. 1

With 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 sources. 2

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.

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Pomegranate Remedies

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.

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Plant Description

  • Plant Class: Small tree or shrub
  • 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
  • Flowering Season:
  • 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

Regional Traditions :Middle East *

How to Grow Pomegranate

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.

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