Everyone is familiar with the pomegranate. Aside from it being a decadent fruit that we all know and love, the pomegranate is also known as one of the healthiest fruits on earth. They contain a range of beneficial plant compounds, unmatched by other foods. Studies have even shown that pomegranates may lower your risk of various diseases.
The benefits of this fruit have been used for thousands of years. In fact, the origin of the pomegranate dates back to Egypt thousands of years ago where it was thought to be a royal fruit. Now today, it is still used to help our bodies fight free radical damage and improve our overall health.
Botanical Name and Family of Pomegranate
The botanical name of the pomegranate is Punica granatum. It belongs to the Punicaceae or the Lythraceae family and has been known for centuries as the pomegranate.
The pomegranate received its moniker from the ancient Romans. They originally called it malum granatum. Malum is a Latin word meaning apple, which came from the Greek word for melon, and granatum comes from the Latin word granum, meaning seed.
What Is Pomegranate?
Pomegranate is the fruit of an extremely long-living, deciduous shrub that is native to Europe and Asia. The fruit is widely used for cooking and making juices and alcoholic beverages; it has several uses in traditional medicine, too. The seeds are embedded within a juicy pulp that is bright reddish-pink in color.
It is known as a divine fruit because it is the most mentioned fruit in theological books, including the Bible. In ancient Greece, it was believed that pomegranates were the fruit of the dead and were formed from the blood of Adonis, the god of desire and beauty, because of their ability to help improve your skin.
Since then, pomegranates have been used to help heal a variety of conditions ranging from protecting our heart to boosting our immunity.
Active Ingredients Found in Pomegranate
Pomegranate contains anthocyanins such as cyaniding and polyphenols belonging to the class of ellagitannins. It also contains fatty acids such as stearic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid. Steroid hormones such as estrone have also been isolated from the peel, juice and seeds of the pomegranate.
Pomegranate also contains:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Traditionally, the fruit has been used to fight intestinal parasites that cause dysentery and diarrhea. The juice has astringent properties that is used to stop bleeding from the gums and nose and is also used topically as a skin toning agent.
Pomegranates have also been used to treat the following ailments:
- Cancer prevention
- Heart health
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s prevention
- Cognitive function
Most of the medicinal uses of pomegranates are derived from the antioxidant properties that are used as anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anticancer agents; it also has valuable action in preventing and dealing with cardiovascular problems. Promising results have also been found in treating obesity, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Use Pomegranate
Aside from being eaten as a whole, the outer skin of the pomegranate is peeled and the pulpy seeds are consumed.
Pomegranate is generally safe for use; however, those who wish to conceive should use caution because it has contraceptive and miscarriage-causing effects. Speak to your doctor or herbal practitioner to make sure it’s going to be beneficial for you.
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Jurenka JS. Therapeutic applications of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.): A review. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Jun;13(2):128-44. Review. PubMed PMID: 18590349.