Pomegranate as Medicinal Tree
Health benefits of pomegranate
Pomegranate other uses
Pomegranate Side effects
In December, 2010 scientists have identified components in pomegranate juice that inhibit the movement of cancer
cells. Researchers at the University of California have found that these components
also weaken cancer cells' attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the
metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone and pomegranate juice helps fight prostrate cancer.
In the ancient Ayurveda system of medicine, the pomegranate has extensively been used as a source of traditional
remedies for thousands of years. The rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree is used as a
traditional remedy against diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal parasites. The seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart,
throat, eyes and for a variety of purposes, such as stopping nose bleeds and gum bleeds, toning skin,
firming-up sagging breasts and treating hemorrhoids.
In the past decade, numerous studies on the antioxidant,
anticarcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate constituents
have been published, focusing on treatment and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dental conditions, erectile dysfunction,
bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance, and ultraviolet radiation-induced skin damage. Other potential applications include infant brain
ischemia, male infertility, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and obesity.
English - Pomegranate
Latin - Punica granatum
Family : Lythraceae
Sanskrit - Dadimah
Hindi - Anar (अनार)
Marathi - Dalimba
Gujarati - Dalimba
Tamil - Madalai
Telgu - Danimma
Pharsi - Anar tursa
Arabi - Roman Hamiz
French - Grenade
German - Granatapfel , Grenadine
Chinese Pinyin (石榴
A large, dry pomegranate was found in the tomb of Djehuty, the butler of Queen Hatshepsut; Mesopotamian cuneiform records mention
pomegranates from the mid-Third millennium BC onwards. The ancient city of Granada in Spain was
renamed after the fruit during the Moorish period. Spanish colonists later
introduced the fruit to the Caribbean and Latin America. It succeeded in the South: Bartram received a barrel
of pomegranates and oranges from a correspondent in Charleston, South Carolina,
1764. Thomas Jefferson planted pomegranates at Monticello in 1771: he had them from George Wythe of Williamsburg.
Ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity and ambition. According to the Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical writings from around
1500 BC, Egyptians used the pomegranate for treatment of tapeworm and other infections.
The pomegranate was mentioned in the Ancient Greek history prior to the founding of Ancient Rome.
In the Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate was also known as the "fruit of the dead".
Pomegranates continue to be a motif often found in Christian religious decoration. The Qur'an also mentions
pomegranates three times (6:99,6:141,) as examples of good things God creates.
The pomegranate is the symbol of Armenia and represents fertility, abundance and marriage.
Pomegranate was the symbol of fertility in ancient Persian
culture. In some Hindu traditions, the pomegranate symbolizes prosperity and
fertility, and is associated with both Bhoomidevi(the earth goddess) and Lord Ganesha.
The pomegranate is regarded as a symbol of fertility in China.
The pomegranate has extensively been used as a source of traditional
remedies for thousands of years in the ancient Ayurveda system of medicine. A bowl of ash-e anar, a Persian soup made with pomegranate
juice was very popular. Pomegranate juice has long been a popular drink in Persian and Indian cuisine,
and began to be widely distributed in the US and Canada in 2002.
Tree: The pomegranate is a neat, rounded shrub or small tree
that can grow to 20 or 30 ft., but more typically to 12 to 16 ft. in height. Dwarf varieties are also known. It is usually deciduous,
but in certain areas the leaves will persist on the tree. The trunk is covered by a red-brown
bark which later becomes gray. The branches are stiff, angular and often spiny. There is a strong tendency to sucker from the base.
Pomegranates are also long-lived. The vigor of a pomegranate declines after about 15 years, however.
Leaves: The pomegranate has glossy, leathery leaves that are narrow and lance-shaped.
Flowers: The attractive scarlet, white or variegated flowers are over an inch across and have 5 to 8 crumpled
petals and a red, fleshy, tubular calyx which persists on the fruit. The flowers may be solitary or grouped in twos and threes
at the ends of the branches. The pomegranate is self-pollinated as well as cross-pollinated by insects.
Cross-pollination increases the fruit set. Wind pollination is insignificant.
Fruit: The nearly round, 2-1/2 to 5 in. wide fruit is crowned at the base by the prominent calyx.
The tough, leathery skin or rind is typically yellow overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red.
The interior is separated by membranous walls and white, spongy, bitter tissue into compartments packed with
sacs filled with sweetly acid, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp or aril. In each sac there is one angular,
soft or hard seed. High temperatures are essential during the fruiting period to get the best flavor.
The pomegranate may begin to bear in 1 year after planting out, but 2-1/2 to 3 years is more common.
Under suitable conditions the fruit should mature some 5 to 7 months after bloom.
The chemical ingredients in the pomegranate are ellagic acid, ellagitannins (including punicalagins), punicic acid, flavonoids,
anthocyanidins, anthocyanins, and estrogenic flavonols and flavones.
The most abundant polyphenols in pomegranate juice are the hydrolyzable tannins
called ellagitannins. Punicalagins are unique pomegranate tannins with free-radical scavenging
properties in laboratory experiments. Other phytochemicals include polyphenolic catechins, gallocatechins, and
anthocyanins, such as prodelphinidins, delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin. The ORAC (antioxidant capacity) of pomegranate juice was
measured at 2,860 units per 100 grams. Food and dietary supplement makers use pomegranate phenolic extracts as ingredients in their products.
Soils: The pomegranate does best in well-drained ordinary soil, but also thrives
on calcareous or acidic loam as well as rock strewn gravel.
Climate- Pomegranates prefer a semi-arid mild-temperate to subtropical
climate and are naturally adapted to regions with cool winters and hot summers.
A humid climate adversely affects the formation of fruit. The tree can be severely injured by temperatures below 12° F.
Irrigation: Once established, pomegranates can take considerable drought, but
for good fruit production they must be irrigated. To establish new plants they
should be watered every 2 to 4 weeks during the dry season. The plants are tolerant of moderately saline water and soil conditions.
Fertilization: Generally the trees are given 2 to 4-ounce applications of
ammonium sulfate or other nitrogen fertilizer the first two springs. After that
very little fertilizer is needed, although the plants respond to an annual mulch of rotted manure or other compost.
Pruning: Plants should be cut back when they are about 2 ft. high. From this
point allow 4 or 5 shoots to develop, which should be evenly distributed around
the stem to keep the plant well balanced. For the first 3 years the branches be judiciously shortened annually to encourage the maximum number of
new shoots on all sides, prevent straggly development and achieve a strong well
framed plant. After the 3rd year, only suckers and dead branches are removed.
Propagation: The pomegranate can be raised from seed but may not come true.
Cuttings root easily and plants from them bear fruit after about 3 years. Twelve to 20 inches long cuttings should be taken in winter from mature, one-year old
wood. The leaves should be removed and the cuttings treated with rooting hormone and inserted about two-thirds their length into the soil or into some other warm
rooting medium. Plants can also be air-layered but grafting is seldom successful.
Pests and Diseases: Pomegranates are relatively free of most pests and diseases.
Minor problems are leaf and fruit spot and foliar damage by white flies, thrips, mealybugs and scale insects.
Harvest: The fruits are ripe when they have developed a distinctive color and make a metallic sound when tapped. The fruits must be picked before over
maturity when they tend to crack open, particularly when rained on. The
pomegranate is equal to the apple in having a long storage life. It is best
maintained at a temperature of 32° to 41° F. and can be kept for a period of 7 months within this temperature range and at 80 to 85% relative humidity without
shrinking or spoiling. The fruits improve in storage, becoming juicier and more flavorful.
Pomegranate as Medicinal Plant
Pomegranates as a Treatment for Cancer, Osteoarthritis and Other Diseases.
The pomegranate has been used in natural and holistic medicine to treat sore throats, coughs, urinary infections,
digestive disorders, skin disorders, arthritis, and to expel tapeworms. However, modern research
suggests that pomegranates might be useful in treating such serious conditions as prostate cancer,
skin cancer, osteoarthritis, and diabetes. Studies also show that pomegranate seeds might help rid the digestive system of fats.
Clinical research shows that pomegranates, when part of a healthy diet, might help prevent heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
This is because pomegranates have the potential to thin the blood, increase blood flow to the heart,
reduce blood pressure, reduce plaque in the arteries, and reduce bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
Health benefits of pomegranate
In preliminary research pomegranate juice is effective in reducing heart disease risk factors, including LDL oxidation,
macrophage oxidative status, and foam cell formation. The potential health benefits are
1. Free radicals: Pomegranates are a rich source of
antioxidants that helps to protect our body's cells from free radicals, which cause premature aging. Free radicals are formed due to exposure to
the sun and harmful toxins from the environment.
2. Pomegranate is natural blood thinners: Prevents blood clots in the heart and
arteries, also urinary retention. The seeds prevent your blood platelets from coagulating and forming clots.
3. Arthritis prevention: Pomegranate can reduce the damage on the cartilage for those hit with arthritis. This fruit has the ability
to lessen the inflammation and fights the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.
4. Help in erectile dysfunction: Pomegranate juice can improve erectile dysfunction only moderately.
5.Prostrate cancer and heart diseases: Two separate studies claim that pomegranate juice helps fight prostrate cancer. In one lab
experiment, the juices "slowed the growth of the cultured cancer cells and promoted cell death". In the second experiment, pomegranate juice
improved the condition of the blood, hence improving the health of individuals down with cardiovascular diseases.
6. Prevention of atherosclerosis: Pomegranates prevent the hardening of the artery walls with excess fat, leaving your
arteries fat free and pumping with antioxidants.
Pomegranate other uses
* Pomegranate aril juice provides about 16% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement
* It is a good source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), potassium and polyphenols
* Pomegranates are listed as high-fiber in some charts of nutritional value.
* A number of products exist for consuming or cooking with pomegranates. Among them are grenadine syrup, pomegranate juice concentrate, bottled
pomegranate juices, frozen pomegranate seeds, dried pomegranate seeds, pomegranate extracts, and pomegranate supplements.
The fresh seeds and juice, however, usually offer the best nutritional and superfruit value.
* Pomegranate oil has profitably been made effective in cosmetology as
anti-wrinkle creams, soaps, pomades, shampoos, moisturizers and lip balms for treating chapped lips.
The presence of antioxidants in pomegranates, which encourage cell regeneration; increase skin elasticity; and protect the outer epidermal layer of the skin.
Dried pomegranate arils, found in some natural specialty food markets, maintaining a natural sweet and tart flavor. Dried arils can be used in several culinary
applications, such as trail mix , granola bars, or as a topping for salad, yogurt, or ice cream. Chocolate covered arils may be added to desserts and baked items.
An ideal recipe for health, take 1 small Amla, 1 cup pomegranate , 1 cup black grapes , some Black salt. In a
mixer mix the juice of pomegranate and grapes and add 2 table spoon amla juice, chaat masala and black salt.
Pomegranate Side effects
No side effect is reported.
Twenty years ago, people in Atpadi taluka in Maharashtra’s drought-prone Sangli district,
could earn their livelihoods. Then they learnt how to grow pomegranate, an arid area crop that needs little or
no water. Today, a significant number are millionaires. Similar stories abound in Sangole in Solapur district, Satana and Malegaon in Nashik district and Atpadi, Jat, Kavathemahankal in Sangli district, which produce India’s best quality pomegranate. The plant grows in over one lakh
hectares in the state, or 85% of India’s total.
APEDA data shows exports have risen from 7 tonnes in 1999 to more than 35,000
tonnes in 2007-08 as European consumers have developed a taste for the premium Bhagva variety. The minimum income per acre even without any special care is Rs 2 lakh, that
beats profits from sugarcane and grapes. With proper farm management, it can touch Rs 15 lakh per acre.
Skin Care Benefits
With its incredible antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties and ability to encourage radiant skin, pomegranate
has been incorporated into skin care; especially anti-aging and sun care products. It can help with a number of skin care issues that women of
color can face, including dry skin, age spots, hyperpigmentation, acne flare-ups and acne scars.
Pomegranate promotes smooth, firm skin by promoting collagen
and elastin production and softens skin.
Stay young with pomegranates
One pomegranate is known to deliver 40% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement. This fruit is being
touted as a miracle drug for aging, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, arthritis. It is also known to protect unborn babies from brain injuries.
Pomegranate has become a popular ingredient for mixed drinks, ice cream and even bottled water.
For generations, the pomegranate has been regarded as a fruit with exceptional health benefits.
Consuming pomegranate in any form can be beneficial (seeds or juice) as it helps repair damaged cells and
strengthens the immune system and body against disease. Studies have shown that pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for
overall good health. Pomegranate is low in calories, high in fibre, vitamins and phyto chemicals (plant chemicals) and makes for a great
snack. The plant chemicals in its seeds are polyphenols and offer heart and anti-cancer benefits.
The rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree is used as a remedy against diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal parasites. The seeds
and juice are considered a tonic for the heart, throat and eyes and as a remedy for stopping nose bleeds, gum bleeds, toning skin and treating
haemorrhoids. It has antioxidants that protect the heart, relieve one
from stomach disorders, and even have skin and anti-ageing benefits.
New therapies for preventing cancer may be on their way as scientists have
identified components in pomegranate juice that inhibit the movement of cancer cells. Researchers at the University of California have found that these components
also weaken cancer cells attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone. The research could lead to new
therapies for preventing cancer metastasis.Manuela Martins-Green applied pomegranate juice on
aboratory-cultured prostate cancer cells that were resistant to testosterone.
The researchers found that the pomegranate juice-treated tumour cells that had
not died with the treatment showed increased cell adhesion and decreased cell migration.
In preliminary laboratory research and clinical trials, juice of the
pomegranate may be effective in reducing heart disease risk factors, including LDL oxidation,
macrophage oxidative status, and foam cell formation. One pilot study in adult subjects found that daily
consumption of pomegranate juice over two weeks increased salivary testosterone levels by 24% and had
other effects on blood pressure, mood, anxiety or emotions.
Research has shown that the punicic acid present in pomegranate seed oil
prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance, which is not dependent on dietary changes or the energy utilization of the body.
Evidently, it also effectively reduces cholesterol besides having a favorable effect on lipid profile.
A study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School which was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that pomegranate
seed oil encourages keratinocyte proliferation which helps regenerate
the skin epidermis. Therefore, it efficiently treats damaged fingernails
and cuticles of the hands and feet and is utilized in manicure and pedicures as a soak or as a rub.
1 Stover E, Mercure EW (August, 2007). "The pomegranate: a new look at the fruit of paradise".
2 Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, "Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer".
3. LaRue, James H.: "Growing Pomegranates in California" California Agriculture and Natural Resources.
4 Schubert SY, Lansky EP, Neeman I (July, 1999)."Antioxidant and eicosanoid enzyme inhibition properties of pomegranate seed oil and fermented juice
5. Aviram M, Dornfeld L (September 2001).: "Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting
enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure"
6. Seeram, N. P.; Schulman, R. N.; Heber, D., eds.
(2006):. Pomegranates: Ancient Roots to Modern Medicine
7. Jayaprakasha, G. K.; Negi, P.S.; Jena, B.S. (2006).: Antimicrobial activities of pomegranate
8 Menezes SM, Cordeiro LN, Viana GS (2006).
"Punica granatum (pomegranate) extract is active against dental plaque".
-Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy
Pomegranate contains antioxidants
Pomegranate contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to protect the lining of the arteries from damage,
explains Dr. Gregg Schneider, a nutritionally-oriented dentist and expert on alternative medicine. A 2005 study published in the <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences found that antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice stimulated the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps keep blood flowing and arteries open.