The name pomegranate comes from Latin word “Pomum” meaning apple and granatum meaning full of seeds. It is one of the seven kinds of fruits mentioned in the Bible. Pomegranate juice improves blood flow and prevents the thickening of coronary arteries. It also slows the growth of plaque and deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. Pomegranate reduces the free radical damage and thus decrease the signs of ageing and wrinkles. Its seed oil protects against skin cancer.
Pomegranate is one of the seven kinds of fruits mentioned in The Bible. It sheds its leaves in winter and sprouts in early spring. It ripens at the end of summer very close to the beginning of the Jewish new year.
It is used for furnishing and as blessing in ceremonies. It decorated the temples in the past and had appeared on ancient coins. The most important growing regions of pomegranate are Egypt, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, India, Burma and Saudi Arab.
The name pomegranate comes from Latin word “Pomum” meaning apple and granatum meaning full of seeds and its botanical name is Punica granatum. In Sanskrit it is known as Dadima and Anar in Hindi.
It is neat round small tree that can grow to 20 to 30 ft. The trunk is covered by red brown bark which later becomes grey.
The pomegranate has glossy, leathery leaves that are narrow and lance shaped. The flowers are attractive scarlet and over an inch across.
The fruit has a thick leathery rind which protects the pulp and seeds inside. The inside of fruit is separated into compartments by white spongy tissue. It is red, round and looks like a red apple. The fruit is packed with plenty of nutrients, antioxidants which make it a part of healthy diet.
Composition of Pomegranate
About 50% of total fruit weight corresponds to peel which is important source of bioactive compounds such as flavinoids, phenolics, minerals like potassium, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, sodium and complex polysaccharides. The edible part of fruit is 50% which consists of 40% arils and 10% seeds. The arils contain 85% water, 10% total sugar mainly fructose and glucose and 1.5% pectin, organic acid such as citric acid, ascorbic acid and malic acid.
Based on taste- It is classified into 3 types
It is indicated to be taken during fever. It relieves excessive thirst and burning sensation. It undergoes digestion very easily. It helps to relieve diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. It improves immunity and body strength.
2. Sweet sour
Its taste improves the digestion power of stomach. It helps to relieve anorexia. It slightly increases the pitta and also improve the taste of food.
Pomegranate fruit having predominant sour taste increases Pitta to a greater extent. But it balances Kapha and Vata.
The bark and leaves are used to calm the disorders of digestive system. It provides B-complex vitamins that help body to convert fat, carbohydrates, proteins in the food into energy. It also plays a vital role in the secretion of enzymes.
Pomegranate seeds get their vibrant red hue from polyphenoles. These chemicals are powerful antioxidants. Their juice helps remove free radicals, protects cells from damage and reduces inflammation.
Pomegranate juice improves blood flow and prevents the thickening of coronary arteries. It also slows the growth of plaque and deposition of cholesterol in the arteries.
Pomegranates are high in fibre which is one of the most important nutrients for sustainable weight loss. It is rich in antioxidant polyphenoles and conjugated linolenic acid which helps to burn fat and boost the metabolism. It also helps in suppressing the appetite.
Pomegranate juice can help lower the blood pressure by reducing the level of angiotensin converting enzyme.
It is rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and potassium. The high content of vit C helps the body to absorb the iron. Regular consumption of pomegranate helps to increase haemoglobin level and fights anemia.
Pomegranate juice can inhibit the growth of tumor cells and induce natural death in them. Recent research has shown that pomegranate extract selectively inhibits the growth of breast, prostate and lung cancer cells. It has shown anti proliferative, anti metastatic and anti invasive effect on different cancers.
Antioxidant property of pomegranate can improve the sperm quality. Its juice contains folic acid that boosts blood flow to the uterus and help in conception.
It reduces the free radical damage and thus decreases the signs of ageing and wrinkles. It stimulates the keratenocyte skin cells which help in cellular regeneration. Its seed oil protects against skin cancer.
The plant compounds in pomegranate have anti-inflammatory effect so that they could help treat arthritis. The extract can block the enzymes that are known to damage joints.
Nutrient Value per 100 gm
Energy 83 Kcal
Protein 1.67 gm
Total lipid 1.17 gm
Carbohydrates 18.70 gm
Fibre 4 gm
Sugar 13.67 gm
Vit C (Ascorbic Acid) 10.2 mgm
Thiamine 0.067 mgm
Riboflavin 0.035 mgm
Niacin 0.293 mgm
Vit B6 0.075 mgm
Folate 38 mgm
Vit E 0.60 mgm
Vit K 16.4 mgm
Calcium 10 mgm
Iron 0.30 mgm
Magnesium 12 mgm
Phosphorus 36 mgm
Potassium 236 mgm
Sodium 3 mgm
Zinc 0.35 mgm
Taste- Sweet, Sour, Astringent
Potency- Unushana sheeta (Neither cold nor hot).
Parts used- Seeds, roots, flowers and leaves.
Therapeutic Uses of Pomegranate
The outer fruit cover of pomegranate is made into decoction (kwath) and administered 15 to 20 ml 3-4 times a day
In nose bleeding the juice of the flowers is instilled nasally (Nasya) to arrest the bleeding.
Being alkaloid it is a great antacid. Take 50 ml of pure juice two times daily on an empty stomach to relieve acidity. It soothens inflamed stomach.
In bleeding disorders, take pomegranate decoction prepared by boiling the fruit rind in water and simmering it before drinking.
Juice of pomegranate can be applied in skin allergies, rashes and insect bites. It can be mixed with aloe vera gel in 1:1 ratio.
Instill one drop of fresh or diluted pomegranate juice into each eye at bed time to alleviate burning sensation in eyes.
Cough in children
Half cup of pomegranate juice with a pinch of ginger powder and a pinch of pippali powder is given in children suffering from chronic cough.
1. Dadimadi Ghrita
2. Dadimadi Kwatha
3. Yavanyadi Churna
4. Dadimashtak Churna
5. Lawan Bhaskar Churna
6. Dadima Chatushn Churna
Pomegranates are known as the healthiest fruit as they have a wide range of benefits to keep our body disease free. Every part of it possesses beneficial properties, therefore it can be added to our diet.
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar-8