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Pomegranate

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  • Botanical: Punica granatum
  • Family: Lythraceae
  • Hits: 4051
Pomegranate

Botanical

Punica granatum

Family

Lythraceae

Known as

Granatapfelbaum

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Collection Times

Spring

Parts Used

fruit, roots, rind, sprout

Aroma

exotic, fruity, sweet

Medicinal

abdominal pain, bronchitis, bleeding, bronchitis, circulation, coughs, diarrhea, digestion, gastritis, gum bleeding, indigestion, intestinal parasites, stomach cramps, tapeworms

Heart & Circulation

bleeding, circulation

Hormone & Sexual Organs

menstruation promotion

Muscle & Joints

gout, rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

headache

Respiratory System

bronchitis, cough, respiratory

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, diarrhea, digestion, gastrointestinal, indigestion, nausea, stomach cramps, tapeworms, vomiting, worm

Skin & Hair

allergies, wounds

Properties

antibacterial, antiviral, anti inflammatory, astringent

Description

An attractive shrub or small tree, to 20 or 30 ft (6 or 10 m) high, the Pomegranate is much-branched, more or less spiny.

An extremely long-lived species, some specimens at Versailles are known to have survived two centuries. The leaves are evergreen or deciduous, opposite or in whorls of 5 or 6, short-stemmed, oblong-lanceolate, 3/8 to 4 in (1-10 cm) long and leathery. Showy flowers are home on the branch tips singly or as many as 5 in a cluster.

They are 1 1/4 in (3 cm) wide and characterized by the thick, tubular, red calyx having 5 to 8 fleshy, pointed sepals forming a vase from which emerge the 3 to 7 crinkled, red, white or variegated petals enclosing the numerous stamens. Nearly round, but crowned at the base by the prominent calyx, the fruit, 2 1/2 to 5 in (6.25-12.5 cm) wide, has a tough, leathery skin or rind, basically yellow more or less overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red.

The interior is separated by membranous walls and white spongy tissue (rag) into compartments packed with transparent sacs filled with tart, flavorful, fleshy, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp (technically the aril). In each sac, there is one white or red, angular, soft or hard seed. The seeds represent about 52% of the weight of the whole fruit.

Properties & Uses

The juice of wild Pomegranates yields citric acid and sodium citrate for pharmaceutical purposes. Pomegranate juice enters into preparations for treating dyspepsia and is considered beneficial in leprosy.

The bark of the stem and root contains several alkaloids such as isopelletierine which is active against tapeworms. Either a decoction of the bark, which is very bitter, or the safer, insoluble Pelletierine Tannate may be employed.

Because of their tannin content, extracts of the bark, leaves, immature fruit and fruit rind have been given as astringents to stop diarrhea, dysentery and hemorrhages. Dried, pulverized flower buds are employed as a remedy for bronchitis. In Mexico, a decoction of the flowers is gargled to relieve oral and throat inflammation.

Leaves, seeds, roots and bark have displayed hypotensive, antispasmodic and anthelmintic activity in bioassay.

Cautions

Overdoses are emetic and purgative, produce dilation of pupila, dimness of sight, muscular weakness and paralysis.

Distribution

The Pomegranate tree is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe.

Constituents

granatin A and B, punicacortein A, B, C and D, 5-O-galloylpunicacortein D, punicafolin, punigluconin, punicalagin, 1-alpha-O-galloylpunicalagin, punicalin and 2-O-galloyl-punicalin.

The red color of juice can be attributed to anthocyanins, such as delphinidin, cyanidin and pelargonidin glycosides (delphinidin 3-glucoside and 3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside and 3,5-diglucoside and pelargonidin 3-glucoside and 3,5-diglucoside)