Its bright red colour and ruby coloured, jewel-like seeds make the pomegranate one of the most attractive of fruits- but what is even more stunning are its amazing health benefits. The flowers, leaves, bark, peel and of course the seeds of pomegranate are all edible and have potent medicinal qualities that have given it the status of a divine fruit. Believed to have flourished in the Garden of Eden, the pomegranate is a part of ancient symbolism, rituals, beliefs and folk practices. In Ayurveda, the world’s oldest system of medicine, the pomegranate has been extensively used as a source of traditional remedies for thousands of years. In fact, the Vedas, the most ancient texts of Hindu Philosophy, consider it as a symbol of fertility and prosperity.
In Kerala, one of the top Ayurvedic destinations of the world, Ayurvedic physicians have been using the rind of this exotic fruit for centuries as a traditional remedy against diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal parasites. The seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart, throat and eyes, in addition to being used for a variety of purposes, such as stopping nose bleeds and gum bleeds, toning the skin, firming-up sagging breasts and treating hemorrhoids.
The chemical ingredients in the pomegranate are ellagic acid, ellagitannins – including punicalagins- punicic acid, flavonoids, anthocyanidins, anthocyanins, and estrogenic flavonols and flavones. Compounds found only in pomegranates called punicalagins are shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagins are the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. They not only lower cholesterol, but also lower blood pressure and increase the speed at which heart blockages melt away. The peels or rind of pomegranate are astringent and bitter in taste. They are packed with antioxidants and also have anti-bacterial activity. Moreover, pomegranate peels contain tannins, which are very powerful astringents.
Decoction made by boiling pomegranate peels can be used for gargling in case of sore throat and tonsillitis. 1tbsp of pomegranate peel powder should be taken twice daily with water for preventing bad breath. . Massaging the gums with pomegranate peel powder helps in soothing swollen, inflamed and bleeding gums. Roasted and powdered pomegranate skin can be mixed with rose water or lime juice and applied as a face-pack for soothing pimples, boils, acne and for removing white heads and black heads. Pomegranate powder mixed with tiny amounts of freshly ground black pepper can be used as a toothpowder for preventing dental caries.
Pomegranate juice taken daily is good for heart and useful people suffering from low B.P and Asthma The juice is rich in antioxidants and can keep bad cholesterol –LDL- from oxidizing and prevents atherosclerosis. It inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease. Pomegranate juice is useful for women as it is believed to decrease the risk of breast cancer. It can prevent and slow down Alzheimer’s disease and prevents cartilage deterioration to keep osteoarthritis at bay. Another benefit is that the juice increases memory power and also delays ageing.
Studies have shown that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health and that it has the most powerful anti-oxidant among all fruits. As a result, more and more people are making the pomegranate a part of their daily diet as the world recognizes what Ayurveda has proclaimed for thousands of years- the pomegranate is truly Nature’s Power Fruit.