Herb Reference Guide

Pomegranate

History

Perhaps no other fruit in the world is so steeped in culture and history as the pomegranate. For 4000 years the Pomegranate has been depicted as a symbol of prosperity, hope, and abundance in every time period, and part of the world inspiring artists, authors, and world leaders. Scholars maintain that the forbidden fruit of the "tree of knowledge" eaten by Eve was in fact not an apple but a pomegranate. The name is thought to come from the French; pomme garnete, literally “seeded apple” or more likely the Latin p?mum “apple” and gr?n?tum “seeded”. It has figured in many ancient religious texts including the Bible and the Quran, and figures prominently in Greek Mythology. It is native to modern day Iran and is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean, southern Europe, tropical Africa, Latin America, and in the United States much cultivation in California and Arizona. Its multi-seeded deep red arils (seeds) symbolize fertility and prosperity in several cultures.

Function

Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of antioxidants; tannins (Punicalagins), anthocyanins, and ellagic acid. Ancient cultures used the juice and seeds primarily as a food, but one cannot overlook the historical importance of its use for health purposes. In India in Ayurvedic practice the rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree is used as a traditional remedy for supporting multiple digestive functions. The seeds and juice are classified as a bitter astringent (pitta or fire) and considered a healthful counterbalance to a diet high in sweet-fatty (kapha or earth) components. Modern research has found it to support healthy prostate function, cardiovascular function, a healthy digestive environment and supportive to immune function.

Uses of Pomegranate

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Parts Used

  • Freeze Dried Arils, Seed Oil

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Lansky EP, Jiang W, Mo H, Bravo L, Froom P, Yu W, Harris NM, Neeman I, Campbell MJ. Possible synergistic prostate cancer suppression by anatomically discrete pomegranate fractions. Invest New Drugs. 2005 Jan;23(1):11-20.

Hong, Mee Young, Seeram, Navindra P., and Heber, Davind. Pomegranate Polyphenols Downregulate Expression of Androgen Synthesizing Genes in Human Prostate Cancer Cells Overexpressing the Androgen Receptor. J Nutr Biochem. 2008 December; 19(12): 848–855.

Efficacy and Safety of Pomegranate Juice on
Forest CP, Padma-Nathan H, Liker HR. Efficacy and Safety of Pomegranate Juice on Improvement of Erectile Dysfunction of Male Patients With Mild to Moderate Erectile Dysfunction: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Crossover Study. Int J Impot Res. 2007;19:564–565.

Weisburg JH, Schuck AG, Silverman MS, Ovits-Levy CG, Solodokin LJ, Zuckerbraun HL, Babich H.
Pomegranate extract, a prooxidant with antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities preferentially towards carcinoma cells. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2010 Oct 1;10(8):634-44.