How does it feel?
The pomegranate is a deciduous shrub or small fruit bearing tree originally from Persia, which can now be found growing all over India. It grows to heights of between 5-8 metres producing the characteristic large, red and round sweet fruits known as pomegranates which can contain anywhere between 200-1400 seeds. The plant also produces multiple spines along each of its branches and its flowers match the colour of the fruit and are a bright, vibrant red. Pomegranate trees have been known to live for up to 200 years and are incredibly hardy.
All around the world the actions of traditional medicines were understood by their immediate sensory impacts. Click on each of pomegranate’s key qualities below to learn more:
What can I use it for?
Pomegranate contains high levels of the constituent ellagic acid and Vitamin C, making it a strong and effective antioxidant and a good support for a weakened digestive system. The bark of the tree and a small percentage of the fruit contains constituents known as alkaloids that are particularly effective against fighting parasites within the digestive tract by inhibiting the parasites ability to grip onto the intestinal wall. The juice and the rind of the fruit contain tannins which display strong astringent properties, primarily active within the digestive tract.
Into the heart of pomegranate
The bright and vibrant red colour of this fruit gives a good indication of its usage within the body. It has an affinity for the heart and supporting a healthy blood flow and circulation around the body. The fruit was also revered in many folk traditions as being a symbol of fertility, reflecting its now known ability to stimulate the libido and act as an effective aphrodisiac. Different parts of the plant also demonstrate different medicinal actions with the bitter rind acting as an effective astringent to the digestive system, and the cooling juice as an excellent anti-inflammatory to the digestive tract but also in excessive heat and sweat production during the menopause.
The sweet juice of the fruit is a wonderful cooling drink for soothing an inflamed stomach and intestines. It is a specific for hyperacidity and the resulting nausea. Its mild astringency helps to slow the movement of vata and alleviates any excess pitta. The rind is a fine astringent that will bind a loose bowel very quickly. It is a common folk remedy for dysentery with bleeding and mucus. It also kills parasites; it is a specific for tapeworms, pin and roundworms. The dry, roasted seeds are a great benefit to those with an excessive appetite, tikshna agni, as they help to balance the excess pitta.
As a wonderful cordial herb it strengthens the heart. Its affinity for the blood helps to nourish rakta dhatu. Its sweet and astringent qualities are beneficial in bleeding anywhere in the circulatory system.
Pomegranates are a well-known aphrodisiac. They benefit the semen (shukrala) via the plasma or rasa dhatu. The decoction of the rind can be used as a douche in leucorrhoea.
Pomegranates are useful for maintaining healthy levels of oestrogen as they contain small amounts of estrone. Eat the fresh fruit, juice or seeds regularly during menopause. The sweet flavour can help to cool sensations of burning and flushing.
The beneficial effect of the fruit on majja dhatu helps to nourish the brain and nervous system.
Did you know?
This plant has no close relatives within the plant kingdom, and so it can often be seen to be placed in different plant families. However, some authorities have also given it its own unique family, Granateae.
Brave Heart Tea
This Brave Heart tea is a therapeutic recipe for nourishing your heart, both the physical and emotional.
- Hawthorn berry 4g
- Hawthorn leaf and flower 2g
- Limeflower 2g
- Cinnamon bark 2g
- Motherwort 1g
- Saffron 5 strands
- Rose flower 1g
- Pomegranate juice a glug (or 1 tbsp) per cup
This will serve 2 cups of a very heartloving tea.
- Put all of the ingredients in a pot (except for the pomegranate juice).
- Add 500ml (18fl oz) freshly boiled filtered water. Leave to steep for 10–15 minutes, then strain.
- Add a glug of pomegranate juice to each cup.
This recipe is from Cleanse, Nurture, Restore by Sebastian Pole
The bark is banned for use in the UK under the 1977 Medicines Order. Overdose can cause blindness, dizziness, fainting, gastrointesinal irritation, vomiting, respiratory failure.
Traditional Ayurvedic characteristics are
- Amlapittahara Relieves acidity.
- Artavashamana Regulates menstruation.
- Atisarjit Alleviates diarrhoea.
- Chardhara Stops vomiting.
- Dipana Enkindles agni.
- Hrdaya Heart tonic.
- Krimighna Eliminates worms & parasites.
- Medhya Brain tonic, nervine.
- Raktapitta Curbs bleeding from high pitta.
- Rasayana Rejuvenating.
- Shukrala Rejuvenates reproductive system, enhances fertility.
- Vajikarana Aphrodisiac.
- Ayurvedic Indications: Affinity withmajja dhatu, nourishes brain & nervous system, strengthens the heart. Juice clears excess vata and pitta from, annavahasrotas, soothing inflammation, hyperacidity & nausea. For worms when taken on empty stomach followed by a laxative. Astringent rind for diarrhoea & dysentery with bleeding/mucus. Dry, roasted seeds cool excess pachaka pitta, calm excessive appetite, gastritis, peptic ulcers. Nourishes shukra dhatu, helpful in infertility, low libido, prostate problems (BPH, cancer), menopause. Clears ama& excess doshas from rakta dhatu, stems bleeding, relieves fevers & blood disorders eg. anaemia; decoction of rind used as for nosebleeds. Cooling to mutravahasrotas, useful in cystitis & oedema.
0.5–5g of the rind in diarrhoea and tapeworms. Drink the juice freely. 1–3g of the roasted seeds as an appetiser.
External Uses: Decoction of bark as gargle for throat & mouth problems. Decoction of rind as douche for infections & leucorrhoea.