Pomegranate is a tree or shrub whose delicious fruits have a characteristic shape and structure. Many (400 - 800) deep red (garnet) colored grains are hidden under the hard red-orange skin, each with a small seed in a very juicy fleshy part. Pomegranate has a wonderful taste and aroma, but due to the huge amount of seeds, it is difficult to eat directly. Therefore, it is most often offered as a juice. Grown in a dry and hot climate. In Bulgaria, it also grows well along the southern coast of the Black Sea. The most famous variety grown in the USA is called "Wonderful" or magnificent, it is characterized by being resistant to cracking, which is the biggest problem in its cultivation.
The pomegranate is one of the most famous fruits in history. The first sources for the cultivation and use of pomegranates are the Sumerian clay tablets. It is believed that the pomegranate began to be grown more than 7000 years ago in the lands of Persia and Mesopotamia, India and the Caucasus. Knowledge of this fruit reaches us through many Eastern tales, myths and legends. For the Arabs, the juice and seeds of the pomegranate had miraculous powers, so it was included as the main remedy against many diseases and is a favorite product in the kitchen even today. In ancient China, pomegranate juice was known as "concentrated life" and a symbol of longevity. In the Mediterranean countries, where it was brought by Phoenician traders, it was celebrated as a sacred tree. Throughout human history, the pomegranate fruit has been identified with femininity and fertility. The flowers became a symbol of love, and the fruit - of fertility and noble conception. Associated with it were the rituals in the cult of Demeter, the ancient Greek goddess of fertility, Hera, the divine wife of Zeus, and Aphrodite, the goddess of love. These goddesses were most often depicted with pomegranates around their breasts. And in Greece, to this day, wedding guests sprinkle pomegranate seeds under the feet of the newlyweds with wishes for happiness and well-being. In the Roman Empire, pomegranate was included in the menu of only the rich. In the Middle Ages, it was discovered for the second time - the Arabs began to actively grow it in the Spain they conquered, even the name of the city of Granada came from the name of the fruit "granatum". The pomegranate also found a place in such great works as the Christian Bible, the Jewish Torah and Homer's "Odyssey". According to the Bible, Moses' messengers to Canaan, or the Promised Land, they brought him a pomegranate fruit as proof of prosperity and fertility. According to Jewish traditions, the pomegranate contains 613 grains, similar to the 613 commandments of the Torah, and has a symbolic meaning in the rites of Judaism. Legend has it that the secret of Cleopatra's beauty was hidden in the magnificent pomegranate juice. And Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed pomegranate juice to treat infertility (today it has already been proven that it really contains phytoestrogens) or 6 grains a day to maintain good health, Avicenna actively recommended it because of its antibacterial effect. The tree was brought to America by Spanish sailors, but missionaries were mainly involved in its cultivation. Some Bible scholars today even maintain that the fruit forbidden to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was not the apple, but the pomegranate. It is considered,
The interest of scientists in the properties and chemical composition of pomegranate is growing: while only fifty studies were published in the period 1975-1999, more than 250 were published in the last year alone. The chemical composition includes: sugars in the form of monosaccharides ( 8 - 19 %), organic acids incl. lemon, minerals - manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, aluminum, silicon, chromium, nickel, copper, vitamins - A, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, C, E, P, flavonoids, proteins, dyes and tanning substances, cellulose, nitrogen substances, starch. Recently, scientists were able to separate pomegranate oil, which is already used in cosmetics.
This rich content makes it an extremely valuable dietary product and natural medicine :
- in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases;
- against diabetes, as it does not raise the blood sugar level;
- for the prevention of tumor diseases, as it successfully stops the development of new cancer cells in prostate, breast, bowel, lung cancer;
- powerful antioxidant, 3 times stronger than green tea and red wine;
- anti-inflammatory agent for angina, pneumonia, various fevers;
- positively affects enzymes;
- in hormonal disorders, especially andropause and menopause;
- protects the fetus during pregnancy;
- eliminates erection problems;
- has a positive effect on kidney diseases, asthma, tuberculosis, scurvy;
- Pomegranate peel tea is recommended for stomach disorders, against tapeworms and worms.
In recent years, the ORAC scale has gained particular popularity(Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which was introduced in 2007 by the US Department of Agriculture to measure the antioxidant potential of various food products. It turns out that we should consume 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units per day, but we usually take in no more than 1,000. Even when the recommendation of 5 servings of raw fruits and vegetables per day is met, we ingest no more than 1,750 ORAC units, because a banana or an apple has 20-22 per gram, carrot – 50, tomato – 60, cherries – 100, broccoli – 130, spinach – 150, blueberries – 260. For pomegranate, this indicator is 288, i.e. a good value. The highest value is the fruit from Patagonia, South America macui berry - 820, announced as the planet's superfood for 2009.
The pomegranate is a great helper in the fight against diseases of the heart and the entire circulatory system. Antioxidants help clear cholesterol plaques and prevent the development of atherosclerosis. In experiments carried out in the USA, mice were given pomegranate extract for 3 months and a 70% reduction in atherosclerotic changes was observed, after giving the juice - 40%, and in the fruit shell - 39%. Extract from the fruit in combination with the shell significantly reduced the amount of "bad" cholesterol in the mice, as well as the level of lipids and glucose in their blood by about 18-25%. In another study, 45 patients with diseases of the circulatory system and heart were given 0.240 ml of pomegranate juice daily for three months. A reduction in cardiac muscle malnutrition has been confirmed, while no increase in blood sugar level or weight was observed. Therefore, one of the researchers, Dr. Dean Ornish from the University of California, recommends drinking pomegranate juice as a prevention against heart disease in healthy people.
Researchers are also looking more and more into the help that this fruit can provide in various weight loss diets. For this purpose, an extract of pomegranate leaves was used and given to mice for a period of 5 weeks. During this time, the mice not only lost weight, but also showed resistance to vascular diseases. Researchers have found that long-term and regular administration of pomegranate leaf extract alters the intestinal ability to absorb fat, and they believe it could be used as a modern appetite suppressant.
Damage to the brain of the human embryo caused by the reduction of oxygen transported to this organ continues to be one of the causes of death among newborns. Recent animal studies have shown that the inclusion of foods with a higher amount of polyphenols, e.g. blueberries, green tea, etc., protects the brain of the unborn baby. At the University of Seattle, an experiment was done with pregnant mice, which were regularly given pomegranate juice, rich in polyphenols. For the needs of the study, the blood flow to the brain of the fetus was briefly interrupted. The results showed that the smallest loss of brain tissue was in the group of mice that took water with pomegranate juice, while the others were given plain water, water with sugar and water with vitamin C.
Medicine cannot yet cure Alzheimer's disease, but it is known that certain dietary changes can slow it down. The large amount of polyphenols in pomegranate, compared to other types of fruit, suggests that its daily intake can help in this direction as well. Polyphenols are also a factor protecting the nervous system to a large extent. During a 6-month experiment, one group of mice was given pomegranate extract, and another group - sweetened water. Those mice who drank pomegranate extract were much faster in the maze than the others, and they also had about 50% less accumulation of protein substances in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Pomegranate is known to contain one of the natural forms of estrogen, which today is widely recommended as hormone replacement therapy for menopause. More and more women who have problems during this period turn to natural remedies without side contraindications, such as pomegranate juice. Pomegranate
juice should be drunk not only by women, but also by men. Including 0.250 ml of pomegranate juice in the daily diet of men has been shown to help greatly in overcoming impotence and can protect against prostate cancer.
Pomegranate and its juice are part of the healthy "Mediterranean diet". Research shows that around 60ml of juice can help lower blood pressure. At the same time, taking more than 250 ml of juice per day can affect the intake of some medicines. Don't overdo it! But definitely try it!
Pomegranate is also a great tool for cosmetics , because:
- has an antioxidant effect, i.e. protects the skin from the harmful effects of the sun and the environment;
- activates skin regeneration processes and accelerates wound healing;
- stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin, as a result of which the elasticity of the skin increases;
- hydrates skin cells;
- nourishes and revitalizes tired and prematurely aging skin;
- has a delicate astringent and pore-shrinking effect;
- has a strong anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial effect;
- helps heal acne and other skin processes;
- improves blood supply and color of the face and body;
- strengthens and gives shine to the hair.
If you have conscientiously read what has been written so far, you already understand: the pomegranate, this priceless gift of nature could not but be included in our BIO ARGENTUM cosmetic series . Its wonderful properties naturally complement the effect of silver water, and in combination with other essential oils and herbal extracts, it enters into a synergistic interaction. The result is clean, nourished and healthy skin for your baby.
The beautiful red colors of the pomegranate are used to dye silk, and the bark is used to dye wool.
Pomegranate is also used to make wine and syrups due to its good sugar content. It is added to sauces and when preparing salads and desserts.
Here is an example recipe for pomegranate sauce , which you can use with any roasted or fried meat:
- 1/3 tsp. White wine
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
- 1/4 tsp. broth
- 2 tsp honey
- 4 tbsp. pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped green onion
- black pepper to taste
- Pomegranate seeds for sprinkling
Method of preparation: pour the white wine and the onion into a vessel and stew over low heat until the onion softens. Add the broth, pomegranate juice and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the honey and leave on the fire until the sauce thickens, season with the green onion and black pepper. Serve the sauce sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. It is especially beautiful and delicious with breaded chicken pieces and a side of white rice.
When buying a pomegranate, choose the heavier one. It is juicier, 52% of the fruit is the seeds. The skin should be fresh, smooth, shiny, evenly colored, without cracks. Due to disorders on the bark, the drying process of the grains inside may have already begun, and the amount of squeezed juice will not be large.