Pomegranate is a berry from the tree Punica granatum
and all parts of the pomegranate plant has medicinal properties - the flower, leaves, fruit, oil, rind, bark, root and the juice.
The therapeutic properties of pomegranates is because of a number of phytochemicals which include the ellagic acid, punicic acid (a polyunsaturated fatty acid), flavonoids, anthocyanidins, ellagitannins, anthocyanins as well as estrogenic flavones and flavonols. Pomegranate juice has been rated as having a better antioxidant (substances which protect the cells against the harmful free radicals in the body) level compared to green tea or red wine with an ORAC (antioxidant capacity) of 2,860 units per 100g. It is also rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B5
(pantothenic acid), potassium, polyphenols and fiber.
23 clinical trials related to the medicinal efficacy of pomegranate in various diseases have been registered with the National Institute of Health in the year 2010 itself. This sensational superstar among fruits is beneficial in deadly and not so deadly diseases including prostrate and breast cancers, hypertension, coronary artery diseases, infant brain injuries, diabetes, lymphomas, rhinovirus infections, common cold, cholesterol problems, oxidative stress, hemodialysis of the kidney, anemia, skin problems. It is also anti-bacterial and antiviral in nature.
Research has shown that the punicic acid present in pomegranate seed oil prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance, which is not dependent on dietary changes or the energy utilization of the body. Evidently, it also effectively reduces cholesterol besides having a favorable effect on lipid profile.
The powerful anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties
of pomegranate have been used by the beauty and cosmetic industry in the form of the pomegranate oil from the pomegranate seeds. This oil has miraculous healing properties.
It treats inflammatory acne, skin eruptions, eczema (chronic scaly and itchy rashes), and psoriasis (chronic immune-mediated disorder characterized by chronic thick, scaly and red skin) besides being a potent astringent.
The anti-pigmentation effect of this oil is appropriate in the removal of blemishes and scars besides being non-comedogenic (cosmetics that do not block the pores of the skin).
Pomegranate oil has profitably been made effective in cosmetology as anti-wrinkle creams, soaps, pomades, shampoos, moisturizers and lip balms for treating chapped lips. This is because of the presence of antioxidants in pomegranates, which encourage cell regeneration; increase skin elasticity; and protect the outer epidermal layer of the skin.
Pomegranates also prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers of the skin, which are imperative in maintaining a younger looking skin.
Pomegranate extracts are utilized in dentistry as a dentifrice for its antibacterial properties against dental plaque besides cleaning the teeth and strengthening the gums. Pomegranate oil is an effective hair conditioner for treating damaged, graying, thinning, tangled and unmanageable hair making it soft, controllable and moisturized. Pomegranate effectively reverses the signs of aging
A study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School which was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that pomegranate seed oil encourages keratinocyte proliferation which helps regenerate the skin epidermis. Therefore, it efficiently treats damaged fingernails and cuticles of the hands and feet and is utilized in manicure and pedicures as a soak or as a rub.
Pomegranate seeds mixed with the bark of the mango tree and the fragrant shell powder have been long utilized in ancient India to remove bad body odors associated with skin problems.
So, whether it is consumed or used on hair and skin, pomegranate is a useful fruit for one’s health and beauty.