Pomegranate

Punica granatum

A tropical, deciduous shrub growing up to 6m (20ft) in height. The smooth, hairless, bright green leaves are arranged in opposites. Beautiful white and red flowers adorn the end of a branch solo or arrange themselves in clusters. The fruit has a leathery skin, and is fist sized. The interior is separated by thin membranous walls with cavities filled with tart, juicy, red seeds.

Family: Lythraceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Pomegranate is a key herb in Sustain and Kids

Habit and cultivation: Native to Iran and now cultivated throughout the Mediterranean as well as regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. Loves a subtropical to mild temperate climate, and has now adapted itself to even cooler environments whilst producing a good supply of fruit. It is drought tolerant.

Actions (known for): Anthelmintic, astringent, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory.

History

Known as the ‘fruit of the dead’ in Greek mythology as it was available in Hades for all dwelling there as well as Hades himself. Also recorded in the Song of Songs by Solomon. Babylonians regarded the seeds as a source of resurrection. Thought to have grown in the Garden of Eden.

Parts used:

Leaf

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Essential oil 0.5 – 4%, primarily consisting of menthol and menthone. Flavonoids, tannins, triterpenes and bitter principles.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A, C and niacin. Minerals: magnesium, potassium, copper, iodine, iron, silicon, and sulphur.

Indications:

Aids indigestion, spasms of the GI, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Gastritis, enteritis, flatulence, IBS, constipation and diarrhea, common cold, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy, headaches and asthma.

Dosage:

Liquid extract (1:2) 10 – 30ml per week. For upset stomach: 1tsp of dried or fresh herb made into a cup of tea and drunk 3-4 x daily. External analgesic: menthol in a cream no more than three times daily. Tension headaches: a light coating of tincture of oil applied to the entire forehead with finger tips; if there is occipital pain, apply also to back of neck. Nausea and vomiting: 3 – 6g or 5 – 10 drops of tincture in warm water and sipped slowly.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Flatulence and digestive pain.

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Essential oil should not be applied directly to the skin. Peppermint oil is contraindicated by biliary tract obstruction, cholecystitis and severe liver damage. Should not be applied to facial area of babies and young children.

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