Punica granatum – Punicaceae Family
Pomegranate has a powerful reputation. History tells of this fruit as food, medicine and potent symbol in myth and legend. Key personalities throughout human culture have used pomegranate to teach valuable lessons to those thirsty for knowledge. Ganesh, King Solomon, Persephone and Buddha are just a sampling of those who used the fertility fruit as a living reminder of life, death and creation.
To Ayurvedic practitioners in India, pomegranate’s value lies in its abilities to calm the body rather than excite the spirit. The cooling and astringent properties of the juice work to increase Pitta, which is one of three of Indian medicine’s key elemental constitutions or doshas. Balance of the doshas bring healing and harmony to the body.
It is pomegranate’s high antioxidant count that has brought it back to the public’s attention. A delicious glass of the vibrant red juice contains three times the amount of antioxidants than either green tea or cranberry juice. Scientists are still unraveling the mystery of how they interact in the body.
Unstable molecules called free radicals enter the body through avenues such as disease, drugs, cigarette smoke or even sunlight. Antioxidants like ascorbic acid neutralize the free radicals before they have a chance to steal electrons from our cells and accelerate the aging process. This new information about the science behind the power of pomegranate only increases its reputation. The more we discover, the more likely it is new legends will sprout from its blood red seeds.