For health, plentitude, beauty and wisdom
Pomegranates have been cultivated and naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region since ancient times, and are one of the Seven Species listed in the Bible. In the Jewish religion, pomegranates symbolize plentitude, beauty and wisdom, and were used as offering on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Only recently has the west begun to realize how truly amazing this fruit really is.
Pomegranates have received a lot of attention in the past few years due to their potent medicinal properties. Pomegranates are rich in vitamin K, C B6, folate, and phosphorus, and contain bioavailable trace minerals such as iron, manganese, potassium and chromium. Pomegranate seeds contain extremely potent antioxidants that have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Research shows that pomegranates can help prevent and treat various diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, arthritis, and inflammation. (1) Consumption of pomegranate seeds has even been shown to prevent and treat certain forms of cancer. (2) For a more comprehensive list of the different studies regarding pomegranates, Dr. Axe has a wonderful article.
I have been growing pomegranates for many years now, and I was happy to learn that this wonderful fruit is even healthier than I had thought. According to Anthony William, pomegranates are very effective in dissolving gallstones and kidney stones, nodules, calcifications and small cysts, such as ganglia cysts and PCOS. When the acids in the seeds (technically called arils) come in contact with toxic forms of calcium and unhealthy bile and protein buildup, they begin to break them down. Moreover, pomegranates act like a natural aspirin and help to prevent blood clots.
A pomegranate is a great blood builder. It strengthens both red and white cell counts, and also plays an important role in regulating blood sugar by restoring glucose reserves in the liver. A healthy reserve of glucose in the liver protects the adrenal glands from becoming overactive. The healthy glucose in pomegranates also makes them a perfect brain food that helps with focus and concentration.
In addition, pomegranates support hair growth and healthy skin by unclogging pores and hair follicles, and are helpful in flushing out toxic hormones such as unproductive estrogens that contribute to cancer. Pomegranates help detoxify DDT and other pesticides from the body, which is crucial for preventing cancer and other chronic diseases.
Last but not least – the consumption of pomegranates helps eliminate unproductive lactic acid buildup in the muscles, prevents the buildup of dental plaque and gum disease, and can even clear out earwax and minimize new production of wax.
Pomegranate seed oil is an excellent source of essential fatty acids and can be used internally or applied externally to help improve skin tone and conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and sunburn. It is also excellent for rejuvenating hair and protecting it from damage.
Specific conditions and symptoms that benefit from additional intake of pomegranates are:
Alzheimer’s, insomnia, autism, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, alopecia and hair loss, gallstones and kidney stones, weight gain, Epstein-Barr related diseases (EBV), Raynaud’s syndrome, adenomas, plantar fasciitis, Lyme disease, Morton’s neuroma, tumors, PCOS, dandruff, trigeminal neuralgia, back pain, frozen shoulder, eye floaters, foot drop, hives, itchy skin, neuralgia and any type of liver related disease.
Pomegranates are a small deciduous tree and can grow to be 3 meters. There are dwarf varieties, but their fruit is often unsatisfactory. You can grow pomegranates from seed, but if you want a good variety, it is best to take a cutting from a plant you are familiar with in February or March, when the plant is beginning to awaken from its winter dormancy. Cuttings taken at this time of year will root nicely without a need for a rooting hormone.
Pomegranates need lots of light to produce fruit, and are relatively drought resistant, though it is best to give them some water during the hot summer months.
In Israel there are many local varieties, and each area seems to have its favorites. The ones we have in our Bustan are Wonderful, Sweet Pomegranate, Purple-Black and a variety whose name I do not know, which I rooted from cuttings I took many years ago from a friend's tree that had great tasting fruit which was relatively pest resistant.
Pomegranates need to be protected from the Pomegranate Butterfly (Deudorix livia) which is active in Africa, the Middle East and some Mediterranean countries. Large bushes are best covered with protective netting (even the pest resistant ones) soon after the fruit has formed, or each individual fruit should be wrapped in a paper bag to prevent the Butterfly from laying its eggs.
The spiritual side of pomegranates
In addition to learning all I can about the food I grow and eat, I love to stop and evaluate their unique qualities in order to try and get a sense of their metaphysical properties.
If you stop to look at a pomegranate before you open it up, you can see a six pointed star shaped like a crown on the bottom of the fruit, giving a hint of its royalty. Once opened, the pomegranate reveals pink to bright red seeds that look like little juicy jewels. Each of these seeds is a universe unto its own, holding tremendous healing power and wisdom developed to serve humanity. Pomegranates also have an amazing ability to remain fresh for an extended period of time, which hints at its ability to promote longevity.
To peel a pomegranate we need the same type of gear and mindset needed for creative work - As Anthony William states, “Pomegranates teach us both to brace for mess and embrace it. Anyone who has ever cut open a pomegranate knows that one should wear an apron because the juice can cause staining one must have patience, for it takes a bit of time to get all of the seeds out.
So put on your old jeans and work shirt, and get ready to get your hands dirty.
Information in this article has been taken from Anthony William's website Medical Medium