Punica granatum; Delum
Punica granatum; Delum, one of the oldest known edible fruits, is nowadays broadly consumed throughout the world. It is large shrub or small tree, often multi-stemmed and has a bushy growth habit, growing up to 2 to 3m tall. It is deciduous in temperate climates and evergreen in tropical climates. The fruits are berries, red-brown in colour when ripe, and are spherical and leathery in shape, up to 12cm across. The fruit is divided into compartments via yellowish membranes, and the seeds are encased in a juicy, edible pulp.
Its fruits and seeds as well as other anatomical compartments (e.g., flowers and leaves) are rich in numerous bioactive compounds. It has been shown that pomegranate and its extracts exhibit potent antioxidative, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic properties.
- Daily intake of pomegranate juice lessens hypertension and attenuates atherosclerosis in humans.
- The flowers are used in the treatment of dysentery, stomach ache and cough.
- Along with the leaves and seeds, they have been used to remove worms.
- The juice of the flowers is used to treat nose bleeds.
- The juice of the fruit is used to treat jaundice and diarrhoea.
- It is a specific remedy for tapeworm infestation. The rind of the fruit is ground in water and drunk every morning by diabetics.
- The dried pericarp is decocted with other herbs and used in the treatment of colic, dysentery, leucorrhoea etc.
- The plant has potential as an active ingredient in preparations for the treatment of skin-ageing in post-menopausal women.