Facts about pomegranate

We found 19 facts about pomegranate

Punica granatum

The pomegranate is one of the oldest cultivated plants, known and cultivated in the Middle East for several thousand years. In ancient Egypt and Greece, the pomegranate was considered a sacred plant, a symbol of love, marriage, and fertility.

It was also known for its medicinal value, which was already recognized by Hippocrates, who treated infertility with pomegranate seeds. Women in ancient times saw the pomegranate fruit as the secret of their beauty and youth.

Today we value mainly the juice of this fruit, which, in addition to its taste, also has medical value. But it is not only the juice that is valuable, as with other plants, the flowers, seeds, skin of the fruit, or bark of the tree also find their uses in various fields.

Pomegranate proper (Punica granatum), also known as pomegranate proper, is a plant belonging to the yarrow family (Lythraceae).

The yarrow family has about 600-650 species clustered in about 30-31 genera. Most of its representatives are found in the equatorial zone, but the family’s range also includes the temperate zone (except for the northern part of Eurasia and North America, as well as the southern part of South America and Australia).

Pomegranate proper represents an important useful plant belonging to this family. It has been cultivated for thousands of years in the Mediterranean basin and Persia, where it originated.

Pomegranate is among the oldest useful plants grown in the Middle East.

They have been cultivated there for several thousand years. Clay tablets dating to the middle of the 3rd century BC written in cuneiform script, mentioning pomegranates, have been found in Mesopotamia.

The spread of pomegranates in the Mediterranean is due primarily to the Phoenicians, called Punians by the Romans. An archaeological dig in Gezer, Palestine, uncovered pomegranate seeds dating back 5000 years. Surviving carvings and paintings in Egypt’s oldest temples depict pomegranate fruits, meaning they were known there as early as 2500 years before Christ.

The remains of these fruits have been found in tombs from various eras in upper Egypt, while remnants of their flowers were first found in 1884 in a tomb from the 20th Dynasty.

The importance of pomegranates is also evidenced by their images in Assyrian, Greek, Byzantine, and Arabic artworks. The pomegranate fruit also figures on Greek coins alongside the head of Athena and the winged goddess of victory Nike. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, can be seen on mosaics and frescoes holding a pomegranate fruit in her hand.

Pomegranate cultivation spread along the Silk Road.

It became very popular in Japan and Korea, where they began to be grown in the form of miniaturized trees – bonsai.

Today, pomegranates are grown in many countries around the world.

The world’s leading producers are India and China, followed by Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, the US, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Spain.

The fruit’s name derives from medieval Latin: pōmum “apple” and grānātum “with seeds.”

The ancients called this fruit, composed of several hundred particles, malum granatum, or “seed apple.”

A pomegranate proper is a shrub or a small tree.

Its height ranges from 3 to 5 meters. It has many thorny branches and is long-lived–some specimens in France survive 200 years.

The leaves of Pomelo granatum are opposite, elliptical-lanceolate, 3-8 centimeters long. They are dark green on top, glossy and entire-edged.

The flowers are bright red, 5-8 petalled, hermaphroditic. Some fruitless varieties of pomegranate are grown for the flowers alone.

The fruit of the pomegranate is a berry resembling a large apple in shape and size.

It is covered with a hard, leathery shell, usually purple and violet, but also brown or reddish-white, with a calyx remaining on top.

The fruit contains 400-700 blunt-headed seeds, whose MTS (mass of a thousand, an abbreviation used in botany) is 19-20 grams. The seeds are surrounded by the seedpods (arillus), which are usually red, but also pink or yellow.

The edible part of the fruit is the casing.

It has a gelatinous consistency and is very juicy. Its color is usually red, pink, or yellow. It is used to obtain grenadine–a syrup made from pomegranate fruit, often used as an ingredient in cocktails.

Recently, parthenocarpic (seedless) pomegranate varieties have been introduced into cultivation.

Pomegranate has many culinary uses.

They make a delicious, juicy fruit whose juice is great for quenching thirst. It has long been a popular drink in the Middle East and Europe and has recently been widely distributed in the United States and Canada.

Pomegranate juice has been widely used in many Iranian dishes and can still be found in traditional recipes is used as a spice known as anar dana, especially in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. In Mexico, pomegranate fruit is commonly used to garnish the traditional dish chiles en nogada.

Wild varieties, whose fruits have a sour taste, are used in industry to obtain crystalline citric acid.

Sweet varieties are used to produce wines.

The pomegranate fruit is not only tasty but also healthy.

It contains a whole lot of vitamins: B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, C, E, K, and minerals: Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, K, Na, Zn. In addition, pomegranate is a wealth of phenolic compounds and flavonoids, including anthocyanins.

Pomegranate fruit contains 10-20 percent sugars and 2-5 percent organic acids–mainly malic and citric, and 1.5 percent proteins.

100 g of the fruit provides 83 kcal.

It is classified as a low glycemic index product with an Ig of 54.

Due to the presence of phenolic compounds and flavonoids, the pomegranate has strong antioxidant properties.

Above that, it is credited with anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, cardio-protective, and anticancer properties. Studies have shown that consuming pomegranate juice lowers triglycerides and cholesterol, especially the LDL fraction.

Drinking pomegranate juice has also been found to reduce glucose levels and insulin resistance.

Pomegranate juice has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

It has the strongest effect against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Pomegranate juice has also been documented to have antiviral and antibacterial effects on plaque.

It has also been found to have a positive effect on the digestive tract, relieving its inflammation. In Asia, a decoration of pomegranate flowers is used as an anti-diarrheal medicine, and a decoction of the bark is used as an anthelmintic. It contains alkaloids that have a paralyzing effect on tapeworms.

The fruit and peel of the pomegranate have found use in the cosmetic industry as valuable ingredients in skin care cosmetics.

Pomegranate seed oil, cold-pressed, also has beneficial effects on the skin.

The bark, leaves, and wood of the pomegranate are used in tanning.

They contain 32 percent tannins, which are used for tanning fine, noble leather (safian), and making dyes.

From the name of this fruit came the name of the projectile–grenade–a projectile that hurls shrapnel and explosive or incendiary energy.

In Spanish, the name of the fruit is granada. From it came the geographical names Grenada (an island state on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean Sea), Granada (cities in Nicaragua and Spain), and Grenadines (a group of islands in Central America).

The pomegranate is mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible.

It is among the seven economically most important plants promised to the Jews in the Promised Land, the biblical place to which Moses led the Israelites from Egypt. From the name of the fruit come many place names in the Holy Land, as well as the names of characters mentioned in the Bible, or pagan gods.

Pomegranate flowers and fruits were a common decorative motif in Assyrian, Semitic, and Egyptian civilizations.

Jews decorated the robes of priests or statues with them. The fruit symbolized fidelity to the Pentateuch, and the royal crown of the Jews was modeled after the pomegranate fruit.

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