Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food!
In both Jewish and Chinese traditions the pomegranate is seen as a symbol of fruitfulness or fertility because of its many seeds. In the Jewish tradition it is thought that the 613 seeds in a pomegranate correspond to the 613 commandments in the Hebrew Bible. The pomegranate is one of the few images which appear on ancient coins of Judea as a holy symbol, and today many Torah scrolls are stored while not in use with a pair of decorative hollow silver "pomegranates" (rimmonim) placed over the two upper scroll handles. What is so special about this ruby red fruit?
There are nearly 400 research articles published in the medical databases on pomegranates! These recent scientific studies document the beneficial effects of pomegranate juice, seed extract, and seed oil on everything from cardiovascular health to prostate cancer. The powerful antioxidants in this delicious fruit have many health benefits from boosting the immune system to inhibition of breast cancer proliferation.
Orally, pomegranate is used for high blood pressure, congestive heart failure (CHF), atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, cholesterol, HIV, tapeworm infestations, opportunistic intestinal worms and more. It is also used for preventing prostate cancer, obesity and weight loss, and as an astringent, for diarrhea and dysentery. Other uses include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), influenza, swine flu, periodontal disease, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and even cancer.
Topically, pomegranate is used as a gargle for sore throat and to treat hemorrhoids.
One pomegranate delivers approximately 40% of an adult's daily Vitamin C requirement and is high in polyphenol compounds. These compounds are thought to reduce "silent inflammation," which research has suggested is at the root of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Pomegranate has a long history of use as food and medicine in Asia and South America. In the United States, pomegranate is typically juiced or the seeds are used as food. Pomegranate seeds may have phytoestrogenic qualities and may be used in hormonally-related conditions, such as menopause. It is even used in holistic digestive formulas, joint health formulas, skin formulas and multivitamin formulations.
Since pomegranates are not always in season, in order to obtain their numerous health benefits, the extracts of the pomegranate nutrients can be taken daily in supplemental form.
Ahuva Gamliel is a naturopathic acupuncture physician practicing in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida. Please visit www.mibaso.org for additional information.