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  • Punica granatum L.
  • Punicaceae
  • Lythraceae
  • Pomegranate family

Common Names

herbsAn-shih-liu (Chinese name)
herbsDadima (Sanskrit name)

Parts Usually Used

Seeds, rind of the fruit, fruit, rootbark

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

The pomegranate has slender, often spiny-tipped branches that bear opposite, oblong or oval-lanceolate, shiny leaves about 1-2 inches long. One to five large, red or orange-red flowers grow together on the tips of axillary shoots. The brownish-yellow to red fruit, about the size of an orange, is a thick-skinned, several-celled, many-seeded berry; each seed is surrounded by red, acid pulp. Fruit ripens in September and October. Fruit is juicy and edible.

Where Found

Grows wild as a shrub in its native southern Asia and in hot areas of the world. Under cultivation, it is trained to a tree of up to 20 feet, being grown in Asia, the Mediterranean region, South America, and the southern states of the United States. Grown in greenhouses in cooler climates.

Medicinal Properties

Anthelmintic, alterative, astringent, hemostatic, laxative, refrigerant, vermifuge, stomachic, tonic

Biochemical Information

20% tannin, inulin, mannitol, malic acid, calcium oxalate, pelletierrine, isoquercitrin, an alkaloid

Legends, Myths and Stories

The pomegranate, along with the peach and the citron, was one of China's 3 blessed fruits. To the Chinese, it was a symbol of fecundity and a prosperous future. The many seeds represented numerous male offspring earning fame and glory.

People of the Near East and the Greeks and Romans associated the pomegranate with fecundity also. In Greece it was involved in the story of the goddess of agriculture, Demeter, and her daughter Persephone. When Hades, the god of the underworld, kidnapped Persephone, Zeus promised to retrieve her if Persephone had not eaten anything in the underworld. When it was discovered that she had eaten a few seeds of a pomegranate given to her by Hades, a compromise settlement was made: Persephone was allowed to stay with her mother 9 months of the year but was required to spend the remaining 3 with Hades. The story can be seen as an allegory representing the cycle of growth, decay, and regeneration of vegetation, the time in the underworld representing the resting period of the seed during the winter. The story of Persephone was reenacted every year at the temple of Demeter at Eleusis near Athens. In these rites, called the Eleusinian mysteries, the pomegranate was considered the mystic fruit. These ceremonies were the most important and impressive of all Greek religious celebrations and were later adopted by the Romans.

The pomegranate is compared to the joys of a beguiling lover in the Song of Solomon (4:3, 13; 6:11).


A remedy for tapeworm, pinworm and roundworm since the time of ancient Greeks. It is high in tannin content; that makes the rind of the fruit an astringent for internal and external use; for skin problems, hiccoughs, dysentery, diarrhea, leucorrhea, blood purifier, as a gargle for throat and mouth irritation, ulcers, colitis, prolapse of rectum or vagina, hemorrhoids, conjunctivitis, anemia, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, and as a vaginal douche for leukorrhea.

How Sold

Pomegranate fruit


Large doses of the rind can cause cramps, vomiting, and other unpleasant effects.

Care should be taken, using this herb, if chronic constipation is a problem.

As with the other toxic anthelmintics, do not mix with alcohol, oil or fats.

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