Darimma, Dalim, Dalimbre, Anar and Madalai. Pomegranate is known in India by different names. Originally known to have been a native of Persia, it is now cultivated all over the world. It travelled along with the silk traders who planted it all along their trade route. It reached India several hundred years ago and now it’s a garden commoner valued for its fruit and ornamental value. Peeling the pomegranate is a task, but once you get to the juicy seeds, you forget about all the pain you took to peel it and you get reminded as to why it is called the Jewel fruit. I personally like to eat it in its raw form. Some people like it as juice and in their cooking. Either way Pomegranates are delicious.
People from the northern part of India will be familiar with anardhana. They are used to add the acidic flavors in chutneys and curries. Ayurveda uses it extensively for treating diarrhea, dysentery and internal parasites. The seeds and juice are also considered a tonic for the heart and throat.
In Hindu tradition, pomegranate signifies prosperity and fertility. In Tamil, it is called as maadulampazham, which means a woman's mind. The seeds being hidden are associated with the difficulty in deciphering a woman’s mind. The Parsis use its twigs to make their sacred broom. When a Parsi child is invested with the sacred thread, Pomegranate seeds are thrown on him to scare evil spirits away. Parsis squeeze the juice into the mouth of the dying.
There is an interesting fable about the pomegranate tree. A king on his travels, stopped at a garden with the hope of wetting his parched throat. This garden happened to be a pomegranate orchard. Amazed by the ripe fruits the king requested the gardener to give him a glass of pomegranate juice. The gardener went to his hut and returned with a glass of fresh, red pomegranate juice. As the king relished the juice, he started observing the trees in the garden. His cunning mind told him to start levying taxes on orchards because orchard owners might be making a good profit. By this time, the gardener was aware of the king’s intentions. The king asked for another glass of pomegranate juice. The gardener got him a glass but only with a few drops of juice. The king was infuriated by this and asked the gardener about the juice. The gardener replied, “It is simple my lord. Our king has a large heart. He lets the fruit grow wild and everyone partakes of it. The fruit knows it has his blessing, so it gives of its juice generously. Today, the fruit has felt that the king wishes to impose a tax on it. So it feels that the blessing has passed from it. And its juice has dried up.” The king understood what was going on and felt guilty of his greedy thoughts. The next glass of juice was filled till the brim with delicious juice.
Pomegranate fruits throughout the year in India. All parts of the plant like the fruit, seeds, rind, bark, stem, leaves and flowers are used extensively for their medicinal properties.
Here are a few of the common medicinal properties and uses of Pomegranate :
- Pomegranate is rich in Fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Potassium.
- Pomegranate is rich in anti-oxidants
- It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps prevent many heart diseases.
- It is used to help prevent many ailments like Alzheimer’s
- It also has anti cancerous properties and can prevent many cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
- It is known to reduce blood pressure and keeps the health healthy and lowers the risk of heart diseases like heart attacks and strokes.
- It has been used to treat cold, cough, digestive problems, skin disorders, arthritis. It has anti-microbial properties. It is used to remove tape worms.
- Seed decoction is used to treat Syphilis.
- Juice is used to treat jaundice and diarrhoea. Juice from the flower is used to treat nose bleeds.
- Pomegranate is used to treat many menstrual problems. It is used to treat anaemia as well.
I am sure these are more than enough reasons to include pomegranate in your regular diet and get all the health benefits it includes.
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