The Healing Benefits of Pomegranate
Often referred to is as “ the divine fruit,” the Pomegranate is classified as a berry, and is the size of a grapefruit with a semi-hexagonal shape, and thick and hard ruby-reddish skin. Each seed has a surrounding water-laden pulp, ranging in color from pink to deep red or purple. The seeds are embedded in several white, spongy membranes, which are compactly encased.
Believed to have been harvested in the Garden of Eden, the Pomegranate is part of many ancient folk traditions – all of which consider it a form of medicine. In ayurveda, it is a symbol of both fertility and prosperity. It is considered a fruit-medicine. The pomegranate’s flowers, leaves, bark, peel and of course seeds are all edible.
Iran and India
Full of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium
Controls body weight
Fights against cell damage
Inhibits viral infections
Pomegranate extracts have anti-bacterial effects which combat dental plaque
Aids with conditions such as
Cancer, especially prostrate and breast
Symptoms of diarrhea
For thousands of years, the pomegranate has been extensively used as a source of food-medicine in ayurveda. The rind and bark are used as a traditional remedy against diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal parasites.
Pomegranate juice also helps to reduce body heat and is useful for people suffering from low blood pressure. In addition, its seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart and throat, and help to burn toxins.
The flower juice, rind and tree bark also aid with the following: stopping nose and gum bleeds, toning skin, firming-up sagging breasts (after being blended with mustard oil), and treating hemorrhoids.
It is also fantastic for oral health (immediately controlling bad breath), slowing down the aging process, and (when used as eye drops) for slowing the development of cataracts.
Eating pomegranates might interfere with certain medications in the same way that grapefruit juice does. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about drug interactions.
The pomegranate’s wine-red juice will stain your fingers, clothes and countertops. My best trick for getting the seeds out is submerging the fruit under water. This with soften the berry, making the seed removal much easier and cleaner.
Recipe: Vegetarian Fesenjān (A traditional Persian dish)
This recipe is best served over brown rice, quinoa, or roasted or raw vegetables.
2 cups of walnuts (ayurvedic option: soaked over night)
2 large onions, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground saffron, dissolved in 1 tabs hot water
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 cup of pomegranate molasses (make your own by reducing the juice over low heat)
10 dried prunes (ayurvedic option: soaked in water overnight)
3 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely grind the walnuts using a food processor or coffee grinder. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottom pan and set over medium heat. Add onions and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add saffron water and ground coriander, stir. Add grounded walnuts; stir back and forth to prevent sticking. Continue to cook until the walnuts begin to release their oil – should take about a minute or so.
Now add the pomegranate molasses and a cup or more of water (if the sauce seems to thicken, add more water). Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Add the prunes, and then give it another stir or two.
Lower the heat; simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Health Benefits of Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil is pressed from the castor bean, which is actually a seed. Native to Africa, India, and the Mediterranean region, the Castor plant, Ricinus communis in Latin, has spread throughout the world since ancient times. The plant is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops.
What is Castor Oil Used For?
Castor oil was first documented in an Egyptian medical papyrus in 1550 BCE, but is believed to have been used for centuries prior, specifically for constipation. But this oil has served multiple purposes, and has been used in soap manufacturing. It has also been incorporated into skin and hair products, and in modern times, is used in manufacturing polyurethane. There are also claims that the oil encourages hair growth, and has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that the oil speeds wound healing, and is a useful treatment for bedsores.
New York Times best-selling author of the groundbreaking 1994 “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom,” Christiane Northrup M.D. has practiced medicine, and been an advocate for women’s health, for decades.
Dr. Northrup recommends castor oil packs for a number of issues, including endometriosis (a painful condition where uterine tissue forms within the pelvis), PMS and severe monthly cramps, urinary tract infections, and ovarian cysts, and advises using castor oil packs three times a week (except during menses) for immune system health.
Another author, Carolyn DeMarco, (“Take Charge of Your Body”) recommends castor oil packs for painful varicose veins, liver, gallbladder, and kidney concerns, constipation, sciatica and arthritis. The packs are also used by cancer patients, and in detox regimens.