Common Names: Pomegranate
Latin Names: Punica granatum
- The pomegranate fruit has a leathery rind (or husk) with many little pockets of edible seeds and juice inside.
- Since ancient times, the pomegranate has been a symbol of fertility.
- Researchers have studied all parts of the pomegranate for their potential health benefits. Those parts include the fruit, seed, seed oil, tannin-rich peel, root, leaf, and flower.
- The pomegranate has been used as a dietary supplement for many conditions including wounds, heart conditions, intestinal problems, and as a gargle for a sore throat.
- Pomegranate is made into capsules, extracts, teas, powders, and juice products.
How Much Do We Know?
- We don’t have a lot of strong scientific evidence on the effects of pomegranate for people’s health.
What Have We Learned?
- A 2012 clinical trial of about 100 dialysis patients suggested that pomegranate juice may help ward off infections. In the study, the patients who were given pomegranate juice three times a week for a year had fewer hospitalizations for infections and fewer signs of inflammation, compared with patients who got the placebo.
- Pomegranate extract in mouthwash may help control dental plaque, according to a small 2011 clinical trial with 30 healthy participants.
- Pomegranate may help improve some signs of heart disease but the research isn’t definitive.
What Do We Know About Safety?
- Some people, particularly those with plant allergies, may be allergic to pomegranate.
- It’s unclear whether pomegranate interacts with the anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicine warfarin or drugs that work similarly in the body to warfarin.
- Federal agencies have taken action against companies selling pomegranate juice and supplements for deceptive advertising and making drug-like claims about the products.
Keep in Mind
- Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
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- Al-Zoreky N. Antimicrobial activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit peels. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 2009;134(3):244-248.
- Bhadbhade SJ, Acharya AB, Rodrigues SV, et al. The antiplaque efficacy of pomegranate mouthrinse. Quintessence International. 2011;42(1):29-36.
- Hanley MJ, Masse G, Harmatz JS, et al. Pomegranate juice and pomegranate extract do not impair oral clearance of flurbiprofen in human volunteers: divergence from in vitro results. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2012;92(5):651-657.
- Ismail T, Sestili P, Akhtar S. Pomegranate peel and fruit extracts: a review of potential anti-inflammatory and anti-infective effects. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2012;143(2):397-3405.
- Mirmiran P, Fazeli MR, Asghari G, et al. Effect of pomegranate seed oil on hyperlipidemic subjects: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010;104(3):402-406.
- Pomegranate. Natural Medicines Web site. Accessed at naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/ on June 4, 2015. [Database subscription].
- Shema-Didi L, Sela S, Ore L, et al. One year of pomegranate juice intake decreases oxidative stress, inflammation, and incidence of infections in hemodialysis patients: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2012;53(2):297-304.
- Southgate MT. The cover. Pomegranate jars. JAMA. 2007;297(8):781.
- Stowe CB. The effects of pomegranate juice consumption on blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2011;17(2):113-115.
- Syed DN, Afaq F, Mukhtar H. Pomegranate derived products for cancer chemoprevention. Seminars in Cancer Biology. 2007;17(5):377-385.
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