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© Steven Foster

Common Names: Pomegranate

Latin Names: Punica granatum


  • Pomegranate is a small, fruit-bearing tree native to Iran and northern India and cultivated around the world.
  • Ancient writings described pomegranate as a sacred fruit that provided fertility, abundance, and luck.
  • Preparations from pomegranate including the juice or extract have been promoted for prevention or treatment of many conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, cancer, and diabetes.

How Much Do We Know?

  • We don’t have a lot of strong scientific evidence on the effects of pomegranate on people’s health.

What Have We Learned?

  • The pomegranate fruit contains substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. However, the limited research that’s been completed so far has not shown benefits of pomegranate in preventing or treating heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cancer, diabetes, or other conditions.

What Do We Know About Safety?

  • Pomegranate juice is believed to be safe. Pomegranate extract may also be safe. Pomegranate root, stem, and peel may not be safe when consumed in large amounts because they contain substances that can have harmful effects.
  • Pomegranate usually doesn’t have side effects, but digestive tract symptoms, especially diarrhea, may occur in a small number of people. Allergic reactions to pomegranate have been reported.
  • Little is known about whether it’s safe to use pomegranate extract during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Drinking pomegranate juice at these times may be safe.

Keep in Mind

  • Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.

For More Information

NCCIH Clearinghouse

The NCCIH Clearinghouse provides information on NCCIH and complementary and integrative health approaches, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.

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A service of the National Library of Medicine, PubMed® contains publication information and (in most cases) brief summaries of articles from scientific and medical journals. For guidance from NCCIH on using PubMed, see How To Find Information About Complementary Health Approaches on PubMed.


Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

ODS seeks to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, supporting research, sharing research results, and educating the public. Its resources include publications (such as Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know) and fact sheets on a variety of specific supplement ingredients and products (such as vitamin D and multivitamin/mineral supplements).


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Key References

This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged.

NCCIH has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider(s). We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by NCCIH.

Last Updated: August 2020