Punica granatum Linn.
Synonym: Punica malus L.
Sindhi name: Darhoon
Local name: Anaar
English name: Pomegranate
Part used: Flowers, fruit, dried fruits, bark, leaves and roots
Punica granatum Linn. is an attractive shrub or a small tree growing up to 6 to 10 m high. Fruits are large, globose, 5-8 cm across, crowned by somewhat tubular limb of calyx, with red pulp and are very juicy.1 The plant has multiple spiny branches and is extremely long-lived, surviving for 200 years.6 Leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, glossy, narrow, oblong, 3–7 cm long and 2 cm broad. Flowers are bright red, with three to seven petals. Petals are 1.2-2.5 cm long, thin and wrinkled. 6
Pomegranate is native to Iran.1, 7 Pomegranate also thrives in the drier climates of California and Arizona in North America and has been cultivated throughout the Middle East, southern Asia, and Mediterranean region.8,9 It is found wild and cultivated in Khaibar Pakhtoonkhwa, Punjab and Baluchistan provinces in Pakistan at an altitude of 900-1800 m.5 Pomegranate was introduced in parts of Latin America and California by the early Spanish settlers during the year 1769.
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:
Ground peel of pomegranate is mixed with ghee and applied on nails twice a day to treat onychomycosis. Powdered peel of pomegranate is applied on face twice a day to prevent blemishes in District .
Methanolic extract of fruits and leaves of pomegranate contain sitosterol, maslinic acid, asiatic acid and alkanes.11 Flavonoids isolated from pomegranate include flavones, flavonols, anthocyanidins and flavan-3-ols. Pomegranate (Punica granatum Linn.) is a rich source of potassium, antioxidant polyphenols, catechins, and gallocatechins. Anthocyanins include prodelphinidins, delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin. Ellagic acid, ellagitannins (including punicalagins), punicic acid are also present.11 Flowers of pomegranate contain pelargonidin-3, 5-diglucoside and ursolic acid.12, 14 Piperidine of unsaturated alkaloids is present in the leaf extract.13 Fruit rinds contain polyholoside.15
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies:
Fresh juice of Punica granatum Linn. is cooling and refrigerant.2 Its flower buds are used in breathing problems.3 Leprosy patients benefit from the fruit juice.4 Pomegranate is used in natural and holistic medicine to treat sore throat, coughs, urinary infections, digestive disorders, skin disorders, arthritis and to expel tapeworms. A decoction of seed is used to treat syphilis. Juice used to treat jaundice and diarrhea. Juice of flowers is used to treat nose bleeds. The fruit pulp and the seed are stomachic.10 Many women claim that the extract of the fruit helps to overcome feelings of weakness or malaise during and after menopause.
Fruit extract is antibacterial and highly active against M. pyogens and E. coli.2 Root bark has been used as an anthelmintic.4 It treats burn, acne, dermatosis and ringworm5. Punica granatum possesses lipid regulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-neoplastic and anti-diabetic effects16, 17. It also possesses antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antioxidant activities.18, 19, 20
1- Khare, C. P. (2012), Indian Medicinal plants, p. 527, Springer Publishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
2- Joshi, S. G. (2000), Medicinal plants, p. 326-327, Mohan Primlani Oxford & IBH Publishers Co. Pvt. Ltd. 66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.
3- Dhiman, A. K. (2006), Ayurvedic Drug Plants, p. 108, Daya Publishers, Delhi-110 035, India.
4- Prof. Bhattacharjee, S. K. (2004), Handbook of Medicinal Plants, p. 290, Pointer Publisher Jaipure 303003 (Raj), India.
5- Duke, J. A. (2002), Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, p. 583, II, CRC Publishers, New York, Washington, DC, U.S.A.
6- Morton, J. F (1987). “Pomegranate, Punica granatum L.”. Fruits of Warm Climates. Purdue New Crops Profile. pp. 352–5. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
7-“pomegranate (plant) – Encyclopedia Britannica”. Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
9- George Ripley, Charles Anderson Dana (1875). The American cyclopaedia: a popular dictionary of general knowledge, Volume 13. Appleton. 10-
11- Verma S, Singh, S. P. (2008), Current and future status of herbal medicines. Veterinary World; 1(11):347 350.
12- Hartwell, J (1971). Plants Used Against Cancer. Lloydia 34(1):105-107.
13- Du CT, Wang PL, Francis FJ. (1975). Anthocyanins of Pomegranate (P. granatum). J. Food Sci.40:417-418.
14- Isamuhamedov, A.S., Akramov, S. T. (1982). Pomegranate Seed Phospholipits. Khim. Prir. Soedin. 3:396-397
15- Jurkovic, Mikelic, F., Smit Z. (1976). Total Carotenoids and ß- Carotene in Pomegranates. Hrana Ishrana.17(3-4):154-158 Ref. C.A. 85:45122.
16- Akhlaghi M, Band B. (2009), Mechanisms of flavonoid protection against myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury. J Mol Cell Cardiol; 46:309-
17- Lansky EP, Newman RA (2007) Punica granatum (pomegranate) and its potential for prevention and treatment of inflammation and cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology109, 177-206.
18- Halvorsen BL, Holte K, Myhrstad MC, Barikmo I, Hvattum E, Remberg SF, Wold AB, Haffner K, Baugerod H, Andersen LF, Moskaug O, Blom-hoff R. (2002) A systematic screening of total antioxidants in dietary plants. Journal of Nutrition, 132, 461-471
19 Machado TB, Pinto AV, Pinto MCFR, Leal ICR, Silva MG, Amaral ACF, Kuster RM, Netto-dos Santos KR (2003) In vitroactivity of Brazilian medicinal plants, naturally occurring naphthoquinones and their analogues, against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents21, 279-284
20- Zhang J, Zhan BY, Yao XJ. (1995) Experimental study on the anti-herpes virus of pomegranate rind. Chinese Journal of Traditional Medical Science and Technology 2, 28-30