The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Lythraceae.
Pomegranate is native to a region from modern-day Iran through Afghanistan and Pakistan to northern India.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, the drier parts of southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin. It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California.
The name pomegranate derives from medieval Latin pōmum “apple” and grānātum “seeded.”
A shrub or small tree growing 6 to 10 meters (20 to 33 feet) high, the pomegranate has multiple spiny branches and is extremely long-lived, with some specimens in France surviving for 200 years.
The leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, glossy, narrow oblong, entire, 3 to 7 centimeters (1.2 to 2.8 inches) long and 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) broad.
The flowers are bright red and 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) in diameter, with three to seven petals.
The fruit is between an orange and a grapefruit in size, 7 to 12 centimeters (2.7 to 4.7 inches) in diameter with a rounded hexagonal shape, and has thick reddish skin. The number of seeds in a pomegranate can vary from 200 to about 1,400.
The edible parts are the seeds and the red seed pulp surrounding them.
The fruit is typically in season in the Northern Hemisphere from September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May.
Pomegranate is among the most popular, nutritionally rich fruit with unique flavor, taste, and heath promoting qualities.
After the pomegranate is opened by scoring it with a knife and breaking it open, the seeds are separated from the peel and internal white pulp membranes. Separating the seeds is easier in a bowl of water because the seeds sink and the inedible pulp floats.
The taste differs depending on the variety of pomegranate and its state of ripeness. It can be very sweet or it can be very sour or tangy, but most fruits lie somewhere in between, which is the characteristic taste, laced with notes of its tannin.
Pomegranate juice can be drink fresh and used in cooking. The juice is also the source of grenadine syrup, used in flavourings and liqueurs.
Pomegranate juice has long been a popular drink in Europe, the Middle East and is now widely distributed in the United States and Canada.
There are 83 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of Pomegranate.
This amazing fruit have anti-oxidant, anti-viral, and anti-tumor properties and are said to be a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, C, and E, as well as folic acid. This amazing fruit consists of three times as many antioxidants as both wine or green tea.
The health benefits of pomegranate include maintaining effective and healthy blood circulation, a great cure for heart-related problems, viruses, stomach disorders, dental problems, osteoarthritis, anemia, and diabetes. It also prevent cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease.
Ancient Egypt regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity and ambition. It was referred to by the Semitic names of jnhm or nhm. According to the Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical writings from around 1500 BC, Egyptians used the pomegranate for treatment of tapeworm and other infections.
The pomegranate is mentioned or alluded to in the Bible many times.
According to the Bible, King Solomon possessed an orchard of pomegranates, and, when the children of Israel, wandering in the wilderness, sighed for the abandoned comforts of Egypt, the cooling pomegranates were remembered longingly.
Some Jewish scholars believe the pomegranate was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
In some artistic depictions, the pomegranate is found in the hand of Mary, mother of Jesus.
The ancient city of Granada in Spain was renamed after the fruit during the Moorish period and today the province of Granada uses pomegranate as a charge in heraldry for its canting arms.
Although not native to Korea or Japan, the pomegranate is widely grown there and many cultivars have been developed. It is widely used for bonsai because of its flowers and for the unusual twisted bark the older specimens can attain.
The pomegranate appeared on the ancient coins of Judea, and when not in use, the handles of Torah scrolls are sometimes covered with decorative silver globes similar in shape to “pomegranates.”