Pomegranate is a treethat is native to Iran and can be found in the United States, Russia, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean. Deemed a "superfood," many parts of the tree are used for medicinal purposes, including the bark, root, fruit, and rind.[1, 2]
Pomegranate dates back to about 1500 BC as a cure for parasites, such as tapeworm.
It's also used for:
- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
- High cholesterol
- Heart attack
- Gum disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Prostate cancer prevention
- Weight loss
- Sore throat
Does pomegranate work
There isn't enough evidence that pomegranate is effective for medicinal purposes. Small studies have been conducted primarily in animals or test tubes, not humans. One human study, however, did show that drinking pomegranate juice had a positive effect on prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in men with prostate cancer. It also may work as an antioxidant to treat osteoarthritis and heart disease, but larger-scale studies on humans are needed.
Dosage depends on specific conditions. Although consuming average amounts of pomegranate is basically safe for most adults, contact your health care provider beforehand if you have any chronic health issues. Before giving pomegranate extract to your children, talk to your pediatrician. Four- to 6oz servings of the juice, however, is considered safe for kids.
Pomegranate interacts with some medications, potentially altering or minimizing their effects. Pomegranate may intensify the effects of carbamazephine (anti-seizure medication) and medications that are broken down by the body (Cytochrome substrates, warfarin, tolbutamide, and rosuvastatin), so don't take them together. Also, taking pomegranate with blood pressure medication may cause excessively low blood pressure. If you are taking any medication, consult your healthcare provider before consuming pomegranate.[1, 2]
- Pomegranate juice is safe for most people, but the fruit can cause an allergic reaction in some.
- Pomegranate is safe for gums and skin application, but allergic reactions, including itching, swelling, and breathing problems have occurred.
- The tree's roots are poisonous. Do not eat the root or stems.
- If you have diabetes, consult your physician before consuming pomegranate juice. If you get your doctor's OK, then choose a product that contains 100% juice. Also, take note of sugar content.
- Do not drink pomegranate juice or consume the extract if you have diarrhea.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, contact your doctor to see if pomegranate juice is OK to drink. Steer clear of pomegranate extract.
- If you are allergic to plants, avoid pomegranate.
- Stop taking pomegranate at least two weeks before surgery, due to possible blood pressure issues.
- MedlinePlus; "Pomegranate;" Reviewed 2012
- University of Maryland Medical Center; "Pomegranate;" Updated 2013
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