Updated: Aug 16, 2021
Punicica granatum – an amazing source of life and energy.
Recent years have seen an increase in the use of traditional medicinal plants in modern medicine in order to prevent or to cure diseases.
Herbal plants and their extracts have been investigated due to the toxicological concerns over synthetic drugs, opening new possibilities for innovative applications of well-known plants and fruits.
Everyone knows the small seeds, embedded in delicious red flesh and hidden in a hard shell, of the pomegranate. Have you ever thought about them as a cure?
Having been used extensively in the folk medicine of many cultures for a long time, pomegranate (Punicica granatum L.) has more recently been revealed to be a promising source of bioactive phytochemicals with a wide range of biological properties related to protection against oxidative stress.
These bioactive compounds possess different biological activities such as scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS), inhibiting oxidation and microbial growth and reducing the risk of chronic disease such as cancers and cardiovascular disorders.
The pomegranate is a shrub or small tree, up to 3–8 meters high, evergreen in the tropics and deciduous in subtropical and temperate zones, and native to central Asia. It is one of the oldest known edible fruits.
The name pomegranate derives from the latin name of the fruit Malum granatum which means grainy apple. The Babylonians regarded the pomegranate as an agent of resurrection, the Persians as conferring invincibility on the battlefield, and for ancient Chinese, the red juice was regarded as a “soul concentrate” homologous to human blood and capable of conferring on a person longevity or even immortality.
Valuable ingredients from pomegranate are extracted from the seeds, juice, skins, leaves, flowers, bark and root.
Pomegranate fruit has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities.
The fruit and bark of pomegranate tree are used against intestinal parasites, dysentery, and diarrhea.
The juice and seeds are considered a tonic for the throat and heart. It is used to stop nose and gum bleeds and in treating haemorrhoids.
The root bark has also been used as an antihelminthic, due to the presence of alkaloids such as pelletierine, also called punicicin, as well as N-methylpelletierine and pseudopelletierine.[iv].
Punicica granatum – an amazing source of life and energyidentified in the plant leaves. Ellagic tannins, such as granatins A and B, punicicalagin and punicicalin (these two present as major constituents) have been isolated from the pericarp.
This is the part of the fruit responsible for the observed antibacterial action of the species, especially against Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella sp., and Serratia sp.
Pomegranate peel contains tannins, flavonoids, polyphenols and some anthocyanins such as cyanidins and delphinidins. Extracts from the peels of pomegranate have been shown to display various pharmacological activities. For example, as a natural antioxidant food supplement they can support the anti- aging process of skin, cells, tissues and organs.
Pomegranate seed oil, which contains phytoestrogenic compounds, it’s believed to have inhibitory effects on skin and breast cancers and the fruit is rich in phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant activity.
Pomegranate seed oil consists of:
• punicic acid (about 60-82% according to different sources),
• linoleic acid (about 6-9%),
• oleic acid (about 6-10%),
• palmitic and stearic acids (about 5-8%),
• ɣ-tocopherol (approximately 0.25%)
• phytosterols (about 0.4 - 0.6%),
• polyphenols (about 0.015%),
• flavonoids, anthocyanins, tannins,
• phytoestrogens and steroidal estrogens,
• magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.
Given this unique composition, pomegranate seed oil has a wide variety of care properties.
Tocopherol, flavonoids, anthocyanins and especially punicic acid play a significant role as antioxidant agents that can protect human cells from oxidative damage and prevent aging of cells and body. Researchers showed that pomegranate seed oil has antioxidative properties comparable with those of green tea.
Flavonoids, a broad class of polyphenolic compounds widely distributed among photosynthesizing cells, possess an impressive array of pharmacological activity.
Flavonoids extracted from cold pressed seed oil showed 31–44% inhibition of sheep cyclooxygenase and 69–81% inhibition of soybean lipoxygenase. Flavonoids extracted from pomegranate fermented juice showed 21–30% inhibition of soybean lipoxygenase but no significant inhibition of sheep cyclooxygenase.
This means that pomegranate oil can help soothe skin with inflammatory diseases including skin with atopic inflammation or acne.
Due to the content of linoleic acid and phytosterols, the oil has regenerating properties and is excellent in the care of mature, strongly dehydrated, sensitive, flaky or damaged skin.
These compounds are similar to natural ingredients found in the skin and are therefore able to be incorporated into the intercellular cement of the epidermis.
In addition, pomegranate oil causes gentle thickening of the epidermis and stimulates the renewal of keratinocytes (even more efficiently than pomegranate juice or extract from the cuticles). [viii] In this way, the oil strengthens the epidermal barrier, improving its functioning and appearance and the level of skin hydration.
Pomegranate seed oil is also destined for use in cosmetics for mature skin due to the content of phytoestrogens. They are compounds that affect the skin fibroblasts similarly to estrogen, the level of which decreases significantly with age in the female body.
Without an adequate level of estrogen, the condition of women’s skin can deteriorate during menopause because without the influence of estrogen, fibroblasts produce fewer and poorer quality skin components.
The use of cosmetics with phytoestrogens helps to counteract this phenomenon and to improve the functioning of fibroblasts. In this way, using pomegranate oil, you can delay the appearance of wrinkles and firm the skin.
Another effect of pomegranate oil is that it can seal the walls of blood vessels thanks to presence of flavonoids and anthocyanins. The tannins contained in the oil provide a firming effect, and the polyphenols have a bacteriostatic effect, which is can help limit bacterial growth in skin affected by acne.
Like all vegetable oils, pomegranate seed oil contains fatty acids that provide indirect hydration by creating a hydrophobic film on the skin that limits transepidermal water loss.
As you can see, pomegranate seed oil shows promise in the care of all skin types, for various imperfections, and in preventing premature aging of the skin.
The richness of biologically active ingredients makes the oil from pomegranate seeds one of the most versatile plant oils. It finds its application in moisturizing cosmetics, strengthening the epidermal barrier and regenerating, anti-acne and anti-aging products.
This amazing ingredient can be found in our Mehriz body care.