Pomegranate - What is it & How to use

What is it?

  • The pomegranate fruit has a leathery rind (or husk) with many little pockets of edible seeds and juice inside.
  • Since ancient times, the pomegranate has been a symbol of fertility.
  • Researchers have studied all parts of the pomegranate for their potential health benefits. Those parts include the fruit, seed, seed oil, tannin-rich peel, root, leaf, and flower.
  • The pomegranate has been used as a dietary supplement for many conditions including wounds, heart conditions, intestinal problems, and as a gargle for a sore throat.
  • Pomegranate is made into capsules, extracts, teas, powders, and juice products.
  • A 2012 clinical trial of about 100 dialysis patients suggested that pomegranate juice may help ward off infections. In the study, the patients who were given pomegranate juice three times a week for a year had fewer hospitalizations for infections and fewer signs of inflammation, compared with patients who got the placebo.
  • Pomegranate extract in mouthwash may help control dental plaque, according to a small 2011 clinical trial with 30 healthy participants.
  • Pomegranate may help improve some signs of heart disease but the research isn’t definitive.

Safety Concerns

  • Some people, particularly those with plant allergies, may be allergic to pomegranate.
  • It’s unclear whether pomegranate interacts with the anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicine warfarin or drugs that work similarly in the body to warfarin.
  • Federal agencies have taken action against companies selling pomegranate juice and supplements for deceptive advertising and making drug-like claims about the products. For more on this, view the NCCIH Director’s Page entitled Excessive Claims.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.