Benefits of Pomegranate (Anar)
Botanical Name : Punica granatum, L
Family Name : Puniaceae
Hindi Name : Anar
Pomegranate is a fruit of great antiquity and is known to have been cultivated in the Middle East more than 5000 years ago. The wild or semi-wild pomegranate still exists in the north of Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Baluchistan.
A shrub or small tree 5-1 Om high, bark smooth, dark grey; leaves 2.0-8.0 cm long, oblong or obovate, shining above; flowers usually deep red, sometimes yellow, 3.7-5.0 cm long, mostly solitary or 2-4 together; fruits globose, crowned by persistent calyx, with a coriaceous woody sind and an interior separated with membranous walls, containing numerous seeds; seeds angular with a fleshy festa which is red, pink and whitish.
Cultivated throughout India.
Ring of the fruit.
Tonic, anthelmintic, antidysenteric, cooling.
Forms of Use
Decoction, fruit juice etc.
Pomegranate is largely used as a dessert. The seeds along with the fleshy portions are dried and commercially marketed as anardana which is widely used as a condiment.
Pomegranate is a good source of sugars and vitamin C, and fair source of iron but poor in calcium. The sugar content increases with the age of the fruit and of the tree. The fruit contains 0.27% of pectin (as calcium pectate). During ripening the insoluble pectin changes into soluble pectin. The concentration of Vitamin C is said to increase with maturity and ripening of the fruit.
Glucose and fructose (reducing sugars) are the principal sugars in pomegranate juice. Sucrose is absent but maltose is reported. The acids consist primarily of citric acid with malic as the minor component. Among the amino acids, asparatic acid and glutamic have been identified in the juice.
A delicious juice is prepared from pomegranate. Fully ripe fruits yield a sweet, deep coloured juice with a rich flavour. For obtaining juice, the grains are separated from the fruit and processed in a basket press. The juice after filtration is clarified by heating in a flash pasteurizer to 79-82% and then cooled immediately. It is preserved by addition of sodium benzoate. The preserved juice has an excellent keeping quality.
The quality of pomegranate juice is determined to a great extent by its acids and sugar contents. The acidity of the juice varies from 7.8 to 3.47 gl100 ml and reducing sugars from 7.8 to 13.7 g/100 ml. Fruits of the Kandhari type produce a purplish red juice with a mildly acid-sweet taste. It looks very attractive· and is a powerful refreshing drink.
Pomegranate juice blends well with other juices. It may be converted into an excellent syrup. Anar Rub is a product locally prepared from the juice by adding sugar and heating to a thick, viscous consistency. It keeps well and is used like tomato sauce or ketchup.
The fruit juice easily ferments and may be used for the production of wines. The juice of the wild pomegranates in Russia is used in the manufacture of citric and sodium citrate for medicinal use.
(i) Fresh pomegranate juice is used as an ingredient of cooling and refrigerant mixtures and of some medicines for dyspepsia.
(ii) The juice of the leaves and the young fruit, and the decoction of the bark are used in dysentery.
(iii) The sweet types of pomegranate are said to be mildly laxative, while the less sweet types are believed to be good in inflammation of stomach and in heart pain.
(iv) Sherbet of the ripe fruit is given in typhus, gastric and asthmatic fever, inflammation of the urinary tract and haemorrhage.
(v) Grains of fruit with black pepper & salt are given in jaundice.
(vi) Pomegranate juice with lime juice taken 2/3 times daily corrects liver dysfunction and jaundice.
(vii) Anardana, a preparation from pomegranate is used against dyspepsia and stomach-ache.