POMEGRANATE



Pomegranate is of great value because of its curative properties. It is given in typhus,gastric and asthmatic fever, inflammation of the urinary tract and hemorrhage. It corrects liver dysfunction and jaundice.

Botanical Name: Punica granatum, L

Family Name: Puniaceae

Description:

This 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 fruit still exists in the north of Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Baluchistan.

A shrub or small tree 5-10 m height, bark smooth, dark grey; leaves 2-8 cm long, oblong, shining above. Flowers are usually deep red, sometimes yellow, 3.7 to 5 cm long, mostly solitary or 2-4 together. Fruits are globose, crowned by persistent calyx, with a curvaceous woody sind and an interior separated with membranous walls, containing numerous seeds. Seeds are angular, fleshy which is red, pink and whitish.

Distribution:

Cultivated throughout the world

Parts used:

Ring of the fruit

Properties:

Tonic, cooling agent, anti-dysenteric, anti-helminthic

Forms of use:

Decoction, Fruit juice

Products- Preservation:

A delicious juice is prepared from this fruit. Fully ripe fruits yield a sweet, deep colored juice with a rich flavor. 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 the juice is determined to a extent by its acids and sugar content. The acidity of the juice varies from 7.8 to 3.47 gm per 100 ml. The reducing sugars varies from 7.8 to 13.7 gm per 100 ml. These fruits produce a purplish, red juice with a mildly acid-sweet taste. It looks very attractive and is a powerful refreshing drink.

This juice blends well with other juices. It may be converted into excellent syrup. The fruit juice easily ferments and can be used for the production of wines. The juice of the wild pomegranate in Russia is used in the manufacture of citric and sodium citrate for medicinal use.


NUTRITIVE VALUE:



Pomegranate is largely used as a dessert. The seeds along with the fleshy portions are dried and commercially marketed, which are widely used as a condiment.

Analysis of the edible portion of the fruit (68%) gave the following composition (per 100 gm of edible part):

Moisture: 78%

Protein: 1.6%

Fat: 0.1%

Fiber: 5.1%

Carbohydrate: 14.5%

Minerals: 0.7%

Calcium: 10 mg

Magnesium: 12 mg

Oxalic acid: 14 mg

Phosphorus: 70 mg

Iron: 0.3 mg

Sodium: 0.9 mg

Potassium: 13.30 mg

Copper: 0.2 mg

Sulfur: 12 mg

Chlorine: 2 mg

Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 0.06 mg

Riboflavin: 0.10 mg

Nicotinic acid: 0.30 mg

Vitamin C: 14 mg

This 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 the juice. Sucrose is absent but maltose is reported. The acids consist primarily of citric acid with malic acid as the minor component. Among the amino acids, aspartic acid and glutamic acid have been identified in the juice.


MEDICINAL USES:



1. Fresh juice is used as an ingredient of cooling and refrigerant mixtures and of some medicines for dyspepsia.

2. The juice of the leaves and the young fruit, and the decoction of the bark are used in dysentery.

3. The sweet types of the fruit are mildly laxative, while the less sweet types are believed to be good in inflammation of stomach and in heart pain.

4. Juice of the ripe fruit is given in typhus, gastric and asthmatic fever, inflammation of the urinary tract and hemorrhage.

5. Grains of fruit with black pepper and salt are given in jaundice.

6. Dried fruit grains are used in cases of dyspepsia and stomach ache.

7. Pomegranate juice with lime juice taken 2-3 times daily corrects liver dysfunction and jaundice.





Fruits and Vegetables

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