Family: Punicaceae
Botanical name: Punica granatum Linn.
English: Pomegranate
Sanskrit: Dadima, Kharakam, Madhuramlaphalam, Kuchaphalam, Dandabeejam.
Hindi: Anar, Dhalim
Malayalam: Mathalam, Urumambazam
The Mathalam leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, glossy, narrow oblong, entire, 3–7 cm long and 2 cm broad. The flowers are bright red, 3 cm in diameter, with four to five petals (often more on cultivated plants). Some fruitless varieties are grown for the flowers alone. The edible fruit is a berry and is between a lemon and a grapefruit in size, 5–12 cm in diameter with a rounded hexagonal shape, and has thick reddish skin. The exact number of seeds in a pomegranate can vary from 200 to about 1400 seeds, contrary to some beliefs that all pomegranates have exactly the same number of seeds. Each seed has a surrounding water-laden pulp—the edible aril—ranging in colour from white to deep red or purple. The seeds are embedded in a white, spongy, astringent membrane.
In the Indian subcontinent's ancient Ayurveda system of medicine, the pomegranate (Hindi: अनार) has extensively been used as a source of traditional remedies for thousands of years.
The rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree is used as a traditional remedy against diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal parasites. The seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart and throat, and classified as a bitter-astringent (pitta or fire) component under the Ayurvedic system, and considered a healthful counterbalance to a diet high in sweet-fatty (kapha or earth) components. The astringent qualities of the flower juice, rind and tree bark are considered valuable for a variety of purposes, such as stopping nose bleeds and gum bleeds, toning skin, (after blending with mustard oil) firming-up sagging breasts and treating hemorrhoids. Pomegranate juice (of specific fruit strains) is also used as eyedrops as it is believed to slow the development of cataractsAyurveda differentiates between pomegranate varieties and employs them for different remedies.
Pomegranate has been used as a contraceptive and abortifacient by means of consuming the seeds, or rind, as well as by using the rind as a vaginal suppository. This practice is recorded in ancient Indian literature, in Medieval sources, and in modern folk medicine. The nauseating feeling due to snake bite can reduce by Mathalam.
Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
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