June’s Featured Herb of the Month – Pomegranate

Research has shown pomegranate to be very eneficial for the cardiovascular system.

June’s Featured Herb of the Month – Pomegranate

Did you know that many fruits are used as herbs in herbal medicine? Pomegranate’s one of them. Ayurvedic medicine has been using it for thousands of years to “cool the blood” or to keep heat from impacting and damaging the cardiovascular system. Ayurveda even has a famous saying about pomegranate because it’s used for so many health reasons, “One pomegranate for a hundred diseases.”

Modern studies are showing that what the ancients discovered about pomegranate really is true. Some of the benefits of pomegranate that scientific research has suggested include the ability to help reduce high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol accumulation in the cardiovascular system, lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce development of atherosclerosis, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Because of its ability to “cool the blood,” it’s one of my favorite herbs for the summertime, and that’s why I thought it would be a great choice for “Herb of the Month” for June. It’s great for helping to beat the summer heat!  Drink some juice before going out in the sun, or if you’re already overheated or sunburned, drink some after the fact to help cool down.

When my sons were younger, they used to own a lawn mowing business, and pomegranate always helped them to stay cool while working outdoors for hours in the heat of the day. And because they’re both firefighters, they would keep bottles of pomegranate extract tablets in their packs, especially in the summer.  They always felt it helped them tolerate the heat much better.

And here’s a little bit of herbal history for you.  Have you ever wondered how the ancient herbalists knew which herbs would help the cardiovascular system?  I learned this from my teacher Matthew Alfs.  They took their cue as to what plants would help the cardiovascular system based on the color of blood.  That clue or “Doctrine of Signatures” as it’s known, let them know that plants that were reddish in hue – flowers, fruit, bark, or some other distinguishing feature – would support the blood and it’s awesome pump, the heart.

All of us could benefit from regularly including pomegranate in our diets, especially when you look at the amazing cardiovascular benefits it has. Just drinking a refreshing glass of the juice everyday would be great for your health, as studies have shown. But here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy pomegranate. Give some of these fun and easy recipes a try this summer and take advantage of pomegranate’s blood cooling herbal properties.


Pomegranate and Hibiscus Iced Tea

8 cups of water
1 lemon or lime cut into wedges
1/2 cup of loose hibiscus tea
1 cup of pomegranate juice

Steep the hibiscus tea or brew in a glass jar in the sun. Add the pomegranate juice and lemon or lime wedges and cool. Serve with ice. I like the lime the best. I just think it really compliments pomegranate.


Pomegranate Kombucha

Buy or make your favorite unflavored sparkling kombucha and add some pomegranate juice or nectar to it. Half and half tastes pretty yummy!


Easy Pomegranate Fruit Salad ideas

Spinach, fresh orange slices, pomegranate, and goat cheese

Or

Pomegranate, kiwi, peaches, and strawberries


Pomegranate Side Dish Ideas

Quinoa with walnuts and pomegranates

Squash garnished with pomegranates and feta cheese


Pomegranate Yogurt Smoothie

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 medium banana
1/2 cup berries (or mixed berries)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain (kefir is good, too)

 

Because I enjoy using Standard Process products, these smoothies are great, especially is you’re doing one of their cleanse programs:

Chocolate Berry Pomegranate Smoothie

4 scoops SP Complete Chocolate
1 cup water
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup strawberries

Pomegranate Tropical Smoothie

4 scoops SP Complete Vanilla
1 cup water
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup peeled, pitted, and chopped mango
2 tbsp. coconut

Pomegranate Blueberry Mint Smoothie

4 scoops SP Complete Vanilla
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
3 sprigs mint – stemmed

#Smoothie advice – leave out the ice. Super cold foods are so hard on the digestive system.


And finally, experiment with your own flavor combos by mixing it with some of these complimentary foods and flavors:

Apples, Arugula, Blueberries, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Coconut, Cucumber, Ginger, Honey, Kale, Mango, Maple Syrup, Mint, Onion, Pear, Pineapple, Spinach, Strawberry, Swiss Chard, Raspberry, Squash, and Vanilla.


(I found a recipe for dark chocolate and pomegranate bark. Definitely making that!!!)

 

 

 

Resources:

  1.  Aviram, Michael and Mira Rosenblat. (2013). Pomegranate for Your Cardiovascular Health. Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2013 Apr; 4(2): e0013. DOI:10.5041/RMMJ.10113
  2. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hoffman A, Dornfeld L, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Liker H, Hayek T. (2004). Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clinical Nutrition. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33. DOI:10.1016/j.clnu.2003.10.002
  3. Sahebkar A, Ferri C, Giorgini P, Bo S, Nachtigal P, Grassi D. (2016). Effects of pomegranate juice on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pharmacol Res. 2017 Jan;115:149-161. DOI:10.1016/j.phrs.2016.11.018
  4. Zarfeshany A, Asgary S, and Shaghayegh Haghjoo Javanmard. (2014). Potent health effects of pomegranate. Adv Biomed Res. 2014; 3: 100. DOI: 10.4103/2277-9175.129371

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Tracey Kamm, NBCR(ARCB), CNT, MH, CEHC

Tracey Kamm is a Holistic Wellness Professional, Reflexologist, and Clinical Herbalist and Nutritionist. She is a National Board Certified Reflexologist (American Reflexology Certification Board), Master Herbalist, Certified Nutritional Therapist, and Certified Emotional Healing Coach, and Owner of Spirit of the Bear LLC. She sees clients both in her practice in Cheyenne, WY and through long distance consultations. To learn more, visit her website: www.spiritofthebearllc.com

COMMENTS ( 4 )

  • Andrea, I hope you enjoy the tea! Such a tasty treat in the summertime and so good for you, too. Thank you for your very lovely comment and kind words. Glad you’re enjoying my blog! 🙂

  • Thank you, Peggie for such a lovely comment! Yes, please do share the recipes with your local herbal community. I’m so happy that you’re enjoying them.

  • I love pomegranate!! Thanks for the sharing and all the lovely recipes! Would you mind if I share them with my local herbal community? The dark chocolate and pomegranate bark would be a superb desert to have!

  • What a lovely article! I hadn’t thought of drinking pomegranate juice as a way of staying cool – Thank you SO much for sharing! I can’t wait to try out the Pomegranate and Hibiscus Iced Tea! IT sounds so refreshing 🙂 I love your blog – keep up the great work! <3

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