LOCAL (VERNACULAR) NAMES:
DESCRIPTION: Punica granatum L. is a small deciduous tree with smooth, dark grey bark. The thorns are straight, long, pointed and woody. The leaves are narrow and glossy. The flowers are usually scarlet red (occasionally yellow) and generally single. The fruit is a round berry with a persistent calyx, which looks like a crown. Within the fruit there are several compartments with full of juicy, angular seeds, which are red or pink.
DISTRIBUTION: This plant is widely distributed, but particularly found in the Himalayan region where it grows well in warm valleys up to 1,800m. It can also be found in Pakistan and parts of southern Europe. Generally it is cultivated throughout India for its fruits and medicinal properties.
PROPAGATION: Propagation can be through seed or vegetative methods. Seeds require washing thoroughly, then dried before being soaked in water for 24 hours. Germination takes up to twenty days. Seedlings of 5cm height can then be transplanted. Basal stem cuttings, 1.0 to 1.25 cm in diameter can be taken or use of 1 cm thick sticks to air-layer in June-July Air layered plants are ready for planting in approximately two months.
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Pelletierine and derivatives, Ellagic acid and derivatives, Piperidine derivatives, Polyphenols, Granatin A & B, Punicalagin, Punicalin. Root bark – Alkaloids,Pelletierine and derivatives. Leaf - Apigenin, Benzocoumarin, Betulinic acid, Pyridine, Bark - Casuariin, Casuarinin (Tannin), Friedelin, Pelletierine, Piperideine, Sedridine. Fruit peel - Coniine (Alkaloid), vitamin C. Bark, Seeds, Leaves - D-mannitol
ACTION: Antibacterial, Antigiardiasis, oestrogenic, Anthelmintic, Antidiarrhoeal, Antifertility, Uterine stimulant, Hypoglycemic, Antiascariasis, Diuretic and Antiuremic.
TRADITIONAL USES: Punica granatum L. is a much-prized fruit and its culinary and medicinal virtues have been valued for a long time.
TRADITIONAL RECIPES: TAPEWORM Morus alba (Mulberry fruits) mixed with the coat of Punica granatum L. fruit will worm affected children quickly. It is a specific for tapeworm infestation with the root bark particularly effective if given in the form of decoction. One teaspoon of the powdered fruit rind taken with water twice daily for 3 days will help expel worms . The same treatments are useful for the expulsion of roundworms.
RESPIRATORY Flower buds powdered are useful in the treatment of bronchitis.
FEVERS Juice of the fresh fruit is used as a cooling agent in fevers and sickness.
SORE THROAT A decoction of the root bark is soothing for a sore throat.
DIARRHOEA A handful of flower buds can be ground to make a paste. Mix this with honey. Take 2 teaspoons straight away to arrest the diarrhoea . Boil 3 pieces of the rind of the fruit in 4 cups of water until reduced by .. Strain and take . cup twice daily . Take the fruit juice twice daily . Using equal quantities of Punica granatum L. fruit rind and Cyperus rotundus L. roots, make a decoction. Take twice daily on an empty stomach. This is particularly effective if the stools are watery .
VOMMITING Using powdered rind, add 1 teaspoon to a teaspoon of curds and take 5 times daily for 2 days . Using equal quantities of Punica granatum L. and sugar, boil until it is a syrup. Take 1 teaspoon twice daily . EYES For discharge of the eyes using fresh fruit juice and apply up to 10 drops in the eye for up to 7 days. A decoction from the fruit rind can be applied in the same way .
PREGNANCY For morning sickness, take 1 cup of fresh juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. For anaemia during pregnancy boil one cup of juice with 2 cups of syrup to make a syrup. Take 2 teaspoons twice daily .
NOSE BLEEDS Use the flowers and buds with the root juice of Cynodon dactylon L. to stop a nosebleed.
SNAKEBITE Both the bark and the fruit are used in the treatment of snakebites .