Pomegranate is a plant of the Punicaceae family, native to a geographical region ranging from Iran to the Himalayan area of northern India, and present since ancient times in the Caucasus, and in the entire Mediterranean area. Currently, pomegranate cultivation is widely spread in Mexico, the USA, Arizona and California. In Italy, it is also and above all cultivated for ornamental purposes.
The fruit, commonly called pomegranate and scientifically balausta, is an almost unique berry of its kind, which developed together with the floral calyx. The presence of the chalice is also noted in the ripe fruit: in fact, in the opposite position to the petiole, there is a sort of raised crown, a sign of the remains of the chalice.
The leathery exocarp, rather solid and massive, hides a very large number of seeds, estimated at around 600. The seeds, translucent, shiny, are covered with a juicy pulp whose color can vary from white to blood red; in botany, pomegranate seeds are called arils. It should be remembered that the fragrance, taste, shape and color of the pomegranate fruit are strongly conditioned factors of the species.
The Acco 128 variety is medium in size, red in color over almost the entire surface.
The rind is medium-thin in thickness. The grains are dark red in color, have a sweet flavor and are pleasant to taste.
- Astringent properties: in the bark, in the flowers and in the exocarp of the pomegranate there is a conspicuous quantity of tannins (estimated at around 28%, including gallic and ellagic acid), whose properties are useful in case of vaginal and intestinal bleeding;
Antidiarrheal properties: the powder obtained from the dried peel of pomegranates is rich in tannins and, used in decoction, lends itself to counteracting diarrhea;
Vermifuge and antihelminthic properties: in the pomegranate bark it has been observed that the pellet (alkaloid molecule) acts with a paralyzing effect, specifically against tapeworms;
Ability to preserve lipid oxidation: the oil obtained from pomegranate seeds and the juice have good antioxidant properties;
Gastro-protective properties: medicinal virtue demonstrated only in the animal model; pomegranate extract seems to exert these properties in particular against damage due to ethanol.
Refreshing properties of the gums: the infusion prepared with the petals of pomegranate flowers is very useful for refreshing the oral cavity, gums in particular;
Diuretic properties: the seeds have diuretic virtues, albeit very mild;
Aromatic properties: made from the peel of pomegranates. The aroma and intense fragrance emanating from the peels of the fruits are exploited for the preparation of excellent liqueurs and aperitifs;
Antioxidant properties: due to the presence of numerous polyphenols and vitamin C;
Potential antithrombotic, antiallergic, vaso-protective and gastro-protective properties, virtues hypothetically rendered by flavonoids.
The pomegranate is a plant resistant to the dry summer and winter temperatures typical of the Mediterranean; in such conditions it is extraordinarily resistant to any type of disease. In an unsuitable, excessively humid or rainy environment, in summer it is subject to root rot. In a well-drained environment it easily resists to -15 ° C. There are no particular needs for soil, even if obviously an adequate depth and moderate fertilization is necessary for significant fruiting productions.
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