The most popular fruit of the Christmas period, is undoubtedly the pomegranate, with a history that goes back in centuries. Greek mythology is full of stories about the pomegranate, with most famous the legend of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, where after the Jupiter’s intervention,Pluto (Hades) returned Persephone to her mother, Goddess Demeter. When he did this, he gave to Persephone seven pomegranate seeds, because he wanted to remember him every time she’d looked at them. Since then pomegranate seeds symbolise the eternal love. However, they symbolise the memory of the dead because of Hades, the God of the Underworld; that’ s why until today we honour our dead by eating boiled wheat with pomegranate seeds.
As an aphrodisiac fruit, the pomegranate was dedicated to Goddess Aphrodite, too, where according to another legend she planted with her hands the first pomegranate tree in Cyprus.
The belief in the power of this fruit continues until today by breaking a pomegranate at the main entrance of the house, the first day of the New Year. In my family we have a different ritual than usual, a custom we learned from our grandmothers from Smyrne. With the arrival of New Year, we break three pomegranates on the threshold of the house; one for health, one for happiness and one for prosperity and we leave them on the floor, undisturbed, until the next night, just before dawn the second day. Then we collect them and we burn them to the fireplace. The good seeds are those who scatter and they symbolise the good days of the New Year; that’s why every time we break a pomegranate, we wish to be broken in thousand pieces :)
The pomegranate is a small tree or shrub, deciduous, which can reach 5 meters. It fructifies the 4th planting time and we collect the fruits at Fall, before the rains. It resistants to heat and drought and can easily adapt to different soils.
It has an amazing flavor and is considered one of the most energy boosting fruits. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, iron and fiber. It offers three different types of antioxidants so that the antioxidant action exceed this of red wine or green tea. Pomegranate has antimicrobial and anti- inflammatory properties, strengthens the immune system and the high content of polyphenols that it contains, combats any type of allergy. It protects the kidney and rejuvenates the liver, prevents from heart disease, prevents from prostate cancer, skin cancer and breast cancer. It also regulates the metabolism, normalises the blood pressure and slows aging by removing the free radicals from the skin. It is considered as antidiarrheal, treats osteoarthritis and fights the herpes virus.
Consult your doctor for proper consumption.
For its cosmetic use, we find it as a seed butter, as a seed oil and as a seed extract. Its intense antioxidant action, as I said before, combats free radicals; therefore is one of the best anti- aging components. It moisturises in depth, tightens the skin, balances the pH, stimulates elasticity and it tends to “fill” wrinkles. In short, it restores firmness and glow to tired and mature skin, but can also be used by other skin types. It provides sun protection too, in synergy with other vegetable oils and butters.