***Interested in natural remedies? Uncover herbal remedies from traditional Mexican sources for healing and wellness in the Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico series.
The granada (punica granatum) or pomegranate is yet another import from Spain. The tree that we planted about 8 years ago is finally starting to produce fruit. It does well in drought conditions typical to La Yacata. I don’t know about you, but getting at those juicy seeds can be troublesome so I really appreciated this little video. Granada is the require garnish for Chiles en Nogadas often served during the patriotic month of September. Naturally, this delicious fruit has medicinal applications. The bark and root of the granada have antifungal properties. They have traditionally been used against intestinal parasites and to treat, dysentery, and diarrhea. To rid a body of tapeworms, 60 grams of granada root is boiled in a liter of water. Half is drunk before bed, the other half when you wake up. This is followed up with a 45-gram dose of castor oil. If the tapeworm is not expelled, the treatment can be repeated in a week. A second herbal remedy for tapeworm is similar. One part root bark for each 10 parts water is soaked overnight. In the morning, boil it down 2 /3. Then, strain. Drink the concoction first thing in the morning before breakfast then 3 ½ cup doses at half-hour intervals. Repeat the process for 3 days. On the third day, take a good dose of castor oil. A word of caution: Excessive amounts of the bark and root cause nausea and vomiting. Never fear, other parts of the granada, including the fruit, will not cause such an adverse reaction. Some of it is quite tasty! The rind of the granada contains three times as much polyphenols as the fruit, including condensed tannins, catechins, gallocatechins and prodelphinidins. It shows promise in treating diabetic nephropathy. The rind is anti-inflammatory and suitable for treating and preventing inflammations of the gastric tract and malaria. A tea for stomach ailments is made by boiling a handful of the rind, jamaica (hibuscus flower), canela (cinnamon) and membrillo (quince) in a liter of water for ten minutes. Cool and strain. Divide the dose into three glasses and drink at intervals throughout the day. Traditional Mexican medicinal use also includes a gargle or mouthwash to treat swollen tonsils, canker sores and inflamed gums that is made from the boiled rind. A piece of raw rind placed directly on a sore will help dry it up too. The fruit is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. This bright red delicious edible has also been shown to be antidiabetic. A glass of pomegranate juice daily lowers hypertension and reduces atherosclerosis. It has properties that protect the kidney as well. The juice is also effective in treating diarrhea. In Mexico, a mixture of juice and sugar is boiled and given to children a tablespoon at a time for treatment. Oil extracted from the seeds have inhibitory effects on skin and breast cancers. Pomegranate seed oil has phytoestrogenic compounds and contains punicic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. The leaves are also antibacterial and can be used to make a poultice to treat wounds. Leaf extract contains compounds that protect the brain from injury. The flower has been used medicinally to improve insulin resistance in diabetics and is anti-inflammatory. The flowers are antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic and used in the treatment of mouth and stomach ulcers. Now you have just a little something to think about next time you are nibbling some pomegranate!