The pomegranate tree is very famous for the juicy fruit that it produces. The usage of pomegranate fruit is very closely associated with the ancient human history; the utilization of this fruit has been mentioned in many ancient cultures, both as food and as a medicinal remedy.
The pomegranate tree is native to central Asia, but now it is grown extensively in a wide range of climates and soil conditions. It is grown in many different geographical regions like the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and many other parts of the world.
Many products are made from various parts of the pomegranate tree, which include the fruit, flowers, roots, bark, and leaves, these parts are used for the medicinal purposes and treatment of various ailments. This tree is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and antioxidant properties.
Pomegranate Tree Basic Description
The pomegranate tree is a small deciduous tree that naturally develops multiple trunks, and it has a bushy appearance. It does not grow very tall and generally, it reaches a height of 5 meters.
The pomegranate tree belongs to the family “Lythraceae” and its botanical name is “Punica Granatum”.
This tree likes to grow in a Mediterranean-like climate with good exposure to sunlight and mild winters. The leaves of the pomegranate tree have a lanceolate shape with a pointed end at the base, and they are green in color with a glossy shine to them.
The flowers of this tree are somewhat tube-shaped; they are about one and a half-inch long and have a shiny red color, which is very attractive for the pollinators. As the flower matures, it develops an orange-red to deep red sepal color.
The fruit develops from the ovary and it is a fleshy berry which is almost spherical in shape and it is crowned by the prominent calyx. The fruit is connected to the pomegranate tree with a short stalk. There are multiple ovular chambers in the fruit which are separated by the membranous walls, these chambers are non-symmetrical.
Generally, the lower part of the pomegranate fruit contains two to three chambers and the upper part of the fruit contains six to nine chambers. There are hundreds of seeds in these chambers, these seeds are called arils and they have a juicy and fleshy outer membrane. The seeds of pomegranate have a lot of fiber and oils which are very useful in a lot of disorders.
Uses and Benefits of Pomegranate
1. The buds of the pomegranate tree which fall to the ground can be used for treating nosebleed problem grind those buds and put a few drops of its juice in the nose, it will provide immediate relief in the nosebleed problem.
2. For getting rid of mouth blisters and ulcers, one can use 20-25 grams of leaves of the pomegranate tree and boil them in 300 ml of water. After it gets boiled properly and remains about 100 ml, cool it down and sieve the water. Now rinse and gargle with this water, the mouth blisters and ulcers will heal very quickly. The taste of this water may seem a bit bitter, but it is very helpful in treating oral problems. Some people chew these leaves, and roll the paste in their mouth and then spit it out to get relief from blisters and ulcers.
3. Nowadays insomnia is becoming a very common problem; many people suffer from lack of sleep due to stress and excessive work. This is the reason most of the people are not able to get a sound sleep. For such people, the pomegranate trees can prove to be a panacea. The tender leaves of the pomegranate tree can be used by boiling about 2-3 grams of the leaves in about 200 ml of water, and when about 50 ml is left it can be allowed to cool. And then this decoction can be used to drink before going to bed, it will help to get a sound sleep.
4. Generally we eat the fruit of pomegranate tree and throw the skin away, but the skin of the fruit also has great medicinal value. The powder of the peel of pomegranate can be mixed with a little mustard oil, a little rock salt, and a little turmeric powder, and this mixture can be used for brushing teeth and massaging gums, it is very beneficial for all the problems related to teeth and gums.
5. It is also a divine medicine for the ears, by grinding about 3-4 fresh leaves and extracting a little juice from it, you can cook it in mustard oil, or in sesame oil, and it can be used as ear drops to get relief from ear pain and irritation.
6. The buds of the pomegranate tree which fall on the ground can be collected and dried. These buds can be boiled in water to make a tasty tea. This pomegranate tea is not only tasty, it is very beneficial for the stomach; it also treats cold, cough, and phlegm.
7. If one is suffering from stomach problems, and if one does not feel hungry, the digestion system is weak, and the weakness persists in the body. Then, in this case, one can drink a pomegranate juice, mixing a little bit of cumin powder along with black salt or rock salt in it. It will eradicate the stomach problems, hunger, and weakness issues.
8. Pomegranate seeds are used for making a spice snack which is called “anardana” in the local language in India. It is considered very beneficial for aiding in the digestion process.
How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree
Pomegranate trees can be propagated quite easily by two methods; it can be propagated with seeds and with cuttings. Let us discuss both the methods of propagation.
Growing Pomegranate From Cutting
To propagate pomegranate tree from the cutting, you have to get a healthy cutting from a live pomegranate plant. Cut a healthy branch carefully from the plant and get rid of all the small branches that may be growing out of it.
You do not need to start from a big cutting; it is advisable to use only three to five knots on the cutting to start with. Also, remember to mark the side of the cutting which was growing out of the tree. This is the side of the cutting that you should plant in the soil.
You can also use a good quality rooting hormone, or else you can use honey, as it is a healthier and natural way of growing plants.
So, all you need to do is just dip the end of the cutting in the honey so that it sticks properly to the cutting, and make a hole in the potting soil and place this cutting gently into the hole. Make sure honey stays in contact with the cutting.
Now put the cutting in a warm place with no sun exposure and properly water the potting soil. Within a month’s time, you will see that the leaves will start t grow from the cutting. Once it starts developing roots it can be transplanted to its permanent abode.
Growing Pomegranate from Seeds
Open the pomegranate fruit by cutting the skin of the pomegranate, the fruit opens up quite easily; now separate around 5 to 6 seeds for starting the germination process.
Now put these seeds in a paper towel and fold the paper towel and then squish the seeds to get rid of all the juice. Then rub the seeds to get rid of the remaining juice and pulp, now you will get clean seeds.
It is very important to remove all the flesh and pulp around the seeds so that the seed does not rot. After cleaning the seeds let the seeds dry for at least two days before planting them.
For the soil mix, you can use 50% coconut coir and 50% potting soil. Coconut coir is very good at retaining moisture, and as such the seeds don’t dry.
You can now plant the seeds in the soil mix by making little holes about half an inch deep and then plant 2 to 3 seeds at some distance from one another. This is done because not all seeds will grow successfully.
Now place the pot or container in a warm with partial shade and water it regularly to keep the soil moist. After one month the plant emerges out of the seeds and becomes about an inch tall.
After another month’s time, the pomegranate plant gets about three to four inches tall. Initially, the pomegranate plants grow slow but they soon start to grow faster once they are transplanted.
Once the pomegranate tree gets established, it does not require a lot of water or maintenance. If you water it once a week in summer and once in a fortnight in spring and fall, it will be sufficient enough.