Pomegranates have been used throughout history for their many benefits, and the fruit is even mentioned in the Bible as one of the foods that heals. The seeds, which are the edible parts inside the pomegranate, are what’s used to produced the oil, which is highly prized for its powerful flavonoids and punicic acid that contribute to its many nutritional benefits. The seeds also contain a good amount of vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin B6 and phosphorus too.
It takes more than 200 pounds of fresh pomegranate seeds to produce just a pound of this rich, nutritious oil that can be used both internally and externally to improve your health inside and out. Research has shown that the oil can help lower the risk of numerous diseases, and it offers multiple beauty benefits too. Let’s take a closer look at what it can do for you.
1. Lower Inflammation & Fight Some Cancers
Chronic inflammation places a major role in multiple diseases that can kill, including heart disease and cancer, and pomegranate seed oil offers powerful anti-inflammatory properties, largely thanks to punicic acid, an omega-5 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that makes up 80% of the oil. It’s been shown in scientific research to fight breast cancer.
Research has also shown that pomegranate seed oil may slow the growth of prostate cancer, the leading cancer for men in the U.S. In a study focused on men with recurrent prostate cancer and rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, the scientists discovered that taking a pomegranate juice extract managed to significantly slow the rate at which PSA levels were rising. Other studies have shown that certain substances in pomegranate juice, which is made from the seeds, offer powerful antitumorigenic effects and have the ability to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory.
The oil’s ability to reduce chronic inflammation has also been found in studies to help fight heart disease and type- 2 diabetes, and lower the risk of osteoporosis, by slowing joint deterioration.
2. Improving Arthritis Symptoms
As the word arthritis literally means inflammation of the joints, pomegranate seed oil can help with this painful chronic disease that affects over 3 million Americans as well, thanks to its ability to lower inflammation. Studies have demonstrated the severity of joint inflammation can be dramatically reduced by consuming pomegranate extract, or pomegranate seed oil.
3. Managing Cholesterol & Supporting Weight Loss
The high content of punicic acid in pomegranates is also responsible for its ability to manage cholesterol and even reduce body mass index, or BMI. Punicic acid, as mentioned, is an omega-5 fatty acid, a form of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and one of only a few found in the plant kingdom. CLA is well-known to help weight management and reduce body mass. A 2010 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that participants given pomegranate seed oil every day for four weeks had reduced levels of triglycerides and lower ratios of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol.
The flavonoids present in the oil also work to reduce overall cholesterol, which decreases the accumulation of bad fat cells, resulting in shedding of excess flab.
4. Lowering Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the leading contributors to heart attacks and strokes. Thanks to the wide variety of antioxidants and bioactive polyphenols in pomegranate seeds, they’ve been found to promote cardiovascular health, including healthy blood pressure levels, through a number of means. A 2014 study published in Phytotherapy Research showed that pomegranate juice helped protect the cardiovascular system in those with hypertension and naturally lowered blood pressure after consuming daily for just two weeks. Researchers who took part in an Iranian study published the year before concluded that pomegranate juice should be considered a dietary and pharmacological intervention for hypertension.
5. Improving Menopausal Symptoms
Pomegranate seed oil also may benefit women who experience menopause symptoms as it contains a phytoestrogen known as 17-alpha-estradiol. This compound, along with the other nutrients in the oil, is believed to work together to improve the symptoms of menopause like hot flashes. In one 2012 study out of the University of Vienna in Austria, women who were given pomegranate seed oil daily for 12 weeks experienced a moderate reduction in symptoms that increased another 12 months following intervention – they also saw improvement in sleeping problems.
6. Fighting Bacterial Infections
We mentioned that pomegranates contain bioactive compounds like punicic acid, estrogenic flavanols, and flavonoids, but they are actually filled with hundreds of these substances, including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, anthocyanidins, and ellagitannins, that are known to help fight bacterial infections. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties make it useful for fighting gum diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis too.
The extracts of pomegranate have been used since ancient times for treating ulcers, diarrhea, parasitic and microbial infections as well as complications from respiratory conditions. Pomegranates are believed to stimulate healthy probiotic bacteria which enhances their beneficial effects when it comes to battling a bacterial infection, as demonstrated in 2013 research that was published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
7. Strengthen Memory & Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease
Studies have suggested that pomegranate seeds may help to improve memory. In a 2013 study out of the University of California at Los Angeles, elderly patients who had memory difficulties were given 8 ounces of pomegranate juice each day were shown to have significantly improved markers of verbal and visual memory. Other studies have provided evidence that pomegranates may help fight Alzheimer’s disease as well.
8. Protecting Against Skin Damage
Despite pomegranate’s many healing benefits when used internally, it offers, even more, benefits when used topically. Its unique omega-5 fatty acid, punicic acid, which offers potent anti-inflammatory properties gives the oil the ability to fend off free radicals that can cause damage inside and out, including helping to slow skin aging and providing protection against sun damage. Research in 2003 found that pomegranate seed oil dramatically reduced the occurrence of skin cancer in mice that had been exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.
That dark red hue that pomegranate oil has is due to its rich bioflavonoids – putting pomegranate seed oil on your skin when you go outside actually works as a natural sunblock as it contains natural SPF to help prevent a sunburn.
9. Reversing Skin Damage & Promoting A More Youthful Appearance
Pomegranate seed oil stimulates “keratinocytes,” which are major cells found in the outer layer of the skin. That aids in reversing skin damage, as well as reviving and restoring the skin to reveal a more youthful appearance. As the antioxidants found in pomegranate seed oil help to protect the skin from the harmful free radicals, it’s considered one of the best anti-aging oils there is. The oil’s potent antioxidants like vitamin C enhance skin elasticity, improve skin tone and balance the skin’s pH level to create healthy, radiant and youthful skin.
Renowned wellness physician Dr. Axe recommends using pomegranate seed oil to make the ultimate anti-aging serum that will luxuriously hydrate your skin while providing antioxidant as well as certain phytonutrients that improve cellular communication and skin healing. All you have to do is combine about 20 drops each of pomegranate oil, frankincense oil, lavender oil, vitamin E oil and jojoba oil in a small jar – each night just before bedtime, gently rub about 4 drops of the serum all over your face, allowing it to totally absorb into your skin without rinsing.
10. Heal Skin Conditions
The antioxidants in pomegranate seed oil also help to regulate the production of sebum, as well as treating hormonal imbalances that can treat and prevent acne. This nutrient-rich oil provides moisture, without leaving a greasy residue or contributing to breakouts – it rejuvenates the skin, leaving it smooth, soft and flawless.
The powerful healing qualities of pomegranate seed oil not only help heal blemishes but aid in wound healing, without leaving any marks or scars behind, thanks to its punicic acid content which helps to reduce the breakdown of collagen fibers. The oil is also helpful for treating skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema, due to its ability to reduce inflammation – gently wash the inflamed area, pat it dry then apply a few drops of pomegranate seed oil on it.
11. Treating Dull, Dry Hair
Pomegranate seed oil is also known to revitalize dull, dry hair while protecting it from environmental pollution. It’s ideal to use as a serum, by applying a few drops to the ends of towel-dried hair. You can also add a few drops to your regular conditioner to enhance its effects.
12. Eliminating Scalp Conditions
Thanks to pomegranate seed oil’s infection- and fungal fighting properties, it can eliminate scalp problems like dandruff, as well as relieve scalp itching and inflammation. To use it to fight dandruff, simply add a few drops to your normal shampoo, making sure to work it into the scalp. It can also be used as a hot oil treatment by combining it with coconut oil at a 1:4 ratio. Warm the mixture and then apply it to the scalp. Allow it to see for a couple of hours before washing with your regular shampoo.
When buying pomegranate seed oil, make sure you opt for 100% pure, organic, unrefined cold pressed oil, like this bottle of Leven Rose Pomegranate seed oil available to buy on Amazon.