Babylonia and pomegranates—what did the ancients know?

Babylonia and pomegranates. What did the ancients know that science has confirmed today?

In modern times we know that pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants and are anti-viral and anti-tumor. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and folic acid. Per volume they have three times as many antioxidants as red wine or green tea.

Pomegranates maintain healthy blood circulation and protect against stomach disorders, anemia, diabetes, osteoarthritis, dental conditions and heart-related problems.

An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that eating pomegranates helps patients regain strength after a long illness  and reduces the oxidization of LDL cholesterol, known as ‘bad cholesterol.’

University of California scientists also found the pomegranate consumption is also helpful in curing erectile dysfunction.

Those are the many reasons that pomegranates are used in high quality whole food supplements. After all, how many people consume pomegranates regularly?

But the Babylonia and pomegranates connection is only part of the ancient story.

The many-seeded fruit of the pomegranate tree (Punica granatum), native to modern day Iran, is one of the oldest symbols of life, fertility and abundance.

The capitals, pillars and Temples of Solomon were covered with carved pomegranates. Pomegranates were served at the marriage banquets of ancient Assyria and Babylon as a symbol of love, health and fecundity.

When the pomegranate traveled to the Far East, its symbolic meaning accompanied it.

When the Moors conquered Spain about 800 A.D., the fruit became the emblem of Granada, whose name was derived from it from the Latin pomun—apple and granatum—with seeds.

When the explosive shell that strewed metal particles all over a wide area was invented, the French called it grenade, and the special regiments, who launched these new weapons were call grenadiers.

The pomegranate was introduced into the new world by early Spanish colonists and has since been commonly cultivated in gardens from the warmer sections of the U.S. to Chile.

The best pomegranates are produced only where high temperatures and dry atmosphere accompany the ripening period.

So today, from the Babylonia and pomegranates connection many centuries ago, we have pomegranate demand and cultivation increasing all over the world.

It’s always amazing to learn how our ancient ancestors recognized, by instinct or experiment, beneficial medicinal plants though they knew nothing about scientific breakdowns.

Sources:; Folklore and Odysseys of Food and Medicinal Plants, by Ernst and Johanna Lehner.