Gems full of flavour

Scientifically known as Punica granatum, the fruit bears on a deciduous shrub which grows to a height of 5-8 meters. The flowers on the shrub blooms in a striking orange-red colour, mostly on the axils of the leaves.
Image for representational purpose only.
Image for representational purpose only.

KOCHI: Indigenous to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, pomegranate, the red-rich fruit, is considered to be one of the nutrient-dense and healthiest fruits.

Scientifically known as Punica granatum, the fruit bears on a deciduous shrub which grows to a height of 5-8 meters. The flowers on the shrub blooms in a striking orange-red colour, mostly on the axils of the leaves.

In India, it finds a home in almost all states, with major hubs in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh. Ideally, it flourishes in hot, dry summers and endures alkaline and moist soils, growing at elevations of up to 1600 meters above sea level.

Courtesy: Spice Board of India
Courtesy: Spice Board of India

Beyond its ornamental beauty, the pomegranate boasts numerous culinary and medicinal uses. Its dried seeds serve as a flavourful spice in many dishes, while its juice serves as a refreshing and cooling beverage. Medicinally, its rind is used in the treatment of chronic dysentery, while its pulp and seeds act as stomach tonics and laxatives. Additionally, the flower buds are known to manage bronchitis.

In essence, the pomegranate stands as a versatile and valuable addition to both culinary and medicinal landscapes, enriching diets and offering therapeutic benefits across the globe.

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