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Punica granatum L. Lythraceae Pomegranate, granatum malum, balustines. Distribution: E. Mediterranean to Himalayas. The Pomegranate is in the centre of the Arms of the Royal College of Physicians, perhaps for its use in cooling, and therefore for fevers. However it was the sour pomegranate that would have been used as Dioscorides says the sweet ones are unfit for use in agues. Culpeper (1650) makes no mention of the fruit, but says of the flowers ‘... they stop fluxes and the Terms in women.’ In the Complete Herbal and English Physician (1826) says the fruit ‘... has the same general qualities as other acid fruits.’ Of the flowers he says (among other properties) that ‘A strong infusion of these cures ulcers in the mouth and throat, and fastens loose teeth.’ Gerard (1633) says that the cravings of pregnant women can be abolished with the juice, and perhaps it was scurvy which was being treated effectively when he reports that the juice was very effective against splitting of blood and for loose teeth. The dwarf form of this species, Punica granatum var. nana with fruits no more than 3cm across. Pomegranate bark can only be sold by registered pharmacies in the UK and used to be used as a vermifuge, with the secondary use that the tincture made from it doubled as a permanent ink. In South Africa the fruit rind is used for diarrhoea and stomach ache, and the bark as a vermifuge, but undesirable side effects make this dangerous. It is reported to be effective against fevers, as a diuretic, to lower blood sugar and to be both antibacterial and antiviral (van Wyk, 2000). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Dr Henry Oakeley

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view Punica granatum L. Lythraceae Pomegranate, granatum malum, balustines. Distribution: E. Mediterranean to Himalayas. The Pomegranate is in the centre of the Arms of the Royal College of Physicians, perhaps for its use in cooling, and therefore for fevers. However it was the sour pomegranate that would have been used as Dioscorides says the sweet ones are unfit for use in agues. Culpeper (1650) makes no mention of the fruit, but says of the flowers ‘... they stop fluxes and the Terms in women.’ In the Complete Herbal and English Physician (1826) says the fruit ‘... has the same general qualities as other acid fruits.’ Of the flowers he says (among other properties) that ‘A strong infusion of these cures ulcers in the mouth and throat, and fastens loose teeth.’ Gerard (1633) says that the cravings of pregnant women can be abolished with the juice, and perhaps it was scurvy which was being treated effectively when he reports that the juice was very effective against splitting of blood and for loose teeth. The dwarf form of this species, Punica granatum var. nana with fruits no more than 3cm across. Pomegranate bark can only be sold by registered pharmacies in the UK and used to be used as a vermifuge, with the secondary use that the tincture made from it doubled as a permanent ink. In South Africa the fruit rind is used for diarrhoea and stomach ache, and the bark as a vermifuge, but undesirable side effects make this dangerous. It is reported to be effective against fevers, as a diuretic, to lower blood sugar and to be both antibacterial and antiviral (van Wyk, 2000). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

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Credit: Punica granatum L. Lythraceae Pomegranate, granatum malum, balustines. Distribution: E. Mediterranean to Himalayas. The Pomegranate is in the centre of the Arms of the Royal College of Physicians, perhaps for its use in cooling, and therefore for fevers. However it was the sour pomegranate that would have been used as Dioscorides says the sweet ones are unfit for use in agues. Culpeper (1650) makes no mention of the fruit, but says of the flowers ‘... they stop fluxes and the Terms in women.’ In the Complete Herbal and English Physician (1826) says the fruit ‘... has the same general qualities as other acid fruits.’ Of the flowers he says (among other properties) that ‘A strong infusion of these cures ulcers in the mouth and throat, and fastens loose teeth.’ Gerard (1633) says that the cravings of pregnant women can be abolished with the juice, and perhaps it was scurvy which was being treated effectively when he reports that the juice was very effective against splitting of blood and for loose teeth. The dwarf form of this species, Punica granatum var. nana with fruits no more than 3cm across. Pomegranate bark can only be sold by registered pharmacies in the UK and used to be used as a vermifuge, with the secondary use that the tincture made from it doubled as a permanent ink. In South Africa the fruit rind is used for diarrhoea and stomach ache, and the bark as a vermifuge, but undesirable side effects make this dangerous. It is reported to be effective against fevers, as a diuretic, to lower blood sugar and to be both antibacterial and antiviral (van Wyk, 2000). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London. Credit: Dr Henry Oakeley. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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