Hin: Anar, Dhalim;
Tam: Madalai, Madalam;
Mal: Urumampazham, Matalam, Talimatala m, Matalanarakam; Kan :Dalimbe;
Tel: Dadima; Mar: Dalimba;
Guj: Dadam; Ass: Dalin
Importance: Pomegranate has long been esteemed as food and medicine and as a diet in convalescence after diarrhoea. The rind of the fruit is highly effective in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, dyspepsia, colitis, piles and uterine disorders. The powdered drug boiled with buttermilk is an efficacious reme dy for infantile diarrohoea. The root and stem bark are good for tapeworm and for strengthening the gums. The flowers are useful in vomiting, vitiated conditions of pitta, ophthalmodynia, ulcers, pharyngodynia and hydrocele. An extract of the flowers is very specific for epistaxis. The fruits are useful in anaemia, hyperdipsia, pharyngodynia, ophthalmodynia, pectoral diseases, splenopathy, bronchitis and otalgia. The fruit rind is good for dysentery, diarrhoea and gastralgia. Seeds are good for scabies, hepatopathy and splenopathy. The important preparations using the drug are Dadimadighrtam, Dadimastaka churnam, Hinguvacadi churnam, Hingvadi gulika, etc (Sivarajan et al, 1994, Warrier et al, 1995).
Distribution: Pomegranate is a native of Iran, Afghanistan and Baluchistan. It is found growing wild in the warm valleys and outer hills of the Himalaya between 900m and 1800m altitude. It is cultivated throughout India, the largest area being in Maharastra.
Botany: Punica granatum Linn. belongs to the family Punicaceace. It is a large deciduous shrub up to 10m in height with smooth dark grey bark and often spinescent branchlets. Leaves are opposite, glabrous, minutely pellucid-punctuate, shining above and bright green beneath. Flowers are scarlet red or sometime yellow, mostly solitary, sometimes 2-4 held together. Stamens are numerous and inserted on the calyx below the petals at various levels. Fruits are globose, crowned by the persistent calyx. Rind is coriaceous and woody, interior septate with membraneous walls containing numerous seeds. Seeds are angular with red, pink or whitish, fleshy testa (Warrier et al, 1995).
Agrotechnology: Pomegranate is of deciduous nature in areas where winters are cold, but on the plains it is evergreen. A hot dry summer aids in the production of best fruits. Plants are grown from seeds as well as cuttings. Mature wood pieces cut into lengths of about 30cm are planted for rooting. The rooted plants are planted 4.5-6m apart. When planted close, they form a hedge which also yields fruits. Normal cultivation and irrigation practices are satisfactory for the pomegranate. An application of 30-45kg of FYM annually to each tree helps to produce superior quality fruits. The pomegranate may be trained as a tree with a single stem for 30-45cm or as a bush with 3 or 4 main stems. In either case suckers arising from the roots and similar growths from the trunk and main branches are removed once a year. Shortening of long slender branches and occasional thinning of branches should be done. The fruit has a tough rind and hence transportation loss is minimum (ICAR, 1966).
Properties and activity: Pomegranate fruit rind gives an ellagitannin named granatin B, punicalagin, punicalin and ellagic acid. Bark contains the alkaloids such as iso-pelletierine, pseudopelletierine, methyl isopelletierine, methyl pelletierine, pelletierine as well as iso-quercetin, friedelin, D- mannitol and estrone. Flowers give pelargonidin-3, 5-diglucoside apart from sitosterol, ursolic acid, maslinic acid, asiatic acid, sitosterol- -D-glucoside and gallic acid. Seeds give malvidin pentose glycoside. Rind gives pentose glycosides of malvidin and pentunidin. Fluoride, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and phosphate are also reported from fruits. Leaves give elligatannins-granatins A and B and punicafolin.
Rind of fruit is astringent, fruit is laxative. Bark of stem and root is anthelmintic, and febrifuge. Rind of fruit and bark of stem and root is antidiarrhoeal. Pericarp possesses antifertility effect. Fixed oil from seeds are antibacterial. Bark, fruit pulp, flower and leaf are antifungal. Aerial part is CNS depressant, diuretic and hypothermic. The flower buds of pomegranate in combination with other plants showed excellent response to the patients of Giardiasis (Mayer et al, 1977; Singhal et al, 1983).