Life

The origins of the Pomegranate

When Nigella revealed her love for the pomegranate, its sales shot up by 109%. Here are 10 facts about the humble fruit…

1. The pomegranate is thought to be one of the oldest cultivated fruits with first records dating it back to 100BC, when it was native to Persia.

2. Ancient Egyptians were buried with wild pomegranates, which were symbols of rebirth. A large, dry pomegranate was discovered in the tomb of Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut’s, butler, Djehuty.

3. The English word ‘pomegranate’ is from Latin ‘pomum granatum’ which means ‘apple of many seeds.’

4. Pomegranate has been dubbed the “miracle fruit”. It contains high levels of flavenoids which have been proven to help prevent cancer. Meanwhile a study by researchers in Edinburgh last year found that its juice lowers blood pressure, therefore reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.

5. Due to its medicinal properties, the pomegranate appears on the coat of arms for the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Physicians.

Buddhists count the pomegranate as one of their three blessed fruits along with the citrus and the peach.

6. The fruit is known as Kishimojin in Japan, where it is a symbol of hope for infertile women who drink its juices when trying for a baby.

7. Buddhists count the pomegranate as one of their three blessed fruits along with the citrus and the peach. Legend has it that Buddha fed a pomegranate to a demoness who ate her own children in order to cure her of evil.

8. Pomegranates are eaten on the second night of Rosh Hashana in Jewish tradition, as it is thought the super fruit has 613 seeds, representing the 613 commandments of Torah.

9. Many scholars believe it was actually a pomegranate rather than an apple that tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

10. Shakespeare was a fan featuring the fruit in both Romeo And Juliet and All’s Well That End’s Well.