Everything You Need to Know About the Wonders of Pomegranate Seed Oil
Generally speaking, we live in a very curious world today, constantly striving to learn more about the world around us and how we can benefit from it.
Some may argue that we should be learning about how to benefit the world, but others might say that we must first benefit ourselves before we can learn to benefit others.
Luckily, the planet on which we live has many natural wonders that provide many medicinal and cosmetic benefits, as long as you know how to use them.
As the natural health and skincare industries continue to grow, we keep learning about wonderful benefits provided by natural ingredients that we once thought were only good for food.
What is Pomegranate Seed Oil?
The pomegranate is a very popular fruit known for its rich color and sweet taste; it is often used as a primary ingredient in different juices, which are considered to be the healthiest juices in the world, that some brands have made especially popular.
It is often referred to as “The Fruit of Life” or even “Nature’s Power Fruit” due to the fruit’s many health benefits, as proven by the many centuries of its traditional, ancient use.
While it’s easy to only consider the pomegranate as beneficial in its fruit form, as that is how we know it best in modern days, the easily recognizable seeds of the fruit can actually be pressed into an oil that can provide many powerful health and cosmetic benefits.
Pomegranate seed oil comes from the pomegranate bush or shrub, which is scientifically or botanically known as Punica granatum (one of the easiest scientific names to understand in comparison to the fruit’s common name).
The name of this shrub, pomegranate, is derived from the Middle French term, “pomme garnete”, which means “seeded apple”.
Many scientists believe that the bush’s origins can be traced back to Iran, but it can currently be found growing in many different regions, including the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and northern Africa, as well as some states in the United States (California and Arizona).
On top of being known as “The Fruit of Life”, the pomegranate is also commonly associated with symbols of fertility, good health, and eternal life (as can be seen in the Greek mythology of Persephone and Hades, where the fruit represents both death and rebirth).
The bush that the fruit grows on grow to heights of anywhere between 16 and 26 feet, with spiny branches, extravagant flowers, and evergreen leaves; to put it simply, the bush lives up to the high praise of its fruit.
The pomegranate fruit itself can be anywhere from 2.5 to 5 inches in width, and it has a tough skin that surrounds spongy flesh filled with transparent sacs that contain the fruit’s pulp and either a white or red seed, which is what the pomegranate seed oil is derived from.
Over the course of ancient history, pomegranates have been used for many purposes and can be found referenced in several ancient texts and legends.
The fruit has served many purposes in ancient traditions; the flowers of the bush have been used as dyes, the fruit’s peel has been used as a dye for leather, and the seeds were used as a source of food, as well as for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
Ayurvedic practices referenced the use of the fruit for lowering fevers, and Greek medicinal practices used it to treat diabetes. The roots and bark of the bush were also traditionally used to treat bleeding wounds, dysentery, and ulcers.
Comedogenic ratings are given to natural substances as a way to let people know if the particular substance may cause a bad reaction on their skin.
The ratings are given on a scale from 0 to 5, and the lowest numbers represent substances that are highly unlikely to cause skin irritations, clog the pores, or to make skin conditions such as acne become worse.
These ratings are only meant to be taken as words of advice, as some people may still have poor reactions to lowly rated substances, just as some people may also not experience any bad reactions from a highly rated substance.
Pomegranate seed oil has been given a comedogenic rating of 1, which means that it has been dubbed as a non-comedogenic substance that shouldn’t cause any bad reactions, even in people who are prone to sensitive skin or irritations.
Because of this, pomegranate seed oil is often used as a carrier oil, which serves the purpose of diluting harsher oils, such as essential oils, to make them more suitable for topical applications.
Benefits of Using Pomegranate Seed Oil
The beneficial nutrients found in pomegranate seed oil include oleic acid, linoleic acid, punicic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, phytosterols, and tocopherol, which is a source of Vitamin E.
These healthy compounds provide many significant health and cosmetic benefits, although, the results may differ depending on the person and method of application. Each compound provides a different set of powerful benefits, even though many of them may overlap.
Oleic acid is a type of Omega 9, which helps soften your skin, reduce signs of aging, boost your immune system, alleviate joint pain or inflammation, stimulate hair growth, eliminate dandruff, and provide powerful antioxidant properties.
Linoleic acid is a source of Omega 6 that stimulates hair growth, locks in moisture for both the skin and hair, quickens the healing of wounds, treats acne outbreaks, and provides other anti-inflammatory properties.
The punicic acid found in pomegranate seed oil is great for alleviating muscle pain, reducing inflammation and swelling, increasing the production of collagen, and strengthening the hair.
Stearic acid is a powerful cleanser that also helps protect damaged hair and soften the skin; this acid is also what allows the oil to be stored for such a long period of time without going rancid.
Palmitic acid is the most common fatty acid found in many oils, and it acts as a powerful emollient that provides another source of hair softening.
Phytosterols boost the production of collagen, promotes new cell growth, boosts the immune system, protects the skin from damage due to sun exposure, and reduces the appearance of blemishes that may be present on the skin.
Finally, Vitamin E is a very commonly recognized and powerful nutrient that provides many benefits, including antioxidant properties, damaged skin repair, added moisture for the skin and hair, burn relief, cleansing, and oil balancing.
Antioxidant Benefits to the Skin
Pomegranates and the seed oil from the fruit are are a great source of powerful antioxidants with a variety of health benefits. When applied to the skin, pomegranate seed oil can help neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals helping revive your skin and restore its youthful appearance.
Because of its excellent antioxidant benefits, pomegranate seed oil is one of the best anti-aging oils you can use on the skin. It can help protect against damage caused by pollutants and diminish the appearance of wrinkles and other age-related blemishes. The oil can also improve the elasticity of your skin keeping it healthy and glowing.
You can apply pomegranate sees oil to your skin alone or use it as a carrier oil for your favorite skin friendly essential oil.
The many active compounds in pomegranate seed oil can help treat acne regulating the production of sebum. The oil is easily absorbed by the skin and will not clog the pores. The oil can also help hydrate and moisturize the skin and its anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe a number of other skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis.
Simply apply a few drops of pomegranate seed oil to the affected area of your skin. Alternatively, you can use it as a carrier oil combined with a few drops of your favorite essential oils for eczema and other skin conditions.
Protection against Skin Damage
According to research, pomegranate seed oil can also protect your skin against harmful exposure to the sun’s UV rays. It contains a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds like puninic acid, vitamin C and omega fatty-acids that can protect against free radical damage and exposure to the sun.
A study published in 2003 found that applying pomegranate seed oil to mice significantly reduced the incidence of skin cancer in animals exposed to carcinogenic chemicals. (1)
Try using the oil on exposed areas of skin before you head outdoors on a hot, sunny day. The oil contains natural SPF which may protect against sunburn.
Not only is this oil great for your skin but it can also be applied to your hair. It can help add life and moisture to dry and dull hair and can help get unwieldy and frizzy hair under control.
You can add a few drops of pomegranate seed oil to your conditioner. Alternatively, you can apply a few drops of the oil to the ends of your hair and comb it in.
For the Scalp
Pomegranate seed oil contains anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can help treat common scalp conditions like dandruff. It can also help soothe irritation, itching and inflammation of the scalp.
Add 3 or 4 drops of pomegranate seed oil to your regular shampoo and massage it well into your scalp. You may also use the oil as part of a hot oil treatment combined with coconut oil in a ratio of 1:4. Warm up the ingredients and massage it into your scalp. Let it work for a few hours then wash it out with your usual shampoo.
Studies have linked the consumption of pomegranate seeds and juice to improved heart health. Some have found that it could help reduce the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis.
But what about pomegranate seed oil? One study published in 2010 found that pomegranate seed oil could reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Participants in the study were given pomegranate seed oil daily for a period of four weeks. The researchers found that it helped reduce total cholesterol levels and triglycerides in those treated with the oil. (2)
A number of studies have found that pomegranate fruit, juice and oil could help fight various forms of cancer.
Studies done so far have found that it was effective against prostate cancer (3) while other studies have linked pomegranate juice intake to a reduced risk of breast cancer. (4)
Pomegranate seed oil has anti-inflammatory effects which may help treat inflammatory joint conditions like arthritis. While drinking pomegranate juice and eating the fruit can have an excellent effect against inflammation, you may also apply the oil it topically to ease inflammation. (5)
Try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your pomegranate seed oil and massaging it into the affected parts of your body for quick relief.
Varieties of Pomegranate Seed Oil
You may find pomegranate seed oil available in different varieties, which may include oil that is organic or oil that has been refined. Refined oil is typically less potent and does not provide as many nutritional benefits as oil that has not been refined. This oil is more of a carrier oil and is typically used in skin and facial care routines.
On the other hand, organic pomegranate seed oil is much more potent and has higher concentrations of the nutrients that it contains.
This oil is packed full of essential fatty acids that provide powerful benefits, regardless of the application method. The soothing properties of the oil make it especially useful in massage therapy.
This oil is generally gentle enough to be used on all types of skin, especially considering its given rating as a non-comedogenic substance.
Advice for Using Pomegranate Seed Oil
While pomegranate seed oil is powerfully beneficial, there are still some things you should keep in mind and warnings to remember before adding it to your skin or hair care routines.
This oil should not be ingested and should only be used for topical applications. Before adding pomegranate seed oil to your skin or hair care routines, you should speak with your doctor to make sure it is safe.
You might also choose to do a patch test on a small area of your skin to see if you have an allergic reaction to the oil; if you do have a reaction, you should not use the oil again for any reason.
Generally speaking, using pomegranate seed oil shouldn’t cause any negative side effects, but some people may still experience side effects after use. These side effects might include stomach pains, inflamed or irritated skin, or possible pregnancy complications.
Negative side effects may be more common in people who are allergic to the oil, which is why you should always speak to your doctor before adding the oil to your daily care routines.
Pomegranate seed oil is also known for its ability to help lower blood pressure, which can be very beneficial to people with certain conditions that cause high blood pressure or hypertension.
With that said, this side effect could be dangerous if you already have very low blood pressure or are currently taking a prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure.
Speaking with your doctor prior to using pomegranate seed oil is the best way to determine whether or not its ability to lower your blood pressure may be dangerous for your health.
You should also speak with your doctor if you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, although, it is generally recommended that you simply avoid the use of pomegranate seed oil until further research is done regarding its effects on pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pomegranate oil good for acne?
Yes it is. Pomegranate seed oil is ideally suited to treating acne because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It also contains linoleic acid which can help keep sebum levels under control. The puninic acid found in pomegranate seed oil also has excellent antioxidant properties that can protect your skin from damage.
Is it good to eat pomegranate seeds?
It certainly is. Pomegranate seeds are nutrient dense. They contain various minerals, important vitamins and plenty of fiber. In fact the majority of the fruit’s fiber is found in the seeds.
What is the pomegranate good for?
According to traditional use and more recent studies, pomegranates are good your health in a number of ways. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins and essential minerals. They are rich in antioxidants and have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have linked the consumption of pomegranate to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer while they may also improve memory and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.